International Bellydancing Festival comes to North Cyprus

Girne American University (GAU) will host North Cyprus’ first ever international oriental dance festival. The two day Kyrenia Bellydance Fusion Dance Festival is due to take place on 20th and 21st April. It includes dance workshops for adults and children, a Kyrenia Bellydance Star competition, performances from top international dance teachers and a finale gala show.

As the name of the festival suggests, participants will have the opportunity to learn a blend of dance styles, with dance teachers specialising in oriental bellydance, Latino, contemporary dance and hip hop. Organisers, Shifan Ozseza and Nidal Hamidan, are very excited to present this event. Shifan has danced and taught oriental arts for over 11 years and has a huge passion for the dance. “My aim is to get this style of dance recognised as an art in North Cyprus”, says Shifan. “We would like to encourage both locals and expats to join at least in one of the workshops and learn the different fusion styles of oriental/ middle eastern dance. Health benefits include reducing anxiety and depression symptoms, mind relaxation, improvements in body tone, posture and blood pressure, as well as boosting confidence and getting back in touch with our femininity!!.”

The festival will be televised in North Cyprus, Europe (including the UK) and the Middle East, with Turkish and Arabic channels covering the event and broadcasting via Sky TV. The gala show on 21st April will be held in GAU’s state of the art Spectrum Theatre. Tickets cost 20TL and are available from Shifan (0533 885 5767) and GAU’s dance teachers.

Nidal teaches the darbuka (or tablah) drum, and has worked with oriental dancers for the last 15 years, teaching them how to interpret the drum. Shifan works at the GAU Dance Academy and also runs The Little Eastern Dance Studios in Kyrenia, teaching bellydance classes across North Cyprus. She is known for her oriental fusion style, with a blend of oriental, Arabic and Flamenco moves.

Anyone interested in participating in workshops can find further details and entry forms on the festival website:

A similar event has also been organised for South Cyprus, with a gala show taking place tonight (27th Jan) at the Melina Merkouri Theatre in Nicosia.

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