Teachers & judges 2017

Teachers and judges 2017
These are the following teachers and judges who have been invited for the Danish Open Bellydance festival 2017. Please visit the competition page for further information about who will be judging the different competitions and please visit our workshop page for full information on workshops topics and timetable.

nam_0823Mercedes Nieto from Hungary will be joining us at Danish Open Bellydance for the first time in 2017.

Mercedes Nieto is an internationally acclaimed oriental dance artist form a Hungarian-Spanish family, based in Budapest, Hungary. World famous of her delicate, elegant, yet passionate dance style, which is innovative and unique.

She is a master teacher and regular performer of the Nile Group Festivals in Cairo, Egypt; the artistic director and choreographer of the Nymph Oriental Dance Company (a well-known European professional oriental dance company); the creator and main organizer of one of the biggest annual international oriental dance festivals of Europe, the „CAIRO! Festival Budapest”; producer of new oriental dance music albums „Enti ya Amar” and „Layali el Hob” played by excellent Egyptian musicians in Cairo; meanwhile leading her own dance school in Budapest for over 15 years.

Her excellent teaching skills and inspiring performances have brought her to more than 40 countries Worldwide, making her one of the most saught-after European oriental dance artists of our times.

For more information about her work:

EPSON MFP imageKhaled Mahmoud from Egypt (living in England) will be joining us at Danish Open Bellydance for the first time in 2017.

Khaled Mahmoud is one of the most famous performing artist and Master choreographers of Egyptian dance of this time.

He learnt to dance at an early age and has nearly 30 years experience both on stage performing and teaching. His dance is strong, forceful but gentle and delicate at the same time. His shimmy has explosive force, while his adagio dance is more graceful than some of the female dancers, more innocent than children when he is cute and lovely.

His highly humorous, patient and logical teaching method wins his fame with his students from all over the world.

Khaled has a solid foundation of the Oriental dance and 30 years performing experience of Egyptian dance.

His teaching and dance has five features:

  • His shimmy is strong enough to break the floor.
  • His eyes and dance feelings are gentle, soft and graceful.
  • Wonderful choreographies with beautiful dance moves.
  • Years of teaching experience, Egyptian music theory and Cultural knowledge.
  • His noble ethics has moved countless students.

stf_0003Azad Kaan from Turky (living in Germany) will be joining us at Danish Open Bellydance for the first time in 2017.

Azad Kaan is a professional graduate dancer, pedagogue of dance and choreographer for contemporary and oriental dance arts from Turkey. He belongs in his young age because of his huge expert knowledge in dance to one of the most successful and well-known teachers and choreographers for classical and contemporary oriental dance in the whole world.

As a passionate choreographer, full of spirits and huge warm aura in his classes, is A.K. for many dancers and students from all over the world one of the 1st addresses for learning special and unique choreographies to present them worldwide on festivals and make gigantic and unforgettable shows.

His movement repertoire covers a really huge spectrum of elements from jazz dance, modern dance, classical ballet, Latino dance, Flamenco, Hip Hop and Yoga. During his distinctive and fascinating dance style is A.K. the 1st dancer worldwide, who performs with his inimitable Style “Raks-Turk-î-Sanâd” to the song of classical Turkish Art Music. Mixing and creating the classical Egyptian and Turkish Movements is a special emphasis of him, to build up the dancers highly.

He is not only an impressive and powerful teacher! He is also very friendly, warm hearted and patient teacher with a clear didactics. Humour and enjoyment of dance have always top priority in his classes. Don’t hesitate to enjoy this young Turkish dancer with lots of fun, powerful movements and expressive steps and poses…HE is the “Turkish delight” of the oriental dance scene in the whole world.

dominika_kopia-dsc_5751mDominika Suchecka from Poland gave a fantastic performance at our Galashow 2016 and we are looking forward to be seeing here again – this time as a judge, teacher and performer.

Dominika is a multi-award winning, certified oriental dance instructor with over 10 years of experience in teaching and performing all over the world.
Dominika travels to Cairo regularly to deepen her knowledge and understanding of Egyptian dance and try to preserve this art in its most authentic form in the same time adding her own style and a pinch of modern flavor to it.

meLena Helt from Sweden is a wonderful diva and we are lucky to welcome her as judge, teacher and performer at our festival for the first time. Lena has danced all her life, starting with jazz and rhythmic gymnastics as a girl, she first saw belly dance at age 15. Lena fell in love with the dance and moved to Egypt, where she lived for 12 years. She has learnt the dance from great stars as Zuheir Zaki and Mahmoud Reda and worked as a folkloric dancer in Egypt with her husband at the big 5 star hotels in Cairo. After moving back to Sweden she started her dance school in Stockholm where most of the creme de la creme of Swedens dancers and teachers have studied. Lena is in high demand in Europe and she has toured in Chile. She is also the artistic leader of Sheherazade, her award winning troupe that has toured Europe and won the Bellydancer of the world 2008.

Lenas profound knowledge in both the Egyptian style cabaret dance and Egyptian folklore, her artistic choroegraphies and her ability to make every dancer the best she can be she has become one of the most loved teachers and choreographers in whole Scandinavia. Her down to earth, fun and flirty personality shines through on stage, in her choreographies and in class. Lena introduced the shaabi style to Scandinavia and she is known as the Shabiyya of Sweden. Being fluent in Arabic and having lived in Egypt she is a true source of knowledge for all dancers wanting to emulate the Egyptian style, but more than anything she lifts the veil before the window to the Egyptian thought process behind the poetic interpretation of sound, diction in lyrics and movement leading the dancer onto a path of voyage leading to greatness.

Benedikte_solo_foto7Benedikte Solberg Jensen from Denmark is an experienced  dancer who has devoted much of her life to the oriental dance. she started in 1988 and has been far around ever since.

She has appeared in many venues and with her own exclusive shows in Copenhagen – Performing at Nightclubs in Greece, Cairo, and not at least the Desert with beautiful live music, of Bedouins and Musicians from Cairo. And In 2006 she received the Esther price Oriental Award winner at Copenhagen’s festival.

Her long stay in Egypt has given her experience from the Egyptian everyday life and approach to Egyptian culture , and has made it possible for her to immerse , interpret and express themselves in the oriental music and dance at a high level .

Today Benedikte is the owner of a major dance-school “Just Dance Studio” in Helsingor where she offers a wide range of different dance styles – oriental dance, contemporary, hip hop and much more.

JohnRinaldoJonassen_IMG_4905 (1)John Rinaldo Jonassen from Denmark has been dancing since he was 4 years old. He has participated in countless ballroom dance competitions and has as a young dancer gained the title as Danish champion in Jitterbug and Rock’n’roll.
John was educated as a dance instructor more than 25 years ago. Since 1997 he has had his own dance school ‘Ringsted Danse Center’ where several of his students has become Danish- European- and world champions (it was Johns students Nicklas and Ida, you could enjoy dancing Jitterbug in the Gala Show in 2015).
At Johns dance school you can also attend belly dance and both Johns wife and daughter are belly dancers so the style is not new or strange to John since he is used to both judge, help a give advice in this category of dance.


fatma-pr1Fatma Zidan from Egypt (living in Denmark). An Egyptian star on her way. With her three releases”Hawel ” (Try) and the classic Aya haeman (Passionate Love) and the pop-production fot the arabian gulf ; Ella Elzaal (Eccept Sadness) Fatma Zidan is now on her way to be one of the most gifted singers of Arabian musicin the western world.

As 8 years old she started to play the Classical harp at the conservatory until she became 19.Then she continued and finished her education as bachelor at the music university.

Beside that she worked 7 years at the choir in Cairo Opera . In the same time Fatma worked as a freelance choir singer for different Arabian pop stars: Mohamed abdo – Angam, Abo bak salem, Alli ben mohamed, Zekra, Kadim elsaher.

Fatma has been working the last 8-9 years as a part of the well known recording studio in Cairo AMAR – with sound engineer Ehab Nabil. As a choir singer Fatma has recorded app. 2-300 pr. year since 1998.

Today she is known as one of the best in her field.

The song of Fatma Zidan has deep roots in the Egyptian tradition strongly connected to the diva Oum Khaltoum.

Fatma is born in Saudi Arabia of her Egyptian parents – and therefore she has a natural easy way to sing and understand the dialects from the Arabian Gulf area. That’s why she has had a lot of work in this area from Dubai – to Oman and Yemen.

As a unique experience and with great success Fatma worked with the Danish Radio entertainment Orchestra and her own Egyptian ensemble – as the final of the great festival “Images of the Middle East 2006”. Fatma produced her own demo-DVD from this concert.

In 2007 Fatma Zidan moved with her husband to Denmark.


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