Belly Dance Website Announces Winner of "Inspire Belly Dance" Contest

Beaumont, TX, February 23, 2012 --( Last month, well-known belly dance website kicked off a new contest, asking their readers from around the world to nominate belly dancers who inspire them. On February 21st the winners of that contest were announced.

Santa Fe, New Mexico based belly dancer, Myra Krien, nominated by Kona, Hawaii belly dancer Stephanie Bolton, was the 1st place winner of the contest, garnering 36% of the votes of users world-wide. Her story, “Planting the Seeds and Sharing the Art of Belly Dance,” paints the story of a woman who went from teaching her first belly dance class while still in middle school, to opening her S.E.E.D.s program which helps young women find confidence and self-esteem in Oriental dance.

With 24% of the votes, 2nd place goes to Auckland, New Zealand belly dancer Molly Dennis who was nominated by her belly dance teacher Candice Frankland. Her story, “The Girl Who Steals The Show and Melts Hearts,” shares how what started as a physical activity to boost self-esteem and enhance academic performance for this child with Down Syndrome, has become a belly dance journey that has touched the lives of those who watch Molly dance.

Coming in 3rd place with 18% of the total votes cast, is New Jersey area belly dancer Soraya, nominated by Chicago belly dancer Fotia. Her entry, “Educating and Preserving the History of Middle Eastern Dance,” reveals how Soraya works to dispel myths about Oriental dance and continues to preserve the culture of Middle Eastern dance with grace and history.

“Starting, I knew belly dancers who beat the odds and inspire others every day, so I expected a good response to this contest,” said founder Dilara Sultan. “However, the stories we received and the people we’ve met proves that if you’ve only met one belly dancer, you’ve only met one belly dancer. Each one is so unique and truly inspiring in their own right.

“I’m just glad I didn’t have to pick the winner,” Sultan laughed.

Honorable mentions go to contestants Shira (IL), Tasha (NJ), Julie Eason (ME) and Libertad Green (CA).

Both the winner and the person who nominated her will receive a $50 iTunes card as a prize.

Sultan and her staff thank everyone who participated and voted in this year's event. When asked if it will be an annual contest, Sultan replied, “Stay tuned, has a few exciting programs and promotions that we will reveal on the website in the coming months.”

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Christina Jones