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Bellydancers from all over the state and interstate attended the WA Middle Eastern Dance festival in Midland last weekend. Picture: ALMA SARHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Dancers shimmy at WAMED festival

THE Western Australian Middle Eastern Dance festival was held in Midland for the first time ever this year.

The annual event held during the long weekend in June is a time where bellydancers come from all over Australia to meet up, participate in workshops, conferences and concerts and shop at the Grande Bazaar.

This year the Raqs Café – an informal concert setting – was held at the 7th Ave Bar & Restaurant.

The evening showcased a select few dancers including Perth’s bellydancer Aiveen and Q&A sessions with invited guest teachers so the audience got to hear about their dance journey.

At the Raqs Café event the Free Spirit Dance Community – one of the three hosts of the festival – announced honorary lifetime memberships to four of the matriarchs of WA bellydance – Belyssa Radzivanas, Eva Cass, Ayesha Watson and Angie Irwin known to bellydance followers as Shaheena.

Richelle Spencer from Free Spirit Dance community said the honorary lifetime memberships were to honour and show appreciation of the dedication, commitment, inspiration and enthusiasm the four women had made to the development of bellydance in Western Australia.

The finale of the Raqs Café was a beautiful, stunning and fierce performance by Belyssa, who stole the show.

Raqs Zahara of Midland and Bellydance Central were the other two hosts of the festival.

The festival included two concerts held at Governor Stirling Senior High School.

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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