folkestone multi-cultural festival

Every year the Folkestone Festival committee who are made up of volunteers dedicated to organising festivals hold their annual Multi-Cultural Festival to bring music, dance, food and art from all around the world. It is always such a great event which brings people together to celebrate different cultures and celebrate them.

Since 2012 Metamorphosis Belly Dance students along with the Eastern Delights troupe and of course myself have been performing each year to bring the art of Oriental Dance to the heart of Folkestone. No matter if we are performing Upbeat Egyptian or Shakira style dances we are always bring great energy to this festival.

Multi-Cultural Festival 2012 - 2015

This year my Folkestone and Ashford students spent 5 weeks learning a fun Gypsy Skirt choreography to an edited version of ‘Bulgarian Chicks’ by Balkan Beat Box. I have enjoyed this track for many years and when searching for a piece of music that would catch the attention of the public I thought this song would be perfect. I also knew I wanted to create a dance with big skirts so that they would look captivating when we all spun together and it certainly seemed to work judging by the photos.

Each year the performers include regular students who have performed at the festival many times but it is always nice to have new students experiencing the festival for the first time. Afterwards they all said to me that they had lots of fun and that’s exactly what I hope for each year. They work so hard on getting the moves and I am always so proud of them for putting the effort that they do since it can be quite a scary idea for new dancers.

We began by performing at Bouverie Place Shopping Centre with our Gypsy Skirt dance and then an Oriental performance from my Eastern Delights troupe. I personally would have preferred to have the troupe perform something a bit more upbeat but the dance with all it’s elegant arms and staging was quite a nice balance from the upbeat student dance.

Folkestone Multi-Cultural Festival 2016

Later on the Eastern Delights troupe and myself made our way over to the Leas Bandstand for our second set which started with our troupe performance again. We had originally planned to dance on the actual Bandstand but the audience were all seated towards the section of grass that was fenced off for larger performances so we decided to go where the people were waiting for us. Of course trying to dance on grass is always a challenge but one myself and my troupe won against and again we had a lot of applause from the crowd.

I also chose to perform a solo as I hadn’t had the chance to since 2012 and was kind of missing it. I chose an upbeat song again to balance out the more dreamy music of the troupe dance. Once performing I remembered why I hadn’t performed a solo at this event for a long time, it is so difficult to fill up the space with just little ol’ me. With an audience all around me I tried my best to give each bit my attention by coming up closer so they can see my dancing better but to be honest it was exhausting! I think I have learnt my lesson and will save my solos for small stage areas.

On the whole our performances went down well with the public, we all had a lot of fun and the weather held off just long enough to finish our set so we were thankful not to be dancing as drowned rats. We look forward to being back for Folkestone’s Multi-Cultural Festival in 2017 (maybe with a little one supporting me on the side lines.)

Folkestone Multi-Cultural Festival Troupe

Performance at Folkestone’s Multi-Cultural Festival 2016