More Than a Genie in a Bottle

When Shakira glued on some fringe, dangled some coins, wrapped scarves around her hips, and jangled her ass all over MTV, she made belly dancing accessible to soccer moms and adolescent girls all over suburban America. Some might rightfully decry encouraging young girls to perform ostensibly provocative dance moves, but belly dancing has a rich history that has nothing to do with sexual entertainment. Traditionally, women used it as a fertility ritual to help women during labor. But that was about 2000 years before the days of 24-hour music television. Spirit of the Tribes, the largest Belly Dance Convention on the East coast, will celebrate the art form with performances by 100 dancers and troupes from around the country on Thursday through Sunday. The dancers will merge Hindi, Salsa, and Afro Caribbean dance styles with more modern genres like gothic industrial and new wave. New wave belly dancing…what else do you need?

See the hips shake at the War Memorial Auditorium, found at 800 NE Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $35. Call 954-523-3309, or visit
May 8-10, 2009