Monday, December 19, 2011

New classes, Masterclasses and Workshops for 2012!

2012 promises to be an awesome, dance-filled year, with lots of fun Events near and far, new Classes in Würselen, Masterclasses, and Workshops with guest teachers Queenie (Bellydancer of the World 2011) and Amirah (Tribal Fusion Bellydancer of the World 2010) and more. Hope to see you all there!

Workshops with Amirah - 25 March 2012
Masterclasses with Khalida - Jan-July 2012
Workshops with Queenie - 15 Jan 2012
Workshops with Khalida - 24 March 2012

Enrollments for the new Classes, Masterclasses and Workshops 2012 now open!

xxx Khalida

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Classes continue this week!

Classes in Würselen will resume on the regular Thursday times (L1/2 classes 18:30-19:30, Drills and conditioning 19:30-20:30 and L3/4 20:30-21:30) this week (01 December) and next week (08 December), after that there will be a short holiday break!

The new class season Winter - Series 1 in Würselen will start on Thursday January 12th, with a Beginners Basics class L0/1 from 18:30-19:30h and 2 hours of Jahanára choreography rehearsals from 19:30-21:30h

Starting mid-February we will continue with Winter - Series 2, which will have L1/2 classes 18:30-19:30, Drills and conditioning 19:30-20:30 and L3/4 20:30-21:30h

See also

Enrollments for both class series are now open via, hope to see you all there!

New videoclip online! Drumsolo 'Habla Tabla'

Drumsolo 'Habla Tabla' from Feb 2011, music by the fabulous Issam Houshan :) You can find a LIVE improv version of this drum solo with Issam drumming on the 'Shimmies with Khalida' DVD at, ch-check it out!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back from Duisburg - Thank you Leyla and big congrats to my dance friends!

Back home after a long but super exciting week at Leyla Jouvana's Festival and competition :) My throat is sore from all the cheering, I'm so proud and happy for all my friends who went up there and gave it their all!

With Queenie and Aziza
 Queenie of Belgium, who will be teaching 3 workshops at our studio on 15th of January 2012, has won the first prize in the main category Solo Classical/Oriental, along with Kathreen from Czech Republic, and many Belgian, Dutch, Canadian and even Hawaiian dance friends won great awards this year at the prestigious international 'Bellydancer of the World' competition. Big big congrats to you all!

formation winner folklore RAKS PRO, including Chadia and Luna of Belgium, who won 3rd place in the oriental category for Duets :)
Yohara - led by Johanna Rediers of Belgium won 3rd place for groups
Milka of NL (2nd place solo Tribal Fusion) and Queenie of Belgium (1st place solo Classical/Oriental)

Check out the complete list of award winners here:

Princess Lumpy in the Ferris Wheel - in Duisburg

Piccies - including some of Princess Lumpy (the friendly dancing camel Queenie and I have adopted this summer) having her first outing at the Christmas market in Duisburg

Piccies workshops Zafirah and congrats!

Here are the piccies from Zafirah's fabulous workshops on Improvisation and Voi (veil poi) Thanks again to all participants who made this event possible!

This weekend Zafirah won 1st place for category Solo Fantasy/Fusion during Leyla Jouvana's international Bellydancer of the World competition in Duisburg, performing with her favorite dance partner, voi :) Congrats Zafirah!!

Voi Workshop

Improvisation workshop

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Schedule Khalida 2011 -2012 update

Hi peeps, check out the latest dates for workshops and events for the coming months! :)

Khalida Stars of Bellydance 2011Schedule Khalida 2011 
WURSELEN, DE - Th 17 Nov 2011
Workshops with guest teacher Zafirah in Würselen (Workshops)

VAALS, NL - Sa 03 Dec 2011
BALLET - Performance school recital 'The Nutcracker' in Vaals (Ballettschule Renoldi)

WURSELEN, DE - Fr 02,9,16 Dec 2011
Masterclasses with Khalida in Würselen (Masterclasses)

Schedule Khalida 2012
LONDON, UK - 2012 - Date to be announced!
Workshop and Judging at BT Competition in London (Bellydance Trophies)

WURSELEN, DE - Su 15 Jan 2012
Workshops at our studio with fabulous guest teacher Queenie in Würselen (Workshops)

EILAT, IS - 18-22 Jan 2012
Workshop and Opening Show with live music at Orits Festival in Eilat (Eilat Festival)

HEERLEN, NL - Sa, So 11-12 Feb 2012
Workshop (Sa) and Gala Show (Su) at Yamila's Bellydance Festival (Conquest of the Dance)

AACHEN, DE - Sa 25 Feb 2012
Solo and duet with Magdy El Leisy (Evening Gala) and
Show with group Jahanára (Afternoon Gala) at Gala Oriental in Aachen (Karima)

SUSSEX, UK - Fr-Su 09-11 Mar 2012
Workshop weekend and Show in UK (HipsInc) SOLD OUT - waiting list open!

GOES, NL - Spring 2012 - Date to be announced!
Workshops in Goes (Nashwa)

SALTAIRE, UK - Fr-Su 20-22 Apr 2012
Workshops, Judging and Show at Jewel of Yorkshire Festival in UK (JOY Festival)

Schedule rest of 2012: See

Workshops in Amersfoort - November 2011

This weekend I had the honor to teach 2 workshops in Amersfoort, hosted by the lovely Kyria of the Netherlands. Had a bit of trouble at first adjusting back to teaching in Dutch, but I think we managed in the end :) Glad to see a few familiar faces, and happy to have met some new ones too.

And POSE! After the Drum solo techniques workshop
Ready.. JUMP!
A big thank you to Kyria for the lovely organization, the cozy atmosphere and super good vibes. Had a great time yesterday! xxx

Our lovely wings ladies - You rocked that choreo! xx
Hope to see you all again soon!

xxx Khalida

Planet Egypt and Celebrating Dance - Mini UK tour 2011

This October I traveled together with the lovely Queenie of Belgium to the UK (by train! first time for me), for a quick stop performing in London at Anne White's monthly showcase Planet Egypt and for teaching and performing at Afra al Kahira's Celebrating Dance festival in Torquay.

Eurostar - Bringing us to the UK and back in a jiffy!
I had a great time in London, happy to be back at Planet Egypt and loved the new decorations and the audience. Here's a clip of the performance night, check out the solo snippets at 01:34 and 6:19 and the drum solo duet with Queenie at 08:04 :)

We had a fantastic time at Afra Al Kahira's Celebrating Dance in Torquay as well. Enjoyed the shows, the audience, the great organization, the good food, the lovely atmosphere, the workshops, the quality time spent with very dear dance friends AND most of all the participants' overwhelming enthusiasm :)

After the Saturday show
Zills  Rhythms workshop - 30 sets of zills! *RING*
PS: Am very happy to announce I've been invited to perform and teach again at the next edition of Celebrating Dance ( 26-28 October 2012 ), yay, thank you Afra and John! :) Hope to see you all there too!

Posing with the rhythms after zills class

PSPS: Official show piccies by Kathryn Goddard will be added very soon, so watch this space!

xx Khalida

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

202 DVDs sold! Time for a happy dance :)

To celebrate the 200th (or rather 202nd!) instructional DVD sold after this weekend in Oslo I present to you a little (Matt!) dance of joy :) Another (extra special!) one will follow once we hit 250, so watch this space or even help make it happen via ^^ Help support the art! ♥ And I will dance for you :)

Khalida 1001Nattfestival in Oslo - Nov 2011

Just got back from Oslo 1001Natt Festival..

At the show - solo performance
Had such an amazing time! Big big thanks to Siri Ydstie and Catherine for the great organization, loved the workshops, the students and dance friends, the warm atmosphere and good vibes at the show. And a special shout-out to Maikki of Norway and Farah of Germany, was lovely to spend some time and dance with you :) ♥♥♥



Hakim Concert on Friday!
Favorites of the Fifties Workshop on Friday

Drum Solo Techniques workshop on Saturday
With Farah in Oslo city
At the show - drum trio with Maikki and Farah
At the show: Backstage madness! Dud, Maikki, Farah, Khalida, Siri
Check out the complete picture gallery on FB:

I am already looking forward to the next edition! Will be posting an update shortly on the fabulous UK weekend I spent with Queenie this October at Planet Egypt and Celebrating Dance.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Workshops with Zafirah in November!

I am super happy and proud to present:  Workshops with Zafirah of Canada in Würselen on Thursday 17th of November 2011, not to be missed! Come and experience the magic :)

Whoop! This calls for some dancing bananas:

:banana: :banana: :banana: 

She is a truly fantastic teacher and multi-award winning performer, I've had the honor to share the stage with her at events all over the world. Enrollments are now open via

Times/ Topics
* 18:30-20:00h Voi/Veil Poi (if you'd like to borrow a set let me know!)
* 20:15-21:45h ABI/Anti Blockage Improvisation (improvisational techniques)
Still spots available for both workshops!

1 workshop: 28 Euro
Both workshops: 45 Euro

Studio Sarossy
Oppener Strasse 44/1 (44 for GPS!)
Würselen, DE (near Aachen)


More information/details can be found here:

En last but not least, a beautiful (and improvised!) voi performance by Zafirah:

Best wishes and hope to see you all there! :d

xxx Khalida

New class season information online!

Whoop! :)

Starting next Thursday (06th of October) in Würselen, DE, our weekly belly dance classes will take place on the following dates:

06,13-Oct 2011
10-Nov 2011
01,08-Dec 2011

Class times, details, levels and location address can be found here:

Enrollments are now open! You can sign up for the classes and check out the pricing info here:

Hope to see you all there! Let's shake it :)

xxx Khalida

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blogging from paradise :)

Time for a mini update, combining piccies from our honeymoon in the beautiful Seychelles AND free wi-fi ;)
The islands are truly gorgeous, and we're enjoying some well-deserved downtime together before all the dance crazies start again soon :) Also fun, but other fun! For a sneak peek of paradis check out the first photo batches here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Sad to be leaving soon, but also looking forward to some great events and classes in the coming weeks and months!

Happy shimmies,
xx Khalida

Khalida 'Helm el Raks' - August 2011

New videoclip online! Recorded at the RAKS hafla in Leuven, Belgium August 2011
Thank you Sandra for filming!

xx Khalida

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Epic update.. and a link!

This week promises to be one with a LOT of dancing, as I am currently busy packing up, preparing and practicing for the RAKS summerschool in Leuven, Belgium

After that, it will be time for our long-awaited honeymoon (September!), the fabulous charity-helping Mundo Oriental festival by Amira Shazadi in Kerpen, DE (September!) the new class season in Würselen (October!) and my very first ballet recital performance for :) Snowflakes ftw!

To update you all in one fell swoop, here is a link to the latest August Newsletter, where I've added all dance goodness and news that is to come in the following weeks and months!

Khalida Dance Newsletter - August updates 2011


xx Khalida

Friday, August 12, 2011

The DVDs!! They are here!!!

The DVDs have arrived!!! YAY! :D

After months of hard work and testing, the final products have arrived at my doorstep :) OMG° I can't even begin to describe the depth of my gratitude to Aziza, Eric and the entire AzizaRaks Productions team for all the hard work, support, love and team spirit that went into this project. Am also deeply humbled and grateful for the kind messages I have received from dance friends, colleagues and students during working on this big big project. THANK YOU ALL for helping this dream come true!!!

Here a picture from class in Würselen yesterday (thank you Renée) where the first official DVDs changed hands:

So.. what is happening right now? Except for bouncing around the house :) I sent off the first pre-sales shipment yesterday (poor post man, lol) and more DVD shipping boxes and envelopes will follow today and tomorrow. Already 91 DVDs are sold in total up till now, and the official release date (15th of August, aka Monday) hasn't even been reached yet..


So, here they are, waiting to be sent off to their new homes :)

 *bounces around the house*

visit the shop here:

Sunday, July 24, 2011 website - the making of.. part 3: Final design and functionality

To transform the webpages from the previous blog post to a more flexible design I had to make a few decisions.

  • How wide did I want the pages to be? (answer: not too wide, I opted for 740px, fitting most phone browsers)
  • How could I make use of the available space and still display the pictures for each menu item? (answer: make the headers a bit longer and pull the pictures into the header)
  • If the backdrop was not going to be white, then which background color should I use?(answer: use colors similar to this blog :)
  • Where would I add the social media Icons? (in the header! now that there is more space..)
  • What would I have to change in the layout if I make the pages centered on the screen? (answer: not that much, the content section and text properties stay the same, but the layout of the page itself had to be adapted, which could all be done using a few modifications in .css)
  • All this did mean that the pages would get longer, so I had to add another row of menu items to the footer section of each page

I browsed the internet to see if I could find some examples of good websites using a centered design, but I did not find many that had the usability and simplicity that I liked in the original design. I did like the layout a lot of the new website of Orit Maftsir, created by the fabulous Sophie Armoza.

I asked Sophie and Orit if it would be okay to use some of the concepts she worked with (larger header design with name of the page integrated, separating lines for different sections.) The websites turned out to be quite different in atmosphere and general look in the end, but as I was so inspired by their work I added both Orit and Sophie to the website credits on my contact page.

Using a more centered design meant I had to adapt the .css file parameters and instead of using one background image I would need a background color and a header image for each page.

Creating the header images asked for some creative 'cutting and pasting', as I wanted it to match the new website background but also contain the picture, logo, motto, and the menu items on a bar matching the colors.

To do this I combined all the original images, added a background color gradient layer that was close to the background color I wanted to use for the rest of the page, added the name of the menu item and smushed the items together a bit so they would fit a more narrow selection, like so:

As you can maybe see I also added a layer of 'sparkle' to the bottom part of the header image, using a 'star' brush :) Now all I had to do was decide on the exact width of the header, create a selection of that width and then copy/paste that selection to a new image (using menu 'copy merged', creating this:

The same procedure was used for all other background pictures. All I had to do starting from the first header image was replace the picture, adapt the color of the menu bar and logo/text and add the name of the menu item in the header.

The Shop page header had to be a little bit wider:

To make the background not too 'flat' I opted for a background image for the page instead of a plain color, a general sandy 'pattern', and repeat it to make it fill whichever screen is used to view the page. This image is set in the .css file section 'body':

body {
background: url(images/background/image.jpg) repeat top left;

font: 7pt/14pt calibri;
color: #663300;
background-color: #ffffff;


Next I needed a way to make the text more readable in the pages, without making the text area look too 'white'. After some searching on the web I discovered a way to do this by creating a 'semi transparent' .png image as the background for the text area.

In the .css file it looks like this:


margin: 0px auto;
background: url(images/background/opaque.png) repeat top center;



And finally I needed to add the header image to the center section of the page:


margin: 0px auto;

background: url(images/background/header_schedule.jpg) no-repeat top center;


 Result (with website content and social media icons already added)

The social media icons were easy to find, a simple search yielded many free and cheap downloadable icon images. Making the icons, menu items and main header clickable asked for some trickery though, for which I found some great online tips here. After that I created a favicon using part of the logo, added titles, content and images to the pages and that was that.

For the online shop I used 'Prestashop', a freeware solution that you can adapt (with lots of cursing ;) to your own website template and needs. It took me a while (including reading french forums) but am happy and proud of the result:

Whoop whoop :)

So, voilá, that's it, the making of :) Hope you found these articles helpful, would love to hear your own 'making of' stories as well so feel free to comment here or add links to your own blog!

xx Khalida website - the making of.. part 2: Background images and initial design

For this website there was an initial design that used the same pictures as the current site, but it looked quite different from the end result you can see now at

See one of the 'first design' pages here:

And the end result:

The original plan was to create pages that had a similar look and feel to the old website, but with a ligther background, matching the white backdrop that was used for the DVD recordings.

The background images were all composed of:
  • a white backdrop (easy peasy)
  • a picture from the new shoot (I selected 8 pictures in total, one for each main menu item)
  • the new logo (created for the DVD cover, adapted to the costume color of the pics)
  • a font for the 'motto' (I decided on 'Nuptial', which we also used for the wedding invitations :)
  • a flower brush (I bought a set of brushes to use in Photoshop CS3)
  • a menu bar, matching the color of the picture
  • menu text font (zapfino)
Each of these components had its own 'layer', which means they could be edited separately and copied to the other background files easily.

The backdrop was the easiest part, and because it was white the pictures did not need to be cut out very precisely, as they had a white backdrop as well. What I did instead was make a wide cutout of each background picture and soften the edges using the eraser tool with a blurry edge and large brush.

The logo was adapted to the colors of the main picture using a 'gradient overlay' effect and 'fancified' using the 'bevel and emboss' effect. I also added a drop shadow to give it a bit more depth.

The menu bar was created by selecting part of a new layer, giving it a solid color and then copying the  gradient overlay from the logo (its easier to copy and modify a gradient overlay in different pages then creating a straight-up gradient for each page)

The menu font I wanted to use for the website was Zapfino Linotype.

Normally I would just add the menu text in the .html file itself and specify the font name in the .css file like I did in my other websites, but alas it turned out that this font is not supported in all regular browsers, which meant I had to fake it by loading the font into Photoshop and adding the menu names as a separate layer in the background image instead.

For the picture galleries I used Simpleviewer, a free gallery program that I had some trouble with at first, but seems to be working better now. 

I was very excited with the end result (see above) so I immediately started creating the other background images and uploaded the new webpages to a test site after that. But, while testing these pages on different browsers and after showing them to my design buddy Sophie Armoza of Israel and to Eric from AzizaRaks productions the conclusion was that this design had a few drawbacks:
  • There were too many links in the top menu, making it too wide for viewing on most phones
  • A centered webpage would be more adaptable to different screen widths than a left-oriented one
  • The pictures next to the text did not always show up on a phone browser
  • The top section looked a bit 'empty', plus it could be used to link back to the home page, and/or host some social media icons that follow on each page (thank you Sophie for this one!)
  • The overall impression was that the pages looked nice and clean, but that they were 'too bright/white' for viewing comfort, and that the pictures with arms crossing the menu bar looked a bit strange setup-wise.
  • Not all information fit equally well on the pages, as I had used a set height for the text area which was perfect for wide screen computers but not so good for small laptops, notebooks and phones. Vertical scrollbars are not supported by all browsers. 

So.. Back to the drawing board for me! Thankfully a lot of the work previously done could be preserved.

What did I do next? Read more in the next blog entry :)