Belly dancer Selina Sevil – Swedish belly dance star

Professional belly dancer – International Artist & Dance teacher – Judge in international dance championships

On this page you will find Selina’s own story about her career as a dancer, followed by her dance education, skills , qualifications, highlights and testimonials.

 

A dream about belly dance

How a Swedish girl became an international belly dancer. Selina’s story about her trip with a different upbringing, dreams and fortune telling. She never thought she would live her dream.

How a Swedish girl became an international belly dancer

Growing up as a girl in a medium size city in south Sweden I had no idea that I would be a professional bellydancer, especially not one working in the Middle East. I always loved dancing and gymnastics but like for many other Swedish people this is mostly seen as a hobby not a profession.

My first contact with oriental dance & music was when I as a young girl lived longer periods with a family from Palestine. I secretly fell involve with the music and the movements of the dance and started collecting songs and dancing in front of the mirror. If I met anyone who could dance oriental dance I asked them to teach me, but I would never show my “dance skills” – it was my secret.

As a child & teenager I performed with various different dances but never with oriental dance, I was to shy. It wasn’t until I visited a local restaurant with an open dance floor with oriental music that I danced in front of people for the first time. And was offered my first gig.

I spent several summers as a half-year resident of Turkey, where I immersed myself in Turkish dance. I was head hunted by a artist manager in Turkey and short after that I was on stage at the biggest 5-star hotels in Turkey. My interest grew into a passion, a profession and a lifestyle.

Selina on photoshoot in Sweden.

Worked hard with belly dance in Sweden

Shortly after I finished my education in Design Techniques in Sweden I started to travel to various countries and studied for many of the master teachers of oriental dance. I travelled alone to festivals in different countries and took workshops with famous stars visiting from the Middle East, Europe and USA. I still at this point had no idea how big oriental dance would be in my life and what was waiting me, if I only had known by then how oriental dance would change my life…

To perform became something I did more than 10 times a week. I  had more than 1000 performances at restaurants not to mention the countless performances at weddings, festival and other events. The long list of venues & events varied from; oriental restaurants to performing at a castles for the prince of Sweden to big theaters in China. And I fell involve with so many oriental folkloric & cabaret dances, as Egyptian, Turkish, Lebanese and Gulf.

Teaching belly dance was something that came very natural for me and 2007 I started my own dance school. I usually have had around nine classes a week in Sweden and teach abroad at festivals. My students describe me as inspiring, knowledgeable and humble – well and a bit crazy. I was invited to other countries to teach & perform such as Poland, Denmark, England, Germany, Turkey, Morocco and China. At home in Sweden, I lead the show group Turkish Delight and mentor teacher and professional belly dancers. I love teaching – it’s a passion!

I have been working hard with putting oriental dance on the map in Sweden. Besides from running a dance organization I’ve organized many trips for Swedish dancers to Turkey, lectures, workshops with famous dancers, educated school children, been interviewed several times in leading Swedish media, and created Sweden’s first Internet-based belly dance forums and web shop; Selina bazaar! I have also since 2007 been running the largest Swedish blog about belly dancing.

 

Passion brought me abroad

I’ve been busy, but still I have the urge to do more, learn more and dance more. I constantly seeks new dance skills.

I began an education in 2010 “The advanced dancers, teachers and professional performers course” – a diploma education in Egyptian dance and music of the world-famous Egyptian musician Hossam Ramzy and Serena Ramzy in England.

I continued to take a lot of workshops and I was been granted (as the first oriental dancer ever in my country) a scholarship to research oriental dances of the Gulf by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

So far I had achieved so many goals and dreams that I never thought was possible to reach. I felt blessed. And at many points I thought, this must be it, it just can’t get any better than this. I was so wrong…

Selina modelling for Selina’s Bazaar in Dubai.

2012 I visited Dubai and came in contact with a manager who offered my a chance to make audition for one of The Middle East’s top artist agencies for oriental dancers & singers. I was ready to turn it down since it included me traveling to Lebanon for several months of training still didn’t guarantee me anything. I was scared, scared to travel alone to a country as unsafe as Lebanon was presented in the Swedish media and… What if I would fail?

The road to dancing in The Middle East

But then something unusual happened to me. My best friends booked an appointment to visit a fortune-teller in Sweden for my birthday. Knowing nothing about the agency in Beirut or me (not even my or my friends names) the fortune-teller said:

”You have been asked to train and perform abroad, don’t turn it down, you will get a lot of contracts, I see you dancing at a golden palace, I see you performing on a huge tv for a very big audience, you are a dancer and you must go”.

So crazy and superstitious as I was  I went to Beirut where I was trained for two months and had audition for many of the managers at the biggest 5-star events in The Middle East.

And guess what – one month later when the car stopped outside the first hotel I got a contract at in Tunisia (the hair on my arms stood up), the name of the hotel was “Le Palace” (The Palace in french) and all decorated in gold.

Selina with one of her trainers before audition in Beirut 2013.

Selina is carried out to a Moroccan wedding in Tunisia.

A few months later I was one stage in Iraq for a New Years party infront of 1600 people and one of the walls in the huge ballroom was made into a screen. Spinning on my stage I saw my self just as the fortune-teller had said “dancing on tv for a huge audience”.

My career took off

Since then I have been performing at the most extravagant events in the Middle East. Opening the stage for arabic megastars like Fares Karam, Cheb Khaled, George Al Rassi and Hatem Al Iraqi, performing for Middle eastern royalty and politicians.

With shows every night in different countries such as Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Iraq, and even Nigeria my life changed to the unexpected, once again because of oriental dance.

I’m blessed to see the world and grow as a oriental dancer among such amazing talents in The Middle East. On top of that I have made friendships with belly dancers all over the globe, dance colleagues like Sabriye Tekbilek who mentored me in my journey of being a professional belly dancer in The Middle East.

Today I am an international belly dancer. I’m traveling The Middle East performing and teaching in Sweden and international festivals as much as I can. My bags are packed, who knows where I will dance tomorrow. I don’t know where this story will end… I just know I’m glad it happened! If you want to see where oriental dance brings me next you can follow my belly dance blog or my Instagram.

Before i end this story I have a few words to all the aspiring belly dancers out there:

“Remember, all professional belly dancers was once beginners. Don’t have fear for what your dance future might bring you. Take chances, travel, grow, be humble and enjoy the journey!”

To study to be a belly dancer

According to experts, the dance form is extremely old, actually the oldest dance form in the world, and was passed down from the older women of the families to the younger and varied in execution from village to village and country to country.

With roots older than our biggest world religions. It is a dance form from The Middle East that has spread to the extent that you can find masters of oriental dance and oriental dance school almost everywhere in the world today (Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and America).

But even with such deep historical roots and such a world-wide popularity the oriental dance is unfortunately still not an art form that a dancer can study and receive a diploma from a university such as a bachelor degree or a masters diploma. As possible with classic western dances as ballet or modern dancing. This makes the road to being a professional dancer of oriental dance at such a level a bit rockier.

Each dancer have to search for her own path to an oriental dance education. Not only the movements, but the history, the music and the culture. She needs to travel allot, read allot and experience the dance in its original environment. And as all professional dancers she must put in many hours in the dance studio training. All at her own expense.

With that said its easy to understand that finding the right teachers in oriental dance is not always easy and that the level between oriental dance teachers and professional oriental dance performers vary allot. Selina understood the importance of a good dance education early in her carrier. She took pride in years and years of hard work, traveling the all corners of the world collecting knowledge from known master teachers to become the dancer that she is today.

Selina’s education in oriental dance

On her path to become a professional oriental dancer she trained for countless oriental dance teachers and master teachers. Beside these Selina attended the following training.

2010-2012: Drumzy School of Dance in England
“The advanced dancers, teachers and professional performers course” – a  diploma education in Egyptian dance and music of the world-famous Egyptian musician Hossam Ramzy and Serena Ramzy in England.

2011: Jawaad – institut for oriental dance in England
Course for professional dancers.

2013: Training at artist agency in Lebanon
Coached by trainers, who only train dancers performing professionally in The Middle East.

Selina education helped her become a graceful professional oriental dancer who possesses a sense of rhythm, a feeling for music, and a creative ability to express herself through movement.

She has a great ability to work as part of a team with other singers and artists. Great at improvising body movements to rhythm of musical accompaniment. Multi-skilled and able to translate those skills into movement that expresses emotions.

Selina performing at a fair 2012.

Selina’s dance teachers

Below is a selection of the oriental dance teachers Selina studied for. She especially choose to mention these teacher above other because they left a big impression on her and they were teachers that made her grow as an oriental dancer.

Sheeren (Czech Republic)
Nour (Russia – Egypt)
Tito Seif (Egypt)
Ahmed Fekry (Egypt)
Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt)
Randa Kamel (Egypt)
Warda (Brazil – UAE)
Aziza (Canada)
Suraiya (Poland)
Sadie (America)
Marta Korzun (Ukraine)
Alla Kushnir (Ukraine)
Serena Ramzy (Brazil)
Fifi Abdou (Egypt)
Badriyah (Czech Republic)
Aida Nour (Egypt)
Sema Yildiz (Turkey)
Didem Kinali (Turkey)
Hossam Ramzy (Egypt)

Skills

Skills Selina’s dance education and training has given her.

• Posses a good sense of rhythm and timing.
• Possessing balance, poise, posture, isolated, soft and sharp movements.
• High level of technical proficiency and physical ability.
• Excellent ability to coordinate body movements.
• Knowledge of dance history, modern, classic & folkloric oriental dance styles.
• Ability to use many kinds of dance props.
• Understanding of oriental music; rhythms, structure and instruments.
• Ability to dance to live music with improvised performances.
• Choreographing full routines to a high standard for students.
• Train professional oriental dancers, groups or solo dancers for competitions.
• Ability to inspire passion and creativity in students.
• Teaching the history of oriental dance.
• Experience of dancing on film, clubs and promotional events.
• Judging in international championships of oriental dance.
• Delivering enjoyable, structured and well-planned dance activities.
• Handling full administration and marketing for  a dance organization.
• Living on the road as free-lance dancer touring the Middle East.
• Designing oriental dance wear for practice and stage.

Highlights in Selina’s career as a oriental dancer

Below you can see the highlights in Selina’s career that she is most proud of.

Judged at Danish Open Bellydance
Featured in newspaper Kvällsposten
Interviewed by Swedish radio P4
Represented by lebanese artist agency
Performed for emirati sheiks, Dubai
Performed for ministers from Kazakstan
Swedens biggest belly dance blog
Featured in Turkish newspaper 2011
Judge in polish dance championships
Arranged several dance trips to Turkey
Granted scholarship by Swedish Arts Committee
Representative at Bellydance China
Founded a oriental Webshop
Founded Swedens belly dance forum
Music video with Khaled El Masri
Founded Dansöz Dance School
Music video with Hamid Aziz, Sweden
Founded the web shop Selina’s
Model for belly dance direct
Featured in Danish magazine 2013
Featured in Norwegian magazines 2014
Featured in German magazine 2010