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On the second Saturday of every May dancers from around the world observe World Bellydance Day. The holiday has a strong charitable emphasis according to founder Lydia Tzigane of Dubai:

Our mission is to unite the initiative of dancers around the world to celebrate the wonderful art of belly dance as a holiday… We got inspired by the idea of holding an event that would serve as a reminder that belly dance is an ART form, a cultural event, a sport, and a social and family entertainment. It is also a wonderful chance to help those in need.

In its sixth year, WBD 2012 delivered an exciting assortment of classes, shows, parades, and even a few shimmy mobs. Here’s a look at some of this year’s most interesting events:

Tallahassee, Florida, USA, Tallahassee Tribal’s shimmy mob surprised shoppers at a local farmer’s market with an impromptu performance to benefit Refuge House, a shelter that aids victims of domestic violence. More.

Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, Dancer’s of Cinnamon Twist School of Bellydance offered free workshops and demonstrations to benefit the Smith’s Family Sponsor a Child Program for disadvantaged children. More.

Cape Town, South Africa, Studio Feminine Divine hosted dancers from 26 studios from the Western Cape for a bellydance themed fashion show that celebrated natural feminine beauty and raised money for St. George’s Home for Girls. More.

Hanoi, Vietnam, Over fifty bellydancers from Apsara Dance Studio joined in a flash shimmy mob to benefit the Blue Dragon Children Foundation. More.

Glasgow, ScotlandSarasvati Tribal organized a charity hafla that raised £200 for the Marine Conservation Society.

Ham, Belgium, Amirah and Saïda hosted a day of bellydance that raised over 2000€ for FACE for children, a charity working with orphanages in Egypt. There were workshops and performances from notable Belgian and German artists such as Queenie, Kayla, Ishani, and Khalida.


Want to see some video footage? Check out my WBD 2012 50+ video playlist on YouTube!

Congratulations all on your wonderful successes. I can’t wait to see what you do next year!

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