At the recently held festival of oriental dance ‘Bellydancer of the World’, Lejla Mehmedović from Tuzla won first place in the category Oriental Fusion/Fantasy.
At one of the biggest and most important festivals in the world and the biggest in Europe, ‘Oriental Festival of Europe’, the young woman from Tuzla achieved remarkable success by winning first place in this category.
This festival has been held for 21 years in the German city of Duisburg, and in 2012 had 5.500 visitors. This year to Festival was held from 22 November to 2 December.
‘’Bellydancer of the World is competition that is held as part of the festival, and this year there were more than 450 participants from the USA, Asia and Europe who competed in five different categories. Participants at this great contest were multi-award winning dance professionals, some of which were winners of the most respected competitions in the field of oriental dance such as ‘Miss Bellydance’, ‘Heshk Beshk’, ‘Cairo Festival’ and many others, as well as members of the most famous dance troupe ‘Bellydance Superstars’, which gathers the best dancers from all over the world and sets the standards in modern styles of this dance’’, said Lejla Mehmedović for ‘Sarajevo Times’.
In the many years of her career, Lejla Mehmedović has studied various forms of styles such as jazz, modern dance, show dance and hip-hop. She worked as a dancer and choreographer in the dance group Valentino, where she had the chance to perform with the greatest names in the Balkan music scene. At the end of 2006, she had the opportunity to attend training of oriental dance, for which she harbored a love for a long time. The previous experience she had in dance was crucial in devoting more to modern styles of oriental dance, especially cabaret. In 2007, she held her first class of oriental dance in Tuzla, and soon afterwards founded the dance studio ‘Pop Lock, where she works now as an instructor and choreographer.
‘’In the last ten years of the popularity of ‘oriental fusion’, the direction of oriental dance has significantly increased and attracted a large number of dancers who began to cultivate this style. In the last few years, the situation in B&H has changed significantly because we have several schools throughout the country that are working hard to promote dance and in general oriental culture. We are all included together in the promotion of oriental dance as it deserves so, because unfortunately, there are a lot of prejudices attached to this kind of art’’, said Lejla Mehmedović for ‘Sarajevo Times’.
Until now at Lejla’s dance school, there have been around 600 women, and her years of sacrifice and hard work were crowned with the deserved and huge success at the recently held prestigious ‘Oriental Festival of Europe’.
Photo: Munever Salihović, Konstanze Winkler