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The Golden Goddess
Left to right back row: Delilah, Zahirah, Haya Davida, Alexandra.
The front row left to right: Isis and Zulieka
The Gilded Serpent presents...
Belly Dancing in
Las Vegas
(part 1 of 2)

by Neferteri

Belly Dancing is alive and well in Las Vegas. When one thinks of Las Vegas, belly dancing may not be the first image that comes to mind. But woven into the grand tapestry of flashing neon lights and high-kicking show girls is a prominent and diverse belly dance community that includes cabaret, tribal, and folkloric dancers.  Las Vegas has hosted many wonderful belly dance instructors, workshops, and haflas, and area dancers have developed their our own web ring. Several internationally-known Middle Eastern musicians also live and work in the area.

I am pleased to introduce a few of "The Divas of Las Vegas."

First, meet a wonderful group of ladies that I call, "The Golden Goddesses," because they are all senior citizens and they represent a very special part of our belly dance community. These lovely ladies live in a Sun City MacDonald Ranch in Las Vegas and have been performing for two years. The troupe is taught and directed by my friend, Fran Dundee (Zulieka), who has been dancing for 29 years and teaching for 4 years. "The Golden Goddesses" truly believe belly dancing is great for their bodies and for their minds. I have seen them rehearse and dance, and they are very dedicated and talented. They have demonstrated that all can enjoy belly dancing, and that this art form is as  timeless as they are. I would like to thank "The Golden Goddesses" for being a part of our community.

Another local group of very knowledgeable and richly talented belly dancers is "Al-Teeka". "Al-Teeka" translates to "ancient ones," in reference to women who have gained knowledge and wisdom through years of experience. This American ethnic fusion style troupe does not represent one specific tribe or ethnic group. Rather, their folkloric look and repertoire incorporates elements of dance and costuming from various cultures throughout the Middle East and North Africa, such as the Ouled Nail tribe of Algeria, and the Bedouin Berber tribes. "Al-Teeka's" performances are exciting and dramatic.The troupe members are:  Linn Smith, Shirley Rivera, Nancy Eason, Karen Kampser, and Joeanne Jacobs . These ladies are truly a class-act and a strong cornerstone in our belly dance community.  (Sorry no picture - they are a little camera shy).

Araida in one of her costumes
Now, speaking of costuming, where in Las Vegas does one find a belly dance costume designer?  Meet Aradia, our very own Belly Dance Costume Diva! Aradia's gorgeous and affordable costumes will make a dancer look like a diva! Aradia said her goal is, "making affordable costumes with an emphasis on bras that actually fit and enhance the bust line." I have several of her very stylish, well-made costumes and I get many compliments when I wear one. So how does she know so much about belly dancers and what they want? Aradia IS a belly dancer! Aradia has been dancing since age 7, has won numerous awards, and has worked at various restaurants and hotels in Las Vegas. She put herself through college by dancing, and one of her career highlights was Celine Dion's wedding. During her dancing career, she started making costumes for herself, and later, decided to begin her own line of costumes. Aradia also teaches various styles of belly dance and performs on a regular basis. In addition to being a quality costume designer, she is a very high energy and delightful performer.
(To be continued. . .)

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Ready for more?
more from Neferteri-

3-3-04 Belly Dancing with Snakes by Neferteri
My snakes have their own room with a scenic view of Las Vegas, and it is temperature controlled.

4-26-04 Class War-fair? Belly Dance Comics tm by Alexandria
"I sprang from the forehead of Isis!"

4-25-04 Shuvani: Music and Dance inspired by the Roma "Gypsy" Trail Photos by Jan Dvorak, Captions and Photos provided by Amy Luna Manderino Saturday, February 21, 2004 Cafe de la Paz, Berkeley, California

4-21-04 Rakkasah West Festival 2004 Friday Evening March 2004, Richmond, California photos by GS Volunteers including:
Biram, Clare, Cynthia, Krista, Lynette, Michelle, Monica, Sandra, Valentino, Yasmine and probably more!
*Let us know if you recognize faces!



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