Every year a great deal of planning, preparation and just plain hard work (the proverbial blood, sweat and tears) goes into the IODF. The festival plays host to hundreds of dancers from across the country as well as across the seas and has become a highlight of the South African belly dancing calendar. Each year sees the dance festival becoming bigger and better, thanks to a handful of volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year.
Although one may think that the organisation of the IODF starts a few months prior to the festival each year, in truth when the IODF ends on Sunday evening, planning for the next year’s event begins the very next day (if not sooner).
With this in mind, a big thank you goes out to the IODF Committee members (many of whom might not even be recognisable to the rest of us) who volunteer their time and effort, but the biggest thank you goes to Marina “Ajsa Samia” Rehbein who, in years gone past, has even organised the entire festival single-handedly (I have no idea how she did it!).
Another big thank you goes out to all of the dancers that support and promote the IODF every year, as well as to the belly dancers’ husbands, boyfriends and families for supporting their loved ones and attending (or being dragged to?) the IODF. For all of you who have helped to make the IODF better in any way, thank you, the festival wouldn’t be the same without you.
If you recognise any of the committee members in the photo and see them at the IODF this year, feel free to ask them for any information on the festival (if they don’t know, they’ll find out) and give them a big thank you for organising this wonderful event!