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Belly dancing ‘goddess’ dazzles on world stages

2019-04-12  Staff Report 2

Belly dancing ‘goddess’ dazzles on world stages

 Donna Collins

WINDHOEK - Professional Namibian belly dancer Sascha Olivier-Sampson, who won bronze and gold in the 2018 Los Angeles World Championships of Performing Arts, is proving once again that her “hips don’t lie”, with another sparkling programme lined up for this year.

Snatching a moment to chat to Entertainment Now! between lectures at the University of Namibia, where she heads the visual and performing arts department, Olivier-Sampson said she was thrilled with her achievement, as the level of talent is exceptionally high, and she worked extremely hard to get there.

Olivier-Sampson dazzled the judges, and was the only belly dancer selected to represent Namibia. However, while she has qualified to compete in the World Championships again this year, she will not be taking part, as she has other major dance projects she is focusing on instead. 

This includes being invited to perform at the International Oriental Dance Show in Mauritius from 22 to 24 August, which is an oriental festival showcasing different styles of belly dance, with dancers from around the world taking part. 
Olivier-Sampson is a renowned dancer in Africa and the world, whose exceptional knowledge in several dance forms, including ballet and contemporary dance, allows her to freely express herself through unique and sublime fusion performances. 

“I am so honoured to have been invited to perform in Mauritius, what an amazing opportunity to have been selected from Namibia,” she said excitedly. “This is going to be an incredible experience,” she added.

She also said she is working as one of three executive producers for a new Belly Dance Company, ‘Nova Nouveau”, which toured with an opening show in Johannesburg last year, and kicked off in February this year with a show in Durban.  
“The company has been in the planning stages for years, with the idea we would tour and recruit talent from all over Southern Africa, with the next show coming to Windhoek later in the year. This will be a huge theatrical production held at the NTN, with a cast of about 20 top dancers from countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, to mention some,” she continued. 

Auditions are still open and the selection process is starting soon. This would include the best of Namibian belly dancers being chosen, said Olivier Sampson.

Olivier-Sampson began belly dancing professionally over 12 years ago, when she established her ‘Moon Goddess Dance Studio’ in Windhoek, and since then has wowed audiences with her grace, radiance and dazzling costumes. 

She works tirelessly at putting belly dancing on the forefront of the entertainment calendar. One of her major achievement to date - the annual ‘Shimmy for Shelter’ belly dancing extravaganza is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and preparations for the next shows in Windhoek and Swakopmund on 10 and 11 May has begun.

This beautiful family spectacular coincides with the celebration of World Belly Dance Day during May, and raises funds for various animal causes. Last year’s proceeds of N$20 000 from shows held in Windhoek and Swakopmund, were donated to Intelligence Service Against Poaching and the Desert Lion project. 

She claims that her belly dancing extravaganza has become so popular that she has repeated requests to take the show internationally. This year, animal welfare organisations have been invited to send their proposals to her, stating why they are worthwhile candidates to receive the generous Shimmy for Shelter donation. 

“I am super excited we have made a whole decade and am incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported the show, and because of the audience members we have been able to make these donations to such worthwhile animal causes,” Olivier-Sampson concluded.

2019-04-12  Staff Report 2

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