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Allthough a small country, Belgium has one of the most lively and best functioning belly dance and tribal dance scenes. One of the most active people in this crowd is Khalida, who meanwhile lives at Eschweiler, Germany near Aix-de-Chapel. Khalida is organising together with Belgian star dancer Queenie (both have been winners of “Bellydancer of the world” in the category “raqs sharqi” at Leyla Jouvana’s “Oriental Festival of Europe”) two bootcamp weekends in July which are nearly sold out already. We feel happy to interview Khalida, and some small voice tells us that there will be following some more talks with her. Today Khalida is telling us what she is doing.

I’M HAPPY TO BE PART OF SUCH A COMMUNITY

Interview with Khalida

- by Marcel Bieger

What will the future bring for the Milka-Khalida-Show and us, their fans?

This one I will have to answer soon, because Milka is quite recently back from her massive world travel trip. Last, she was in South Africa, after spending several weeks touring Australia and New Zealand. I missed her, but am super excited for her and I followed her travel blog: http://milkaadamczyk.waarbenjij.nu/

We will talk a bit more after she comes back, and see what the future brings for us. In any case I am hoping to see her dance ‘live’ in action very soon again, solo as well as with her Kokoro-partner Amirah!
There are prices to win like workshops at Suraiya of Polands "Egyptian Fever Festival" and Leyla Jouvana of Germany well known Oriental Festival of Europe both have taught there as well.
I can’t say exactly how the community has grown so tight in Belgium/The Netherlands lately, but I think the growth of new local events and internet helps a bit to stay connected and communicate on one hand, but on the other hand I also know a lot of the current stars and rising stars of the Belgian/Dutch bellydance scene personally, and we have the same passion for sharing our love for this art form, which means we keep meeting each other at different local and international festivals.

This makes for some great backstage sillyness (and picture!) opportunities, as Queenie has already mentioned in her interview recently. Overall, there is a lot of mutual support and growth, and I am very proud to be part of it, so I try to make my contributions where I can by attending and supporting these events, as well as co-creating events together with my colleagues.
Please tell us a little bit more about your cooperation with Queenie, and about your boot camp in summer.

We just had a big update about the schedule, which can be found at http://khalida.biz/bellydance/bootcamp.html

There is only 1 Last-Minute spot left for Bootcamp 1 (4-8 July), and Bootcamp 2 (19-22 July) and is already sold out!

As you can see the program is roughly the same for both BOOTCAMPS, the only thing different will be the guest teacher (Constanze or Amirah) and the dates. But BOTH will be equally fun

Every morning we will have a (optional, but FUN, promise) shred workout session, followed by a long cool down and stretch. After that our guest teachers will teach their respective workshops. The afternoons will be filled with daily bellydance classes with Queenie and Khalida, and there will be a hafla/studio party on Saturday evening. On Thursday morning (starting around 10:00 am) we will have a short introduction round and welcome at the studio.
How come your DVD is selling so tremendously well?

For one what has helped tremendously is that I was lucky enough to be able to work with such a professional team. AzizaRaks productions really brought the best of the best to the recordings, we had a massive technical team, a professional director, a huge set used for films(!) and both the expertise of Aziza as a professional DVD instructor and her husband as a professional producer and actor to guide me in the process.

We also put a lot of thought into how we wanted the concept to look, hired a professional designer team and photographer/stylists for the covers and I think I drove the post production team crazy with my wishes for extended but structured menu options (luckily I am a software tester! so I could help out where needed myself) and content details (am also a perfectionist!) in the DVDs.

For all of us (we made a great team!) it was very important to bring a high-quality product to the (already substantial) market, so I invested a lot into the preparations and post production testing, no short cuts, and I combined my own experience in teaching workshops and what I liked about my favorite DVDs into DVDs that I would hopefully enjoy working with myself.

The topics where chosend in a way that they would cover different areas: a technique topic (shimmies) with drills that feel like dancing and with tips and tricks that I gathered over the years myself, as shimmies were something that I struggled with a long time myself, and a specialty topic (isis wings!) a topic that is dear to me because it was taught to me by my very first teachers, Myriam and Yamila from the Netherlands.

The Isis Wings content was easy for me, as I had not taken very many workshops on the topic but I started creating dances with wings very early on in my career, both for myself and for my sisters, who danced as well at the time. At one point I also made a wings duet together with Milka, for a TV show, which is why I dedicated one of the combinations for Duets to her.
So I had to find a way to make the DVD have added value, put myself in the shoes of someone who already owns these great DVDs (as I do myself!) What I came up with is create a DVD that has it all: Different shimmy types with technique, but also a long warmup, special muscle excercises and stretches that helped me my shimmies seated shimmy drill (ideal for Egyptian and hip shimmy timing!), a 20 minute shimmy drill but with all the different shimmy types, layering drills that feel like dancing AND a long cooldown AND stretches. So, in short, 112 minutes of booty shaking, a real complete shimmy workout with added layering and useful tips and tricks.
on the shimmy DVD, an interview, a nd the scenesto collection and detailed information about the music used on each DVD. There is even a small bonus clip with cooperation of the crew at the end of the credits of each DVD :)

So: what helps make them sell? On one hand the quality of the production and cooperation with AzizaRaks productions, on the other hand the extended and organised content, and on the third hand, I think, the fact that I am able to travel to differrent events and bring the DVDs with me, especially when I teach topics that have overlap with the DVD contents (for instance double veil or spins and turns, as there are turning techniques on the Isis Wings DVD as well).  

What does Khalida else have in store for the next months?

In any case I will be performing and teaching in the coming months in Belgium, England and the Netherlands, as a solo performer or together with my group Jahanára. In Fall/Winter
I will travel to Poland and Czech Republic, and in December you can see me dancing on the Afternoon Gala at Leyla Jouvana's Festival.

A sneak preview you find here:

2012 http://khalida.biz/bellydance/schedule.html

2013/2014 http://khalida.biz/bellydance/schedule2.html


Kisses, Khalida

Khalida and her group "Jahanára", (Photo: Ian Setradharma)
(Photo: André Elbing)
Will the Belgian belly dance community will take over proper in 2012, or will you wait till 2013? How come the Belgian scene sticks together like it does - others countries don't have such solidarity?

I’m very excited and happy to be part of such a beautiful and blooming community as the
And it goes even further than that! Sakina Yanara yearly organises a big festival in Belgium, Stars of Bellydance, where both Queenie and I will be teaching in 2013.
Belgian/Dutch one. I am including the Netherlands because there has been a lot of cooperation between organizers from both countries as well.
The shimmies DVD was a bit more challenging. Not the content itself, as I am used to teaching a variety of shimmy techniques in my workshops and weekly classes, but because there are already so many good instructional DVDs on the market (like "Azizas Practice companion", Leyla Jouvanas "1001 Shimmies und Variationen" and Bozenkas "Every shimmy in the book").
What also helped were the amazing reviews I got from Ozma of Japan for the shimmies DVD http://www.orientaldancer.net/belly-dance-library/belly-dance-review/isis-wings-with-khalida.php

AND the beautiful preview clips that the post production team created helped enormously with presales :)

shimmies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=speBB_GE-OI

isis wings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sKyrTchAhQ

As well as the web shop itself www.khalidashop.com and the new website design at www.khalida.biz which I created myself. I worked as an IT specialist for over 10 years! Who knew this could be so useful one day
On both DVDs we also added 2 performances, one with live drumming by Issam Houshan of the Bellydance Superstars
Just klick on the pictures and you'll get to Khalida's YouTube Videos ...