- Title: HUNGARY: Hungarian belly dancers compete for Miss Belly Dance Hungary in Budapest
- Date: 29th October 2012
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) JAHROMI AFI, PRESIDENT OF JUDGES AND ORGANISER OF THE COMPETITION, SAYING: "Everyone is asking my why they are so talented, but I don't know, I think it's in their blood."
- Embargoed: 13th November 2012 12:00
- Location: Hungary
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Entertainment,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA7AT0XQN8GQNQRHHUZDWU4L00C
- Story Text: Contestants gathered from all over Hungary to take part in the 11th annual Miss Belly Dance Hungary competition. The dancers represent the best of the more than 4,500 people, mostly women, who practice belly dancing in Hungary.
This year the competition show had to move to a smaller stage than in previous years due to the effects of the financial crisis on the budget and tickets sales but there was no shortage of good dancers, organizers said.
"The [financial] crisis has no effect on the dancers because if you love something, sport or dance, you do everything to achieve it so no problem of good dancers this year, the girls are beautiful with nice dresses, it'll be a nice show," organiser of the event, Jahromi Afi said.
Hungarian women seem particularly talented in belly dancing, with many of them winning several second or third prizes at the international competitions in Cairo, Egypt. This year, a former Miss Hungary won first place at the Nile Group competition in Cairo.
"Hungarian dancers are recognized internationally. I think it's because we practice a lot and we are very committed. And of course, because of our talent - Hungarians are very talented," competitor Szilvia Farkas said as she got ready for the show.
The popularity of belly dancing in Hungary is growing every year with new belly dance clubs popping up in towns across the country.
"It's very interesting that Hungarian dancers are winning all the international competitions specially in Cairo, in Egypt, 2-3 of our girls won the most prestigious dance competitions in Cairo and all around the world. So definitely Hungarians are most talented," Afi said. But he added that what the reason for such talent is something that still puzzles him.
"Everyone is asking my why they are so talented, but I don't know, I think it's in their blood," Afi said.
Originally, belly dancing was not meant to be a stage art. Instead, for centuries Oriental women used to dance among themselves, and the knowledge of the movements was passed from mother to daughter. The dance was designed to make the female body flexible and strong.
Today's women find belly dancing can help them gain self-confidence and express their womanhood, according to the dancers of the competition.
The international judges selected five finalists from among the contestants. The winner was 23-year-old Livia Lebenszky, who studies economics and comes from north-east Hungary.
For her, belly dancing is everything in life. "Belly dancing is an integral part of my life, it means for me the expression of my femininity and my feelings. It has a huge power of expression and is such a wonderful form of art that I think every woman should learn it," Lebenszky said.
Her prize is 1,3 million Forint (approx. 4,800 Euros) worth contract for belly dancing in the Persian Shiraz restaurant in Budapest, - organising sponsor of the competition, and a chance to participate in more upcoming international competitions.
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