Belly-dancing in Christ Church Pitsmoor was the start of Sophie Mei’s journey onto National Television.
Born on Abbeyfield Road, Sophie tells the Messenger how she got from bellydancing in Pitsmoor to making her own documentary in Eygpt.
“I discovered my love of belly-dance after watching the Sahar Wal Farashat at the first Abbeyfield Park Multicultural Festival.
“I attended classes at Christ Church in Pitsmoor, paying for costumes, workshops and new music with a part-time supermarket job.
“Whilst studying for a degree in Manchester and dancing part-time I was spotted by Taste of Cairo agency and the degree took a backseat as I performed on stage. For the first time, I felt that I was starting to fulfil my ambitions.
“Reality TV gave me my lifeline – an audition for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ where I made it through to the finals.
“Following this I began work experience at ITV. ‘Wood you Believe it?’ a new series by Calendar’s Duncan Wood, agreed to film me presenting a documentary on belly-dancing in Egypt. “I was able to return to Cairo last November to film my own documentary with the support of Calendar News.”
“We arrived in the week of Eid, with the world-renowned ‘Nile Festival’ in full swing.
“I took part in the weeklong event where teachers and performers from across the world congregate and share their love of bellydance at the daily Hafla's (belly-dance parties).
“You cannot go to Cairo without visiting Giza to see the Sphinx and Pyramids, a bizarre place. Looking from the Pyramids, Giza appears as a shanty town but looking toward the Pyramids it is one of the most scenic views I have ever seen.
“After a magical week in Cairo, I was ready to return home having filmed the Nile and belly-dancers. The footage was screened on ITV Yorkshire in December and my belly-dance improved massively, just in time for the busy Winter season.”
“This year I hope to complete my degree in Manchester as well as learning to drive and pursuing a career in Broadcast Journalism. I have set up Sophie Mei Schools which teaches dance workshops across the UK and hope to extend into language classes and health activities.”
For more information on Sophie visit: http://sophiemei.co.uk