Hips Don’t Lie


Event organizer Janim. Photo courtesy of Janim

By Steve Sucato

It’s no ordinary dance competition. The Belly-Off 2012, at the Pittsburgh Dance Center, pits belly-dancers against one another in an impromptu skills improvisation to live music by Pittsburgh vintage belly-dance bandIshtar. As organized by local belly-dance queen Janim (pictured) and last year’s winner, Mehira, the second annual competition and show also features demonstrations in belly-dancing, aerial silks and tango. Upward of 20 local and regional competitors will perform in three no-age-limit categories — professional, student and amateur, and troop (two or more dancers) — in an in-the-round cabaret setting. The competitors draw a song from Ishtar’s repertoire from a hat, improvise to it, and are judged by their dancing, audience interaction and showmanship. This year’s guest judges — who will also perform at the event — include: Canton, Ohio’s Sherena, star of the reality web series Project Bellydance; Maryland’s Greek belly-dance bombshell Amartia; WQED’s Kweilin Nassar, a ’80s belly-dance star; and Pittsburgh Dance Center owner and ballroom dancer Holly Kirby. 7-11 p.m. Sat., Nov. 3. 4765 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $10-15 (children under 12 free). 412-980-3345 or www.janim.org/belly-off.

This article first appeared in Pittsburgh City Paper October 31, 2012. Copyright Steve Sucato.

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4 Comments

Filed under Pittsburgh City Paper

4 responses to “Hips Don’t Lie

  1. Thank you Steve for bringing everyone this event!

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  2. Reblogged this on JANIM and commented:
    The Belly-Off approaches! Join us on Saturday at 7pm for an amazing evening of entertainment!

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  3. Oh! And we will also have a short zill (finger cymbal) lesson for the audience to join in on as well as an aerial silks demo!

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  4. Thanks Steve!! The event was so much fun!! Can’t wait for the new and improved event next year…stay tuned for information about the Pittsburgh Bellydance Festival!!

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