Firstly, happy New Year! 2011 has already had a great start for me, in the form of watching Project Belly Dance.

Project Belly Dance is a small reality TV show/competition for the many flavors of Middle Eastern dancers; the winner gets to star in her own Cheeky Girls DVD. The reaction of the Middle Eastern dance world was mixed. I personally have been excited. Partially because I don’t have cable and welcome any kind of free TV entertain, partially because the people (Michelle Joyce and Lotus Niraja) behind the show have time and again shown a commitment to producing high quality, respectable resources for the Middle Eastern dance community.

The first episode was released today at the Project Belly Dance website. Although competitions are not my thing and I’m not a reality TV show follower, I immensely enjoyed the first episode. The show had a bit of cheesiness, but it is a reality show, after all. The competition was serious, and the contestants behaved professionally; these women competing are actual professionals in the Middle Eastern dance world. The drama wasn’t over-the-top (or really present, for the most part), and I felt like the judges were fair and weren’t excessive in their criticism or adulation. I look forward to seeing the rest of the episodes.