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Notes from the Organizer

We are very excited this year to be putting together the 17th Annual San Francisco International Belly Dance Festival, which includes "The Ms. and Mr. America of the Belly Dance!"

This year we already have a very beautiful contestant from the Argentine. Her name is Saida, and she is of Arabian heritage. She is coming from the Argentine and her parents were born in Syria. She is a member of the Amir Thaleb's Arabian Dance Company. She has been presented throughout the most important theaters in Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina. While in Miami Florida, she appeared along with Tamalyn Dallal's Mid Eastern Dance Exchange for the Show named "Infinito" in the year 2000. In 1998 she started her own
school "Saida" which has become one of the main centers for learning Arabian Dance in the country and has gained great recognition among the Middle Eastern Community.

We have another famous Brazilian belly dancer who will be a guest artist on Saturday evening and Sunday night. She is the director of the Luxor Academy and owner with over 300 students. She organizes a big Brazilian international festival each year. Her name is Hayat El Helwa. She received an IAMED award last year and she is on the Four Annual Awards of Belly Dance video cover, and on the cover of a CD released by Moves Panossian--Belly Dance with Hayat. She was at the Orange Coast College Convention with Nagwa Fouad and will be a special performer for the Fifth Annual Awards of Belly Dance. Magana will present her with an Achievement Award at the Saturday Night Event, and she will be one of the judges for the competition.

There has been quite a bit of interest from the South American and Cuban dancers in the Miss America of the Belly Competition and Festival. It is important to know that the last three winners of the competition have been of Hispanic and Middle Eastern heritage: Tamalyn Dallal from Miami, Amar of Cuban descent and Bozenka of Cuban and Polish descent. The Latin dancers are very dynamic and have a very special energy that has contributed tremendously to our last year's events.

Hope to see you at the event in August!

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