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Workshops for those with fire in their bellies for dance

FUSING the choreography and costumes of traditional dances from the Middle East, North Africa, Spain and India, it's no surprise American tribal-style bellydancing has taken off.

The style has been amplified locally by the Barefoot Gypsies Tribal Belly Dance Company, which will hold its first major event this weekend.

Bellydancers Kristine Adams and Devi Mamak will be hosting a series of workshops and performances for the event too.

Ms Adams is a US-based bellydancer with more than 10 years' experience who has spent the past three years travelling to bellydance schools around the world.

She has been documenting and photographing the trip and plans to use the material in a book.

Ms Mamak has been described as Australia's premiere American tribal-style dancer and has an award-winning dance troupe based in the Blue Mountains.

READY TO GROOVE: Stacey Walker and Sasha Fox from the Barefoot Gypsies are looking forward to Gypsy Nights at their studio in Carrington St, Lismore, this weekend.
READY TO GROOVE: Stacey Walker and Sasha Fox from the Barefoot Gypsies are looking forward to Gypsy Nights at their studio in Carrington St, Lismore, this weekend. Cathy Adams

Barefoot Gypsies troop director Danielle Sansom said the American tribal-style of bellydancing was a fusion of different styles from around the world.

"It takes oriental bellydancers and elements of flamenco and Indian classical as well as other stylings and fuses those together," she said.

"It's a group improvisation dance so whoever has learnt this style in the world, we can go and dance with anyone and we'll be able to dance together straight away.

"We learn a dance language, so it's like (having) a vocabulary of movements we learn that have cues built into them."

Ms Sansom said it took one to two years to learn enough of the dance style to perform it on improvisation.

Organisers of the Gypsy Nights weekend expect 30 to 40 participants in the workshops and more than 100 people at the performance evening.

Saturday night's A Cushion Concert of Delights will include performances by Ms Adams and Ms Mamak as well as food and exotic wares for sale.

The event is being held at GypsyFox Studios, Level 3/16 Carrington St, Lismore, from 6pm for a 7pm start.

Topics:  belly dancing



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