2024 ABDC Committee
Each year, the ABDC is directed by a diverse group of people who bring a vastly different set of skills to the table. Each of the 5 sitting members of the Australian Belly Dance Convention Committee comes with the intention to help create an inclusive, encouraging and safe space for members (new and old) of the Australian and New Zealand belly dance communities to come together.
Amanda has been a dancer for 15 years, a musician for over 40 years and a DJ for over 15 years. She is the driving force behind APB Dance and has been the Melbourne team leader for Shimmy Mob for the past 6 years. She has run large events featuring major international bands and artists for over 25 years, touring them locally, interstate and internationally; and smaller productions both within and outside the belly dance community.
Amanda is Australia’s only certified Salimpour School Fundamentals Instructor and was a cast member of the 2023 Bal Anat performance.
As a part of her studies within the Salimpour School, Amanda has been studying not only dance movement but culture, history, music, language and context for where this all fits in both historically and in modern times.
She wants to promote a sense of education, community and inclusion through her fundraising efforts and events that are focused on helping to increase the experience of less experienced dancers.
Emily has worked as a Primary/Secondary teacher for well over 12 years. She has been working in various leadership roles providing support to not only the students but also their families and community on their learning journey.
At night Emily runs her own community dance school, Bluefire Bellydancers, in 2 locations. She is a belly dancer for 18 years with a history of musical theatre and drama she loves to create her own choreographies, dance and play.
As an educator, she is very passionate about sharing, upskilling and educating the community. She believes that we are always in the process of learning and growing and that this doesn’t ever stop. The second she says she doesn’t need to learn anymore is the moment she needs to quit dancing.
She wants to be a part of the Convention to give our community another platform in which to grow and learn. From dance history to mental health and body awareness, she wants to reach and support as many people as possible and help everyone learn together. Education and community are her passions and dance is her joy.
Kylie & Mandylynne
2024 convention hosts.
Kylie is the Director of Astarte Studio Belly Dance & Fusion in Shellharbour, and Mandylynne is the Director of Birds of Paradise Belly Dance & Adornments in Wollongong.
Kylie and Mandylynne both have backgrounds in belly dance and world fusion spanning over 20 years. They have danced and performed together as peers since 2006, as well as working cooperatively and collaboratively as teachers and colleagues in the Illawarra belly dance community.
Why did we want to be hosts for ABDC 2024?
We wanted to be a part of something amazing!
As seasoned dancers we crave knowledge that surrounds dance, not just technique and movement, but history culture and practical knowledge that allows us continue to grow as dancers. After all we are all forever students. This is what makes ABDC unique. It doesn’t matter what skill level you are or what style of belly dance you love, the convention allows us to connect to our community. Enriching our own learning benefits those around us.
David is a certified sports coach and has been involved in not-for-profit community sports management for over 10 years as secretary for a sporting club with over 150 members.
He is a dancer, having participated in Scottish Highland Dancing as a child, and has been training in ballet for the past 4 years as a way of extending his ability to perform at a high level in his chosen sport.
David has been a DJ for over 20 years, been involved with running weekly and monthly nightclub events, band gigs and touring artists across Australia.
He is a sound and lighting engineer, who has mixed for bands big and small for over 15 years and currently rents out his services and gear for small-stage performances across Melbourne.
He has been a performer with a small theatre group for 15 years and took his first belly dancing class in the early 1990s (even if that part of his life didn’t last as long as others would have liked).
David’s other interests are in fundraising for groups that support communities through car rallies and designing costumes for dancers and performers. He has been doing the latter for over 25 years and is proud that his first designs were for Madi Gras.