The annual Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival is Australia's longest-established and most popular belly dance event. It is the highlight of the year for belly dancers, students and fans throughout the country. In 2015 the Festival is 26 years old.
The Festival is produced by Leonie Sükan, Principal and Artistic Director of the Newtown Middle Eastern Dance Centre.
From small beginnings the Festival has grown to attract participants from all over Australia and from overseas. Special guests in recent years include Tanyeli from Turkey (above left), Narmaya from Canada (right), Ashraf from Egypt and Ayelet from Israel.
The Festival consists of middle eastern dance and drumming workshops taught by Australia's best teachers and international guests, and many performances, including a gala concert, a dance party, and the all-day Festival Follies. The Festival takes place each year in April / May.