IDO International asked IDO Holland (International Dance Organisation Holland) if the Netherlands would be interested to organize belly dance championships. Chantal Verspaandonck of "Dansschool Verspaandonck" in Eindhoven organized competitions for different dance disciplines under the umbrella of IDO Holland for years, but she had little knowledge of the oriental dance/belly dance. Therefore, she started looking for someone who was willing to help her out and think along with her. As a result, she came to Yamila of "St. Dans van de Morgenstond". Yamila knew a lot about belly dancing but she had too little time to help out Chantal. Via Yamila Chantal’s question came to Safira in 2008. Safira did not hesitate and seized this opportunity with both hands.
In the beginning, Safira had brainstorm sessions with the help of third parties (Yamila, Faracha and Erwina) to fit the general international rules to allow for Oriental dance in the Netherlands. In October 2008 the 1st Dutch Championships Belly dancing took place in the great hall of Dansschool Verspaandonck in Eindhoven, which was made available by Chantal. Safira was present as a judge along with fellow dancer Saïda and a jury president from the IDO. It was small, but very cozy!
In 2009 Safira and Chantal Verspaandonck also went to work for the organization of the Benelux Championships in March, where Safira was also present as a member of the jury. Eventually, Chantal Verspaandonck stopped as a member of IDO after which Safira took increasingly more tasks upon herself to organize the belly dancing championships, leaving the judging of the contests to her colleagues.
Expansion of the organization
In 2013, Safira asked Sarabi (www.sarabi-dans.nl) to help her organize the belly dancing championships. This sounded like music to the ears of Sarabi and nowadays they organize the championships together with a lot of enthusiasm.
In the end of 2014 Monique Slabbers (Belynia) has been asked to join the organisation. She is doing this with a lot of passion!
Do you want to know more about Belynia? This is her website: www.eyemunique.com
Cooperation with the international festival
As of 2013, the Benelux Championships are held in Theatre "Cultuurhuis Heerlen" during the weekend of the International Belly Dance Festivals of st. Dans van de Morgenstond.
There are a few people Safira and Sarabi would like to thank for this. These people are:
- Yamila: st. Dans van de Morgenstond
- Chantal Verspaandonck: dance school Verspaandonck
- Ger and Ida: IDO
- Safira: danscollega en ex-organisator
- Ronald and Miranda: dance school Trendz
- Saida: dance colleague and fixed juror
- Khalida: dance colleague and fixed juror
- Faracha and Erwina: dancer colleagues
- All candidates who have participated to date
- All supporters
- And all other people who helped us out and supported us!
Sarabi and Belynia hope that the championships will continue to grow and this is only possible with your help, the help of the people of IDO and all who support them in this!