Beat the heat with belly dancing this weekend

The Why Not? Bellydance members (l-r): Sarah Hinson, Chelsea Stone, Cat Moody, Laurel Kleven, Lisa Hendrickson, Brianna Rose Murphy (Lisa Hendrickson/courtesy)

The Why Not? Bellydance members (l-r): Sarah Hinson, Chelsea Stone, Cat Moody, Laurel Kleven, Lisa Hendrickson, Brianna Rose Murphy (Lisa Hendrickson/courtesy)

Workshops at the second annual Beat the Heat Belly Dance Festival may be full up, but that doesn’t mean people still can’t have a good time, said Sarah Hinson, member of Why? Not Belly Dance.

The classes filled up a couple of weeks ago and since they can hold 50 people each, everyone is anticipating a lot of people this year, Hinson said, commenting that the buzz for the festival has gotten even bigger this year.

Despite the unavailability of the workshops, there’s still the performance on Saturday night, Aug. 26, from 7 to 9:15 p.m., she said. It’s at the Grand Highland Hotel’s Holiday Courtyard, located at 150 S. Montezuma St.

“We definitely encourage the public to show up to the performance in the evening,” Hinson said, mentioning the performance “displays all different types of belly dances … it’s the best way to see different types.”

The schedule of events notes that there will be more than 20 belly dance troupes and solo artists from around the state with dances and music ranging in terms of influence and inspiration from all around the world. This includes the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, hip-hop, Indian and Latin traditions.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Birds of a Feather,” Hinson said, remarking that it was chosen because this is the year of the fire rooster and all of the Why? Not members pay attention to nature and have all had experiences with birds lately. Further, birds share leadership while in the sky, which is similar to what the Why? Not troupe does in tribal belly dancing, she said.

Belly dancing has brought a lot of gifts to her life and she loves seeing that same glow in someone else’s eye upon discovering it, Hinson said. There’s the love of working with women who think differently and approach things in different ways, she said.

“It’s all about sisterhood and community and learning how to move together,” Hinson said. “It makes us stronger as a troupe, it makes us better friends.”

Tickets for the first two rows at the performance is $10 and subsequent rows are free of charge.