SHIMMY: Melanie Fitzgibbon and Cathy Howe will represent Queensland at the 2010 Belly Dancing Star Awards in Sydney this Friday night.
SHIMMY: Melanie Fitzgibbon and Cathy Howe will represent Queensland at the 2010 Belly Dancing Star Awards in Sydney this Friday night. Contributed

Belly dancers take national stage

BLENDING two styles of the ancient art of belly dancing could be a recipe for success for Gympie’s Melanie Fitzgibbon and Cathy Howe at the 2010 Belly Dancing Star Awards in Sydney this Friday night.

The countdown continues in the lead up to the competition and Fitzgibbon said she and Howe were eager to put their routine to the judges.

The duo qualified for the national competition and the right to represent Queensland after submitting an audition tape to a panel of judges.

Just being selected for the Sydney competition is a major honour in itself.

Howe leads Gympie’s Quintessence Belly Dance with a focus on classical Egyptian style while Fitzgibbon runs the Tribal Essence Dance Troupe.

Combined, they have over 20 years experience that is certain to come to the fore in Sydney.

“We’re great mates and it’s our first time competing in this competition, so that’s very exciting,” Fitzgibbon said.

“We both specialise in two very different styles but we have combined them for our routine.”

Combining the two distinct styles of belly dance has been a challenge, but one the pair has taken to with great artistic delight.

“Our routine goes for three minutes but it has been very technical combining both styles,” Fitzgibbon said.

“But it’s been very successful and we have enjoyed working together to make it happen.”

In Sydney, the pair will compete in the recreational and oriental ensemble category in addition to the people’s choice award and Dina’s choice award.

Dina is a renowned belly dance artist of the Egyptian style and will be lending her extraordinary skills on the judging panel during the competition.

Preparing for the competition has been months in the planning.

“It’s been many months of work but it has been enjoyable,” Fitzgibbon said.

“We’ve been rehearsing together once a week alongside running our usual classes, so we’ve been busy.”

Helping the belly dance pair gain confidence with their routine has been a handful of public performances.

“We’ve test run our routine a few times in public and it’s been received really well,” Fitzgibbon said.

Mateship, hard work and experience will help Gympie’s belly dance stars on the big stage.

Gympie Times


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