2015 DBQ Bellydance Challenge: Vote for the Finalists!

February 16, 2015 20 Comments

I am so excited to be moving to the next phase of the DBQ Bellydance Challenge!  Thank you to everyone who submitted their ideas – there’s a lot of wonderfully creative people out there!

We now have 5 semi-finalists with very diverse projects. It’s time to cast your votes to select the 3 projects we will be following throughout 2015. Through the “Daily Bellydance Quickies”, we’ll be checking in with the creators and getting a little peek behind the scenes of their projects as they come to fruition.

Read through their proposals and then cast your vote!

Meet our contestants….

Choreography Project 

Louise McClung, Katy TX

The goal however, is to create a completely new choreography to a different song every two weeks. I’ve always enjoyed improvising while performing. As I picked up more responsibility (kids, pets, caring for parents, dance companies) I found myself dedicating less time to preparing for each performance. I was starting to feel like it was just more work. I needed a way to explore the music in a new way. I needed to challenge different parts of the creative process. I enjoy the challenge of being systematic. Not just living the music, but creating something other people could reproduce. For this challenge I’m mapping, writing, and filming (in order to make something reproducible) before I call it done. It’s strange, the biggest hang ups are not the “big” things. So far it’s that I get caught up in songs that I love and have trouble focusing on writing things down.


“Becoming a Bellydancer” Book

Sara Shrapnell, Pleasanton, CA


 The book by Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine, Alisha Westerfeld and Poppy Maya Becoming a Belly Dancer will aim to provide valuable information, learned-in-the-trenches tips, and guidance for dancers who are ready to take the step from student to performer. Sara Shrapnell, author of “Teaching Belly Dance” and Dawn Devine, author of “Cloth of Egypt” and 13 other belly dance and costuming books, including the bestselling “Embellished Bras” and the now classic “Costuming from the Hip”, are teaming up to bring out a new book in 2015. Between them, they have more than 50 years of combined experience as performers, teachers, dancers and costume designers. Alisha Westerfeld is exploring the established and upcoming talent of the Bay Area to bring her beautiful photography to the project. International belly dance celebrity and costume designer Poppy Maya brings her own special brand of “Additional Awesomeness” to the book, and the input of a young dancer, currently making her living through belly dance. The authors hope to bring the warmth, support, and humor of a teacher in absence, a true friend and a trusted advisor who has only one main goal: you. We want to focus on helping you be the best prepared physically and mentally for the challenges of performing for friends, family, the dance community, and the greater society, both in person at public venues, and via media available on the internet. The book will cover improving your dance skills, good practice habits, preparing physically and emotionally, critiquing, picking your music and venues and dancer etiquette. In addition the book will include extensive sections on costume design and selection, sewing and no sewing costumes, accessorizing, hair and makeup and presenting to the world the very best belly dancer that you can be. It is our hope that the reader will find this book a useful and inspiring tool that will help them be ready for the big day, so they can dazzle, impress and wow with talent and style. Currently just four weeks old, our baby book is already growing and we are aiming for a Fall launch. We have pictures available of all four authors and can provide images of our process.


“Killer Isolations DVD”

Kamrah,  Chicago, IL


“Killer Isolations” is my first instructional DVD! It will focus on strong movement, with strength training and drills to sharpen up those isolations! And a performance will be included! Currently, all of the filming has been finished, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The editing is nearly complete, but there is still voice-over work and polishing left to go!

Dance Recess

Jahanara, Meridian, ID

Bellydance is too good for us, in so many ways, for only a few people to do it! The concept of Dance Recess was born because of something I learned in a summit for creating healthy communities: Sitting is the new smoking. Dance Recess takes the work out of the workout, and conducts fun. Educational North African Dance Fitness Classes at places of work, or wherever people gather together. Dance Recess addresses western health problems with eastern dance! Unlike current popular dance and dance fitness styles, bellydance is a better core workout, and less damaging to joints, which means it is accessible to everyone at any fitness level. Dance Recess instructors are also cultural ambassadors, showing students what is good and beautiful about Arabic cultures, and increasing appreciation for Arabic music. Unlike traditional exercise classes, Dance Recess includes a social portion, which studies have found to be as important for health and longevity as the exercise. Dance Recess appeals to populations which have been ignored by traditional exercise, and gives non-traditional exercisers a motivation to move!


Glitter Love Couture Bespoke & Beautiful Dance Design

 Karen Carrie, Laguna Niguel, CA

I have been known for a number of things but two that stand out….leaving a trail of glitter wherever I go and spending countless hours pouring over fabric, drawing and designing costumes. After 10 years of putting my dream of dance/burlesque/theatrical costume design on the back burner I feel it is time to get out there and make my dreams come true! I saw this contest and thought it would be an amazing motivator!


Voting closes on Saturday, February 28th. The 3 finalists will be announced in the March 1st edition of the “Daily Bellydance Quickies”.

Mahin (121 Posts)

Professional instructor and performer of Middle Eastern belly dance, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and author or the “Daily Bellydance Quickies”. Belly Dance Artrepreneur, Workshop instructor, performer, event producer, and bellydance writer.

  1. Dawn
    February 16, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Do We vote here?

    1. Melissa Hoare
      February 19, 2015 at 2:24 am

      I vote for Becoming a Bellydancer by Sara Shrapnell

      1. Melissa Hoare
        February 23, 2015 at 3:15 am

        Ah, found it

    2. Deborah Rubin
      February 19, 2015 at 7:13 am

      “Becoming a Bellydancer” Book!

    3. Jheri St. James
      February 23, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Do we vote here?

      1. Paula
        February 25, 2015 at 10:26 am

        Click on the link – it’s the sentence in yellow that says “CAST YOUR VOTE HERE” and it will take you to the survey page.

  2. Rita Ractliffe
    February 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Why does the vote box send you to a survey? Not pleased.

    1. Mahin
      March 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      The survey keeps an accurate tally and is the best practice for something like this.

  3. Jennifer McLain
    February 18, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I’d like to vote for Sara Shrapnell’s Becoming a Bellydancer

  4. Patricia
    February 19, 2015 at 8:31 am

    My vote is “Becoming a Bellydancer” Book!

  5. Sonya
    February 19, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Kamrah’s Killer Isolations!

  6. SIWA
    February 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I cast my vote for “Becoming a Bellydancer” Book

  7. Misia Rockte
    February 24, 2015 at 1:22 am

    I’m traveling and taking time out to support my friend’s latest endeavor, Becoming a Bellydancer. The book by Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine, Alisha Westerfeld and Poppy Maya

  8. Velinda "Vakasha" Galvin
    February 24, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I am voting for “Becoming a Bellydancer” Book.

  9. Angela Slark
    February 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I’m voting for Becoming a Bellydancer and will definitely buy the book xx

    1. Mahin
      March 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      I hope you clicked through to the survey link “CAST YOUR VOTE HERE” and got your vote in!

  10. JiTahnna
    February 25, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Dance Recess????? OMG, please please please let her be in the top 3.

    Yes I voted, but I also wanted to drool, her concept is so very close to my own.

    1. Mahin
      March 6, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Yes!! I LOVE this idea too!

  11. erin
    February 27, 2015 at 9:33 am

    It said voting open until 2/28. It says that it is closed when I click on cast your vote here. By my clock here in Arizona it is 2/27 9:33 am right now. Hmmmm…….

    1. Mahin
      March 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Looks like it shut it down at 12:00am rather than 12:00pm – Sorry.


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