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Belly dancing: A performance art and a form of expression

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Not too many people can honestly sum up their life in one sentence. Especially as simple of a motto of “Belly dancing is my life.” But for Thia Fadel, there’s not much else to life.

“I totally dedicate myself, and my life, to promoting the art of belly dancing,” Fadel said.

Fadel said she is attracted to the dynamic nature of belly dancing. She studies every year in Turkey and Greece to ensure she is staying sharp and current with her dancing and teaching. She has also studied in India so she can correctly incorporate Bollywood dance styles.

“Belly dancing is pure expression,” she said.

Fadel has shown her craft with her students at restaurants, cultural celebrations, churches, weddings and other events. She is also performing at the QSaltLake-sponsored wedding.

“There’s a misconception about belly dancing,” Fadel said. “People think it’s a crude or a lewd form of dance. But when done correctly, it’s actually an art form that is family-friendly.”

The belly dance performances can include as few as two or three people or as many as 60 people, depending on the venue and the audience. Belly dancing also, in some ways, follows an audience participation model. Depending on how the crowd reacts, the show might alter slightly, Fadel said.

“We try to tailor each show to each audience,” Fadel said.

When performing at weddings, the dancers will try to help audience members learn and practice belly dancing and each performance. This could include the people that were married, or other participants in the wedding.

For more information about Bellydancing by Thia, or to book her group for an event, go to their website, www.bellydancingbythia.com.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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