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.

4 thoughts on “Hips Don’t Lie

  1. 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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