Oriental belly dance
Selina is a Swedish dance star! A professional belly dancer. International artist & dance teacher. And a judge in international dance championships. On this page you will find Selina’s own story about her career as a dancer. Her dance training, skills and highlights. Selina has performed with belly dance for over 15 years. Her shows have highlighted castles in Sweden and theaters in China. Not to mention all the shows at 5-star events in the Middle East with Arab celebrities. If you are looking for a professional belly dancer who will perform at your event then you have found the right one. Her dance training and spellbinding charm is an unbeatable combination!
The most booked belly dance in Sweden
With the curves in the right places. A deep knowledge of oriental dance. And an impressive track record. With teaching and performances around the world. Swedish-born Selina decided to conquer the oriental dance world. Her dance is a mix of traditional Middle Eastern dance movements and modern styles. She wears the latest “haute couture belly dance costumes”. This combined with her beauty makes her appearances unforgettable. She has the talent and genuine passion for her art form. As well as a long track record with performances for royalty, politicians and celebrities. Selina has become one of the most recognized and sought after belly dancers in Scandinavia.
Professional belly dancer
Growing up in southern Sweden, I had no idea that I would become a professional belly dancer. Especially not a belly dancer who performed in the Middle East. I’ve always loved belly dancing and gymnastics. But like many others, I just saw it as a hobby. My first contact with Oriental dance was when I, as a child, lived with a family from Palestine. I fell for the music and the dance movements. Started collecting songs and dancing in front of the mirror in secret. If I met someone who could dance belly dance, I asked them to teach me movements. But I never dared to show my “dance skills”. They were my secret.
First job as a belly dancer
As a child and teenager I performed with different dances. But never oriental dance. I was too shy. It wasn’t until I visited a restaurant with an open dance floor. As I danced belly dance in front of people for the first time. Then I was offered my first dance job. This led to me spending several summer months living in Turkey. Where I learned Turkish belly dance. A manager discovered me. Shortly after that, I was on stage as a belly dancer. Every day I danced at several 5 star hotels in Turkey. Interest in belly dancing grew into a passion, a profession and a lifestyle.
Being a belly dancer in Sweden
Shortly after I finished my education in design technique, I started traveling to different countries and taking dance lessons. I took lessons from belly dancing stars from the Middle East, Europe and the United States. I still had no idea how important oriental dance would be in my life. If I had known how belly dancing would change my life …. I soon started performing as a belly dancer regularly. With more than 10 shows a week. In just a few years, I had more than 1000 performances at restaurants. And lots of shows at weddings, festivals and other events. The list of stages was long and varied from; oriental restaurants to castles. I even performed for the Prince of Sweden, Carl Philip. And I became Sweden’s representative for belly dancing in China. Where I got to work with Egypt’s biggest belly dance star Fifi Abdou. And Turkey’s most famous belly dancer Didem Kinali.
Teaching belly dance
At the same time, I fell in love with several other oriental dance styles. From Egypt, Lebanon and the Arabian Gulf. Teaching belly dancing was something that came naturally. In 2007, I had been employed at 7 dance schools. Then I started my own dance school. Usually had nine classes a week. At the same time, I taught abroad at belly dance festivals. I was invited to teach at belly dance festivals in Poland, Denmark, England, Germany, Turkey, Morocco, and China.
At the same time in Sweden
In Sweden, I led a group of belly dancers called Turkish Delight. And was a mentor to dance teachers and professional belly dancers. My students usually describe me as inspiring, knowledgeable, humble and a little crazy. I love teaching belly dance. It’s a passion! I have worked hard to put oriental dance on the map in Sweden. I have run a dance organization that promotes oriental dance. Organized several dance trips to Turkey. Arranged lectures and workshops with famous belly dancers. A whole year I spent teaching school children non-profit. Classes one to six at almost all Malmö primary schools.
Started dancing abroad
Over the years I have been interviewed several times in leading Swedish media. I also created Sweden’s first internet-based belly dance forum. I founded a webshop with belly dance clothes called Selina’s Bazaar. Since 2007 I have also run the largest Swedish blog about belly dancing. I’ve had a lot of fun, but still have the desire to do more, learn more and dance more. Seeking new knowledge constantly. I started a diploma course in Egyptian dance and music in England. The training was given by the world famous Egyptian musician Hossam and Serena Ramzy. I was awarded (as the first belly dancer in Sweden) a scholarship by the Artists’ Committee to research dance from the Gulf. So far, I have achieved many goals and dreams, which I never thought possible. I feel blessed. Many times I thought; it just can’t get any better than this. I was so wrong.
Belly dancer in the Middle East
In 2012 I visited Dubai. There I came in contact with a manager who offered me a chance to audition. This audition was for one of the Middle East’s premier artist agencies for belly dancers. I was ready to say no. Because that would mean that I would travel to Lebanon for several months of dance training. Without guarantees. I was scared. Afraid to travel alone to a country. Especially as uncertain as Lebanon was described in Swedish media. And … What if I failed?
The fortune teller
But then something unexpected happened. My friends booked me a time with a fortune teller on my birthday. She didn’t know I was a belly dancer. Without knowing anything about the agency in Beirut or me (not even my or my friends’ names), the lady said:
“You have been asked to train and perform abroad, don’t say no, you will get a lot of contracts. I see you dancing in a golden palace. And I see you dancing on a big TV screen to a huge audience. You are a dancer and you have to go ”.
Crazy and superstitious
As crazy and superstitious as I was, I traveled to Beirut. There I was trained by belly dancers for two months. Had auditioned for most managers from the biggest 5-star events in the Middle East. I got a contract immediately. A month later when the car stopped outside the first hotel I got a contract at in Tunisia. All the hair on my arms rose straight up. The name of the hotel was “Le Palace”. That means the palace in French. It was decorated entirely in gold. A few months later, I was on stage in Iraq for 1,600 people. One of the walls of the great ballroom had been built into a huge television screen. As I was spinning on stage I saw myself. Just as the fortune teller had said: “dancing on a big TV in front of a huge audience”.
Career as a belly dancer
Since then, I have performed at the most extravagant events in the Middle East. Opened the scene for Arab mega stars. Like Fares Karam, Cheb Khaled, George Al Rassi, Mohamas Abed Jabbar, Sattar Saed and Hatem Al Iraqi. I have performed for royalty, sheikhs and politicians. With shows every night in different countries. In Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar, Oman through Iraq. Oriental dance changed my life again. I was a full-time belly dancer.
I am fortunate. Who gets to see the world and grow as a belly dancer among amazing artists in the Middle East. In addition, I have become friends with belly dancers from all over the world. I’ve got dance colleagues like Sabriye Tekbilek. That has been my mentor on my journey towards being a professional belly dancer in the Middle East. Today I travel around the Middle East and perform. I teach as much as I can in Sweden and at international festivals. My bags are packed, who knows where I’m dancing tomorrow. If you want to keep up with my dance journey you can follow my belly dance blog and my Instagram. Before I finish my story I would like to mention a few words to all emerging belly dancers. “Remember that every professional belly dancer was once a beginner. Don’t be afraid of what future dance can give you. Take chances, travel, develop, be humble and enjoy the journey.” /Belly dancer Selina
Belly dancer education
Education to being a professional belly dancer is a crooked way. More difficult then in many other dance forms. There are no universities. Or an obvious path to a complete education. The dance has many names like; belly dance, Egyptian dance, Turkish dance, Oriental dance, Middle Eastern dance, Arabic dance. And in Arabic – Raq’s sharqi.
An old dance form
According to experts, the dance form is very old. In fact, the oldest dance form in the world. Oriental dance was passed on from the older women in the family to the younger ones and varied from village to village and country to country. Oriental dance has roots older than the major world religions. Many historical stories contain a belly dancer. Oriental dance has a deep history and a worldwide popularity. But unfortunately it is still not an art form that a dancer can learn at a university. As a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Which is possible in classical western dances such as ballet, or modern dance.
How to become a belly dancer?
This makes the road to becoming a professional dancer in oriental dance at a high level more difficult. Every oriental dancer must look for her own way. To find an oriental dance education. Every belly dancer must study more than the movements, such as the history, music and culture of the dance. A belly dancer has to travel a lot. It is important to read a lot and experience the oriental dance in its traditional setting. And like all professional dancers, she has to spend many hours on her dance training in the dance studio. All at her own expense.
A difficult road
That being said, understanding the right teacher in oriental dance is not always easy. The level between oriental dance teachers and professional belly dancers varies widely. Selina realized the importance of a good dance education at the beginning of her career. She took pride in working hard year after year. As well as traveling to different corners of the world to gather knowledge. Educated by famous belly dancers. Everything was a must in order to become the belly dancer 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.
Highlights as a belly dancer
- At castle for the prince of Sweden Carl Philip, Sweden
- Concert with Algerian superstar Cheb Khaled, Danmark
- Concert with Lebanese superstar George Rassi, Tunisia
- Concert with Lebanese superstar Fares Karam, Tunisia
- Concert with Turkish superstar Intizar, Sweden
- Concert with Iraqi superstar Shatha Hassoun, Sweden
- Concert with Iraqi superstar Hatem-Al Iraqi, Sweden
- Concert with Malmös symphony orchestra. Sweden
- Concert with Iraqi superstar Mohamed Abd Jabbar, Iraq
- Concert with Iraqi superstar Saed Sattar, Iraq
- For royalty in Oman
- For Ministers from Armenia in Dubai
- 5-star hotellet Rotana in Erbil
- 5-star hotel Le Palace, Tunisia
- 5-star hotel Thalasso, Tunisia
- 5-star Galaxy Hall, Iraq
- 5-star Zeus, Iraq
- 5-star hotellet Marti, Turkey
- 5-star hotel Turban Palace, Turkey
- Bellydance China Festival, China
- Casino Cosmopol, Sweden
- Kervansaray Marmaris, Turkey
- Christmas show with Danne Stråhed, Sweden
- 5-star hotel Mövenpick, Dubai
- 5-star hotel Crown Plaza, Dubai
- 5-star hotel Shangri-La i Oman
Selection of Selinas 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.
- Fifi Abdou (Egypt)
- Badriyah (Czech Republic)
- Aida Nour (Egypt)
- Sema Yildiz (Turkey)
- Didem Kinali (Turkey)
- Hossam Ramzy (Egypt)
- Zenne Diva (Turkey)
- Suraiya (Poland)
- Sadie (America)
- Marta Korzun (Ukraine)
- Alla Kushnir (Ukraine)
- Serena Ramzy (Brazil)
- Warda (Brazil – UAE)
- Ogun (Turkey)
- Aziza (Canada)
- Sheeren (Czech Republic)
- Nour (Russia – Egypt)
- Tito Seif (Egypt)
- Ahmed Fekry (Egypt)
- Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt)
- Randa Kamel (Egypt)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.