MEDANZ is fully volunteer run.  The day to day running of the Association is managed by a committee of members and their details are listed below.  Other members also regularly contribute to the organisation via submissions to Newsletters, the website or on sub-committee (e.g. for organising Festival).

A new committee is elected annually in April at the MEDANZ Annual General Meeting (AGM).

MEDANZ Committee 2017-2018


Tanya Bamford-King

Vice President

Serenity Wise


Judith Varga


Angela Mott


Angela Mott

General Members

Elena Lowry

Lisa le Fae

Kirsty Hill

Newsletter Editor

Deputy Editor

Carol Hunt

Rachel Boyle


Previous Year's committee members can be found here.

President - Tanya Bamford-King

MEDANZ President: TanyaMy dance journey started over 40 years ago as a baby ballerina; I stumbled into Belly Dance as a young adult and am now a 28 year dance veteran in the style. I have worked extensively as a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer both in New Zealand and overseas.

In my "other" professional life I am a Business Process Consultant, and in my personal life am mother to two amazing man-children, and lover, partner and wife to a fabulous "Belly Dance Enabler", David (I cannot thank and appreciate these wonderful partner "enablers" enough, the Belly Dance community survives on your support).

My biggest drive as president is to make MEDANZ a New Zealand "voice" for Belly Dance, so Belly Dance becomes something the average New Zealander is familiar and comfortable with, and will consider being involved with as a dancer, a supporter or promoter.

My "dream" is to make Belly Dance something AMAZING for the whole of New Zealand, not just for those of us who have been lucky enough to stumble into it. I know it's a big ask, but even if we can push our organisation into a "first step" on that journey I would be thrilled.

Vice-President - Serenity Wise

SetsunaAside from a visit back in 2005 (and a lovely class with Abbraccia School of Dance!), I am brand new to Aotearoa and its Middle Eastern Dance community. I hope to be of use during my year on committee, and to meet many of the dancers that make up this lovely community.

From 2000, I started my training in Egyptian and Turkish stage styles, as well as some folk dances. Like many dancers, I have worn lots of hats: performer, group director, coach, teacher, event producer. I think my favourite role is as a teacher, as I get to support the growth of other artists.

Other genres in my dance life include Afro Brazilian, Samba, Hip Hop, and Chinese dance (which is why you'll often see me dance with my silk fans!).

Passions outside of dance include social justice, Asian and Islamic art (especially between 200CE – 1700CE), and running my Auckland-based candy shop, Candy Cat.

Secretary - Judith Varga

MEDANZ Secretary: KashmirI began my journey with Middle Eastern Dance in 1991. Given a choice I like dancing in an Egyptian beledi style as well as a range of folkloric styles. But I also do orientale and teach generic belly dance.

I have worked as a software engineer for a few decades and prior to that as an Electrical Engineer and a secondary school teacher. I'm the belly dance nerd.

My love of research and analysis has flowed into my approach to the dance. I enjoy finding patterns and sharing them. I have done this as a teacher in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand and have recently created a series of short videos on a wide range of topics related to the dance.

I joined MEDANZ in 1995 and have served on the committee for five years before now.

Whilst on committee I have been President and Treasurer as well as being a driving force behind the first three MEDANZ Festivals in Christchurch; I was on the original sub-committee that created the Teachers' Register in 2003 which have maintained almost exclusively since then; I was the newsletter editor (1999-2000) and columnist since 2013; I was MEDANZ's first web-mistress (1999-2001); I also have been membership secretary (1998-2001, 2003). For this I was awarded a Lifetime Membership in 2012.

Treasurer & Membership Secretary - Angela Mott


I have been a member of MEDANZ since 1998, and have served on the committee previously on four different occasions.

Whilst on committee I have had a hand in creating the MEDANZ Festivals in 2007 Timaru (workshop coordinator), 2014 Orewa (Festival Sub-Committee Leader) 2015 Christchurch (Festival Coordinator) and in 2016 Wellington, as part of the Festival Sub-Committee (Graphics & Website), in addition to the roles of social media advocate & web mistress, Teachers’ advocate, Mini- Festival Committee coordinator, Newsletter Editor (2013 - 6 months) and general committee member. In 2016/17 I took on the Executive role of Treasurer.

I am looking forward in 2017/18 to working with the committee to grow the MEDANZ community, and strengthen its existing bonds, by listening and responding to our members. 


Photo Credit: NinaG Photography

General committee member - Elena Hill

My name is Elena and I have been living and learning bellydance for over 10 years now.ElenaHill.jpg

My journey started when a friend wanted someone to come with her to try a bellydance class and I agreed. Once there that was it! I loved the music, the movement, the obvious support and respect these women had for their fellow dancers - to quote a cliche - I had found my tribe.

Since then I have journeyed from a timid beginner to a confident dancer and now regularly dance with the Zenda troupe. A big thank you has to go to my teacher Gretchen Howard, who has been a supportive influence throughout this whole journey. I have found friends and fellow travelers along the way from all over NZ, and love learning and trying new things.

There is always something more to try, polish or renew and I am confident I will be dancing for many years yet!

I put my hand up for committee as I have personally benefited from the MEDANZ festivals and networks and would like to give something back to the dance community that has become my home.

I look forward to getting to know more of the members over the year to come. 

General Committee member - Lisa le Fae

LisaleFae.jpgI live, I laugh, I love and I dance.

I am lucky enough to have a gorgeous group of Goddesses to dance with as Bellishus Performance Troupe, whom endlessly inspire me.

I am the Teacher at Bellizone Belly Dance here in Napier. A journey that has seen me grow, get to know myself and love who I am.

In my other life I am a Registered Nurse. Mother of 4 beautiful Angels. A sister, a daughter, a friend. A lover of wisdom. An eclectic person.

I’ve seen a lot, experienced much, heard plenty. I live by guidelines as I don’t like rules. I love adventures!

Looking forward to hopefully being of use on the committee. Thank you for having me. 

General committee member - Kirsty Hill

Hi, my name is Kirsty Hill.KirshyHill.jpg

I am a 40+ married mother of two living in Clive, Hawkes Bay.

I have been dancing with Bellizone belly dance for six years and perform with Bellishus belly dance troupe here in Hawkes Bay and where ever else it takes us.

It is my second time being a MEDANZ member and taking part in the festival.

I look forward to helping in any way I can being a part of the MEDANZ committee.