Mark your calendars, dancers!  Ahead of Amanda Rose‘s visit to Rotterdam for the Autumn Workshops & Hafla ft. Amanda Rose (ES/US), we’ll be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A!


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Amanda Rose will be joining us on the Greenstone Belly Dance Facebook page for a live Q&A session ahead of her visit to Holland to teach belly dance workshops this October!

Join us online on the Greenstone Belly Dance Facebook page on Sunday August 25 at 19:00 (GMT+2) to hear her talk all about belly dance, her career, and to ask her your burning questions!

Enjoy this beautiful performance of Amanda Rose and get excited for her visit and Q&A session!


Siobhan Camille is delighted to have been interviewed by to talk about her life as a professional belly dancer, how she began teaching, her biggest influences, her proudest moment on stage, and more!

The article is in Dutch, but if you’re an English speaker, perhaps Google Translate can help you out – or you can just look at the pretty pictures and videos!

Read the article (in Dutch) here / Lees het artikel hier.

Siobhan Camille, buikdanseres van Holland, interviewed by

In addition to being the founder and director of Greenstone Belly Dance, Siobhan is a Rehabilitative Exercise Specialist and Strength & Conditioning Coach. This blog post was originally written by Siobhan for her Safe Dance Column in the Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand (MEDANZ) January 2019 Newsletter. You can join MEDANZ to access their newsletters and find out more about MEDANZ here.  Photo by Vera of

Belly dancer or not, low back pain is common, with 85% of people experiencing it at some point in their life.1 Unfortunately, the cause is often unable to be determined,2 which can cause frustration when it comes to deciding how to treat it. However, low back pain can be broken down into a few different categories, which, when you know the recommendations for each kind, can help you manage it.3 If you’ve seen your healthcare provider and know that your low back pain is not related to any serious illness or spinal issue (in most cases, it’s not, so no need to panic if you haven’t seen anyone yet!), here’s a quick introduction to the different categories of low back pain, and how to manage them.


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How do we define low back pain?

First of all, we decide if it’s “acute” or “chronic” low back pain. Acute low back pain is back pain that has lasted for less than 3 months, while chronic low back pain is pain that you’ve been dealing with for longer than 3 months. We usually put low back pain into one of these two categories, but there is a third category: “Chronic back-related leg pain.” Sciatica (nerve pain that starts in your low back but can be felt down the leg, often as a tingly, tight kind of pain) falls into this category.

So what’s recommended for my low back pain?

Acute low back pain (less than 3 months)

If your pain has only occurred in the previous 3 months, it’s recommended that you stay as active as you can (or make steps to become more active; think cardio exercise like swimming or cycling, as well as general strengthening and stretching exercises) and get advice on improving your posture. It is important to note that non-drug methods are recommended to be tried first before you try medication to manage your pain3. However, you could consider using a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofen) to help with pain when it’s bad.4 Paracetamol has been found to be less effective, so isn’t recommended.5 If your pain is really recent, it may be also important to consider if you’ve made any recent changes in your lifestyle; have you moved to a higher stress job? Are you no longer as active as you were before? It may be worth considering what physical and/or emotional factors may have contributed to your pain so you can address them.

Chronic low back pain (more than 3 months)

Much like with acute back pain, it’s recommended to stay active and get advice on improving your posture. However, there have also been a series of particular exercises specifically recommended for chronic low back pain, including mobility (exercises that help your back feel less stiff and more free to move), stability (helping your back stay in a more stable, safe position), strengthening and stretching exercises.3 You can find a YouTube channel of all of these exercises here. Spinal manipulative therapy (think of the “cracking” a chiropractor performs on your back) has also been suggested to helpful in the short-term to reduce pain, and pain medication has been found to be most effective when used in the first 6 months.

Chronic back-related leg pain (e.g. sciatica or radicular leg pain)

If you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica, or if you recognise some of the symptoms of what it feels like described above, you might fall into this category. Staying active and improving your posture is still important, and similar exercises to the ones mentioned for chronic low back pain are recommended, especially postural and stabilisation exercises. Spinal manipulation therapy may also be worth trying alongside using some of these exercises.

What about belly dance? Will it help or harm my low back pain?

One key “rule” I tell injured clients to pay attention to is how their body feel 24 hours after an activity. If you go to belly dance class and your back feels a little tweaky at the time, notice how it feels the next day. Is it feeling the same as before the dance class, better, or worse? If it feels the same or better, then the dance class was probably just the right amount of movement to help “loosen up” your back a little. If it feels worse, you may have pushed it a little too far for your current level of back pain. It’s been found that belly dancers participating in any kind of exercise program outside of dance are less likely to be injured,6 so it may be a good idea to consider working on your strength and fitness outside of belly dance to help your back cope with some of the particular movements of the dance form. Pay attention to your technique and posture, and try to make sure you’re not too tired when you arrive at dance class, as fatigue is also linked to injury.

It’s important to know that even exercise alone (no matter whether it is aerobic, stretching, or specific core-strengthening exercise) may help reduce the chance of low back pain occurring again by 30%.<7,8 So it’s worth keeping moving, and if you find belly dance doesn’t aggravate your back pain, then there’s no sense in stopping.


1Hoy D, Bain C, Williams G, et al. A systematic review of the global prevalence of low back pain. Arthritis Rheum. 2012; 64(6):2028-2037.

2van Tulder M, Koes B, Bombardier C. Low back pain. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2002;16(5):761-775. 27.

3Bussières, A E et al. Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Other Conservative Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Guideline From the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2018;41(4):265-293.

4Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, Forciea MA. Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017; 166(7):514-530.

5Low Back Pain. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 169. (Prepared by the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2012-00014-I.). AHRQ Publication No. 16-EHC004-EF. Rockville, MD:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2016. Available at:

6Milner S C, Gray A, Bussey M. A Retrospective Study Investigating Injury Incidence and Factors Associated with Injury Among Belly Dancers. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science. 2019.

7Steffens D, Maher CG, Pereira LS, et al. Prevention of low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(2):199-208.

8Shiri R, Coggon D, Falah-Hassani K. Exercise for the prevention of low back pain: systematic review and metaanalysis of controlled trials [e-pub ahead of print]. Am J Epidemiol. 2017. Available at: Accessed February 14, 2018

Greenstone Belly Dance is delighted to be hosting Asiyah in Rotterdam on Saturday the 29th of June to teach an advanced veil workshop. Want to get to know Asiyah better? Here are 6 quick questions that we asked her! 

Lees hier de Nederlandse versie.

Why did you start belly dancing? Belly Dance Championship 2019

As a teenager, the whole idea of “1001 nights” was really appealing to me. During a holiday to Egypt I saw a a belly dancer performing and really felt this was something for me! When I read in the newspaper that Majidah was going to teach in my region, I didn’t hesitate for a second and signed up for a trial lesson. My whole life I have been busy with dance: jazz ballet, street dance, ballroom dancing and salsa; but I found my real passion in belly dance.

How would you describe your style?

Cheerful, energetic, and referencing the original style of belly dance. I personally try not to include too many modern influences in my choreos.

You’ve competed in (and won!) several competitions. Why do you enter competitions? 

In order to continue to develop my dance and to keep pushing myself. It’s a great way to see where you stand, and where you could grow further. I registered for this year’s competition as a way to come back to dance after pregnancy. It was like a challenge to get back to my previous level – and I succeeded!

What is your preparation process like when you’re getting ready for a competition?

Greenstone Belly Dance presenteert Flowing Veil - Sluierworkshop voor gevorderden met Asiyah Suad in RotterdamI spend a lot of time looking for the perfect music. When I’ve found the right song, I start creating the choreography by improvising and filming myself, then picking out my favourite bits. For me, just listening and “feeling” the music helps me to improvise and create movements that fit the rhythm nicely. As soon as the choreo is finished, it’s time to perfect it and practice, practice, practice!

What is your favourite belly dance prop to dance with?

Veil and assaya (stick/cane). I started dancing with veil very early on in my belly dance journey, and it’s my favourite because I love the way it flows. It’s a nice way to begin a dance piece. You can really follow and accentuate the different accents and changes in the music. I also like to dance raqs al assaya / saidi, so the cane is my second favourite!

What has been your biggest challenge in dancing with veil, or what has made the biggest difference to your veilwork?

The biggest challenge is to make big movements when dancing with a veil; if you think your movements are big they have to be even bigger for the “wow” effect! My greatest leap in progress in dancing with a veil has been working on my arms, breath, and the concept of rising and falling. These are exactly the topics that will be discussed in my workshop on June 29 in Rotterdam!

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Asiyah is uitgenodigd door Greenstone Bellydance in Rotterdam om op  zaterdag 29 juni een workshop sluierdans te komen geven. Wil je Asiyah beter leren kennen? Hier zijn 6 korte vragen die we haar hebben gesteld!

Want to learn about Asiyah Suad, 2019 Dutch Dance Sports Belly Dance Champion and special guest at our Summer Workshops & Hafla? Click here to read the English version!

Waarom buikdans?

Als tiener trok de hele sfeer van 1001 nacht mij heel erg. Tijdens een vakantie naar Belly Dance Championship 2019Egypte zag ik een optreden van een buikdanseres en vond dit helemaal bij mij passen. Toen ik in het regionale dagblad las dat Majidah les ging geven in de regio twijfelde ik geen seconde en gaf mij op voor de proefles. Ik ben mijn hele leven al bezig met dans, jazzballet, streetdance, stijldansen en salsa dansen.  Maar mijn echte passie had ik gevonden in buikdans.

Hoe beschrijf je jouw style?

Vrolijk, energiek en met oog op de originele dansstijl. Ik probeer niet te veel moderne invloeden in mijn choreo’s op te nemen.

Je hebt aan verschillende wedstrijden meegedaan en gewonnen. Om welke redenen doe je mee aan wedstrijden?

Om mijzelf te blijven ontwikkelen en te blijven pushen doe ik mee aan wedstrijden. Waar sta je, waar zit nog een stukje ontwikkeling. De afgelopen wedstrijd heb ik mij ingeschreven als come back na mijn zwangerschap. De wedstrijd was een stok achter de deur om weer terug op niveau te komen en dat is gelukt.

Hoe bereid je je voor op een wedstrijd?

Er gaat bij mij heel veel tijd zitten in het zoeken naar de perfecte muziek. Als ik het juiste nummer heb gevonden begint het maken van de choreo waarbij ik ga improviseren en dit film, zo kan ik de leuke stukjes eruit pikken. Door goed naar de muziek te luisteren en aan te voelen en vervolgens te improviseren passen de bewegingen mooi op het ritme. Zodra de choreo klaar is, is het tijd om te perfectioneren en oefenen oefenen oefenen.

Wat is je favoriete prop bij het dansen?

Sluier en asaya stok. Sluier ben ik heel vroeg al mee in contact gekomen en is favoriet Greenstone Belly Dance presenteert Flowing Veil - Sluierworkshop voor gevorderden met Asiyah Suad in Rotterdamomdat ik de flow heel mooi vind van een sluier. Het is een mooie manier van intro voor een dansstuk. Met een sluier kan je mooi de accenten en hoogte verschillen van de muziek volgen en accentueren. Ik vind het ook heel leuk om raqs asaya/ saidi te dansen vandaar de stok als tweede favoriet.

Wat is je grootste uitdaging geweest bij het dansen met een sluier, of wat heeft de grootste ontwikkeling gebracht?

De grootste uitdaging is grote bewegingen maken bij het dansen met een sluier, als je denkt dat je bewegingen groot zijn moeten ze nog groter voor het wauw effect. Mijn grootste sprong in vooruitgang in het dansen met sluier zijn mijn armen geweest, ademhaling en het rijzen en dalen. Dit zijn ook precies de topics die aan bod zullen komen in mijn workshop 29 juni in Rotterdam!

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Wow, I’m only just getting my breath back after a busy weekend of training and performing in Paris last week! I had a great time sharing my fusion performance, “Epilogue” on stage, and it was fantastic to spend more time training with Michelle Sorensen again.

However, there are so many more fantastic performances coming up in the next few weeks! Want to catch me dancing? Here’s my current schedule for June. Still a few spaces here and there if you’re looking to book a belly dancer in the Benelux region! 

Saturday June 1: Shabaka: Bellydance Festival 2019
Saturday June 8: Werelds Delfshaven Festival 2019
Sunday June 9: Talent Carnival 2019
Saturday June 15: CologneLive “Climax” Theater Show | “La Noche Oriental”
Saturday June 29: Summer Workshops and Hafla feat. Asiyah Suad!


June Performance Schedule

Wilt u een professionele buikdanseres inhuren voor uw bruiloft of vrijgezellenfeest? Neem dan nu contact op met Greenstone Belly Dance om de perfecte voorstelling voor uw evenement te organiseren!

Do you want to hire a professional belly dancer for your wedding or bachelorette party? Contact Greenstone Belly Dance now to organise the perfect performance for your event!

Siobhan is a professional belly dancer, and the director of Greenstone Belly Dance. She specialises in Egyptian and Modern Fusion styles of belly dance.The first time I performed this piece, I came off stage disappointed with myself.

This piece, “Epilogue,” was meant to be about moving on from the past.

About – one of my favourite phrases, but one that is hard to put into practice – “gently letting go of things not meant for you.” I wasn’t disappointed by my technique, or even by my expression of feeling and emotion on stage. I was disappointed that I finished the piece with a feeling of great sadness and longing, instead of the calm, accepting sort of resolve I had intended and hoped for with the finale.

But then, catharsis and processing was the reason for the creation of this piece in the first place. Not to force emotion or show emotion that isn’t there. But to get to a place where I’m ready to leave some of this behind, on and off the stage.

I know I’m getting there now, after my most recent performance of this piece.

After spending time with this music and contemplating the subject matter and the meaning, I’m feeling it.
Tomorrow night I will be performing “Epilogue” in Paris for one of the last times before I put it in the archives (Ticket information here. Netherlands, you’ll get two more chances to see it live in Rotterdam in June – thanks for the invitation to perform, Shimmy Shake ❤️). And I am grateful for dance, for music, for self-awareness, for support and understanding, and for time, all of which have allowed me to get to a place where I can put this piece in the archives and move on, without forgetting or blocking out all that is in my past.