Belly Dance Extravaganza Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary
Seba of Wildcard Bellydance performs at the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive & Festival held at the Flamingo Hotel Sept 6-9; Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive & Festival; Photo credit: Lee Corkett
By Guy Dawson
Las Vegas Informer
More than 2,000 spectators enjoyed non-stop performances, dance workshops and lots of glitz-infused shopping at the ten year anniversary of the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive & Festival at the Flamingo Hotel Sept 6-9. The event featured world-class professional and amateur belly dancers who performed both traditional and contemporary styles.
“This was our most successful year,” said Samira Tu’Ala, a belly dancer and the founder of the LVBDI. “My staff has been with me for a long time and we know how to do things the right way. I got a lot of positive feedback from people who have attended the event in the past and there were so many posts on Facebook from first-timers who talked about what a great experience it was to dance on a stage.”
Almost 500 performers from the US, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Japan and Taiwan participated in LVBDI 2012. LVBDI also held the “Think You Can Bellydance?” contest for the third straight year. Overseen by the choreography team of Ashtalea and 2012 headliner Cera Byer, the contest was open to any belly dancer who wanted to enter it.
The Friday and Saturday evening shows were held at the Clark County Library Theater and showcased headline belly dancers including Sadie Marquardt, Sera Solstice, Colleena Shakti, Virginia, Elizabeth Strong, DaVid Baydal, Dalia Carella, Cera Byer and Egyptian dancer/musician Karim Nagi.
“The comments about the pro shows on Friday and Saturday have been nothing but remarkable,” Tu’Ala said. “There was a wonderful range of performances.”
Although its origins are from the Middle East and North Africa, belly dancing has increasingly gained popularity in the United States. According to Tu’Ala, the dance form is experiencing a revolution which is resulting in a tremendous diversity of styles and interpretations.
“There is a very tangible energy that you can feel when you attend one of our events,” she said. It’s very exciting for dancers to say that they have danced in Las Vegas.”
Tu’ Ala said that she formed LVBDI as a small get together for Nevada-based belly dancers and that nothing surprises her more than the popularity of the event.
“We only had about twenty people who registered the first year,” she said. “I saw a need in our Las Vegas belly dance community and found a way to meet the need. The event just happened to explode in a way that I didn’t anticipate. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Mi’Ri, a belly dancer who performed at LVBDI for the third year said that she enjoys coming to Las Vegas for the festival.
“I love the atmosphere here,” she said. Everyone is so welcoming and the show is really fun.
According to Tu’ Ala, 2013’s version of LVBDI will look vastly different than the recently completed festival.
“We try to reinvent ourselves every year, “Tu’ Ala said.
The Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive strives to embrace the remarkable living art of belly dancing, to enlighten the public and to support the Las Vegas belly dance community.
For more information about the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive visit bellydanceintensive.com.
Guy Dawson is the Managing Partner of Classy Communications, a Las Vegas-based Public Relations firm. He is also the host of PR Connections, a forum for business owners, leaders and celebrities to showcase what they do. PR Connections airs every Wed at 1:00 pm on KLAV 1230 AM or at klav1230am.com. For more information about Classy Communications PR and Advertising visit classycommunications.net or call (702) 845-6129.