Last weekend, I was at Cairo Shimmy Quake. An amazing festival put together by Marta Schill and a crew of amazing volunteers. The entire Glendale Civic Auditorium was filled with vendors, dancers, musicians, and delicious food. Cairo Shimmy Quake, and other major events happen all over the United States with dancers coming together to learn from each other, shop, watch performances and just hang out.  Whether you are a dancer, or simply curious, here are my top 5 reasons for loving belly dance events.

  1. The Performances: Whether you reserved a seat to the main show, or you have decided to simply watch during the day, most events have a stage, or two, that constantly has performances. These tend to yield an awesome variety of styles from classical Raqs Sharqui, to American Tribal Style and fusion. One of my favorite pieces this year was a fusion to the Cell Block Tango From Chicago
  2. The Workshops: Whether you are a novice or an experienced dancer, there is always- and I mean always- more to learn. Workshops give you the ability to study with other dancers and add to your repertoire.
  3. Vending: Just as with the performances, anyone can appreciate the amount of amazing costumes and jewelry that is bound to be on display during a belly dance event. If you are planning to go for the first time, you may want to set aside money for shopping so that you do not break your wallet.
  4. Seeing Old Friends: The Bellydance community may be spread out all over the states, but we do recognize each other and form small enclaves. I got to see people whom I have met and thought were awesome, but whom I haven’t seen in years.
  5. Meeting New People and Opportunity: As long as you are being polite and respectful, the belly dance community in general is very welcoming and laid back. You shouldn’t have a problem meeting new people and you might make amazing friends or find people who love your ideas and want to collaborate.

                If you do choose to attend, please be respectful and open- especially if you’ve never seen belly dance before. The next event that I can think of is the Austin Belly Dance Convention which tends to draw amazing dancers, teachers and vendors.

Published by Irina Yakubin