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Age is not a factor when it comes to bellydancing

Contestants aged 7 to 74 dazzle at world bellydance contest

DAZZLING: Michelle Teo from Malaysia, took part in the young adult category . She dazzled the audience with elegant, yet rapid head, belly and arm movements.
DAZZLING: (Above) Dr Fei Jia Zhen, 74, was the oldest contestant at the World Bellydance Competition on Friday. Dr Fei, who comes from Shanxi, China, is a retired doctor and a grandmother of five.
FLASHY: A child bellydancer shakes her flexible body in tandem with fast music.
FLASHY: Aika from Japan, who performed solo in the young adult category, stood out with her white feathery costume and graceful, sophisticated bellydance moves.

Mention bellydancing, and images of young women shimmying in midriff-baring costumes comes to mind.

But if the participants at the World Bellydance Competition are anything to go by, age is hardly a factor.

Held last Friday at the Goodman Arts Centre as part of the 2015 World Bellydance Festival (WBDF), which ends today, the competition saw dancers as young as seven and as old as 74.

Competition categories were diverse, with segments for child, young adult, senior, amateur and professional bellydancers.

Dressed in an array of glittery costumes and headdresses, dancers from different countries spiced up their routines with graceful splits and acrobatic somersaults against a backdrop of colourful lights and artificial smoke.

Dr Fei Jia Zhen, who hails from Shanxi, China, was the oldest contestant at 74.

Speaking in Mandarin, the solo performer told TNP that she is a retired doctor and a grandmother of five.

"I started learning bellydancing four years ago. I felt that I was getting older and needed to keep fit," said Dr Fei, who looks after her 92-year-old mother and practises medicine part-time.





Read the full report in our print edition on June 2.

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