Tag Archives: dance

Taking the Stage with Tribal Fusion Belly Dance in Dallas

It didn’t take long for our dear Britney to find a group to make her feel at home when she landed in Dallas recently for an internship. We’d like to thank the Circus Freaks for welcoming her, and for inviting her to their Open Stage recently, where she performed tribal fusion belly dance.

tribal fusion belly dance solo during Circus Freaks open stage in Dallas, Texas
Image courtesy of Alicia H

“I applaud the Circus Freaks and Creative Motion for creating something huge here,” said Britney. “They’ve attracted a community of artists, new and experienced alike, to collaborate and improve their skills together. Everyone has something new and different to offer and everyone feels free and encouraged to try new things.

“Just in the past few weeks I’ve been able to discover so much more fun in hooping because of the fellow hoopers here and their encouraging environment. I would love to bring even a small part of this group’s spirit back to Cincinnati to share with everyone.

“I encourage anyone in the Dallas area to visit one of the Circus Freaks’ many events to make new friends and be inspired!”

Click here to watch video of Britney’s performance, along with “moralistic hallucinations” and more entertainment, courtesy of Circus Freaks.

Personally, I’m inspired by Britney’s initiative of showing up in a new city, finding like-minded people, and jumping into the fun. Get inspiration on how and why you should put yourself out there as well! ~Cherie Dawn

Fusion Belly Dancer Ariellah Coming to Cincinnati!

Zahara’s Tangled Web is proud to announce a weekend of workshops with the amazing Ariellah, March 30 through April 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio (exact location to be announced).

“Ariellah’s dance training goes beyond belly dance, and her artistry goes beyond the boundaries of any single belly dance style,” said Zahara. ” I love her attention to technical detail and her willingness to push the boundaries of belly dance with her beautifully dark imagery.”

fusion belly dance, Ariellah, Zahara's Tangled Web

Don’t miss this chance to study with one of the best in dark fusion and tribal fusion belly dance! NOTE: the minimum number of participants must be met by February 1 for the event to proceed.

Workshops include: Master Class; Conditioning and Layering; Darker Fusion Belly Dance Combinations and Choreography; Creepy Complex Combos; Drawing Down The Moon: Drawing Inward, Reflecting Outward, Building Expression and Cultivating Creativity.

And, don’t miss the Saturday evening performance: “Gods & Goddesses Showcase” to be held in Cincinnati; exact location to be announced.
8-11 PM, doors open 7 PM
$13 in advance, $18 at the door
Visit www.zaharastangledweb.com for more details and to reserve your show/workshop tickets.

Taking  a workshop? Read about the Benefits of Journaling for Dancers before you go.

Where We’ve Been | Past Performances

Dante's Gypsy Circus at the Keshvar Project Supah Hafla 2010 | belly dance

Photo courtesy of Eric Greiner

“We here at College Hill Coffee Co. love having Dante’s perform. Our patrons enjoy the dance and the very kind nature of all of the dancers. Their professionalism is noticed and appreciated! The show is always unique and entertaining. Truly an art form that a broad audience can enjoy.” – Tina Stoeberl, Owner
College Hill Coffee Co. And Casual Gourmet

We love to travel, but we also love our Cincinnati! On this page, you can see the variety of venues at which we’ve belly danced/performed. Most are in the Queen City, unless noted otherwise.

  • Accidental Circus, at Circus Mojo
  • Tribal Night at the Leapin’ Lizard Gallery
  • Circus Mojo / Macy’s Arts Sampler
  • Tribal Stomp VI with Mayan Ruins and Zahara at the Cincinnati Yoga School
  • Shiny Old Soul CD Release Party
  • Carnivolution, a New Year’s Eve Party
  • Ludlow Christmas Walk with Circus Mojo
  • TEDx Cincy, an independently organized TED Talks event
  • The Coconut Bangers Ball featuring Crazy Legs w/Perfect Norm, Shiny Old Soul, Dub Locks, Mavis Concave, and Dante’s Gypsy Circus, Covington, KY
  • Private party in Alexandria, KY
  • Zahara’s Carnival Noir and the Bellydance Superstars’ Club Bellydance at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, KY
  • Cirque du Yelp at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, KY; Click here to read the raving reviews of this evening.
  • Knights Tournament at the historic Loveland Castle, with Mayan Ruins, Loveland, OH
  • Tribotica / Tribal/Goth Fusion at Darkotica with Mayan Ruins, Zahara, and Loren the Black
  • Feywill Music Festival, Covington, KY
  • Keshvar Project’s Tribal Cafe / Hot Summer Hafla, Newport, KY
  • Midsummer Masquerade, Loveland, OH
  • Highland (Kentucky) Renaissance Festival with Tree of Life World Music, Eminence, KY
  • Northside Fourth of July Rock-n-Roll Carnival. Click here to see pics.
  • Tribal Stomp with Mayan Ruins at the Cincinnati Yoga School
  • Tribal Night at the Leapin’ Lizard, Covington, KY
  • College Hill Coffee Company with Tree of Life World Music, April 2011
  • Private Party / Benefit, April 2011
  • Om Cafe with Mayan Ruins, February 2011

2010 and earlier

  • Grants Lick Elementary School 2010 Cultural Fair in Grants Lick, Kentucky
  • Tribal Belly Dancing with Tree of Life World Music at College Hill Coffee Company and Casual Gourmet
  • Llanfair Retirement Community
  • June 2010 private wedding in Goshen, OH
  • Mayan Ruins and Dante’s Gypsy Circus at Aquarius Star and Om Cafe
  • July 2010 private wedding reception at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Garden
  • Queen City Cabaret: Masked Cabaret at the Historic Loveland Castle Loveland, OH. Click here for pics.
  • July 2010 private party
  • 2010 Light the Night benefit hafla in Newport, KY
  • September 2010 Tribal Night at Leapin’ Lizard in Covington, KY
  • September 2010 Private Party in Newton, OH
  • Kentucky Renaissance Fair 2010, 2011 with Tree of Life World Music in Eminence, KY
  • 2010 Carnival Noir at the Leapin’ Lizard in Covington, KY
  • After-Party Bash at BoMA, Columbus, OH, March 2009
  • Private Party / Benefit in Lexington, KY
  • Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, July 2009
  • HD Beans and Bottles with Tree of Life World Music
  • Carnivolution 2009 at The Mockbee; and Carnivolution 2010 at MayDay Cafe
  • Pagan Pride Day, August 2009
  • Loveland Concert in the Park with Tree of Life World Music, August 2009
  • Art Academy of Cincinnati Carniball at Game Day Cafe
  • Cincinnati Witches Ball at Southgate House in Newport, KY
  • Ohio Valley Tribal Stomp 2009
  • The Knights Tournament 2009 at the Historic Loveland Castle in Loveland, OH
  • 2009 Covington Pagan Pride Day in Goebels Park, Covington, KY
  • Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School in Covington, KY
  • 2009 Loveland Concert in the Park, Nisbet Park in Loveland, OH
  • Northside Fourth of July Rock & Roll Carnival 2009 at Jacob Hoffner Park
  • Vivid Variety and Burlesque Show, March 2008 and November 2007
  • Hysteria and the Hyperdome in Columbus, OH
  • Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade, March 2008
  • Keshvar Project 2008 Supah Hafla
  • Carnivolution 2008 at The Mockbee
  • Celebrate as One, event at Fountain Square, May 2008
  • Enchanted Ball 2008 at Cincinnati Music Hall
  • 2008 Witches Ball at the Southgate House, Newport, KY
  • Funke Fired Arts, part of the 20/20 Arts Festival
  • The Carnival of Evil 2008 – Dreadful Playthings at Leapin Lizard Gallery, Covington, KY
  • Village Market Festival at the Center for World Rhythms and Movement, September 2008
  • Northside Fourth of July Rock ‘n Roll Carnival 2008 at Hoffner Park
  • Final Friday w/ Mayan Ruins at Aquarius Star
  • Scorched Nuts 2008 / Ohio’s Regional Burning Man at Hannon’s Camp America in Oxford, OH
  • Raise the Roof Benefit / Historic Loveland Castle 2008 Fundraiser in Loveland, OH
  • 2008 Multicultural Music Festival at Fountain Square, Downtown Cincinnati, OH
  • 2008 Opening Day Parade With The Queen City Zapatistas
  • Vivid Variety & Burlesque Show at the Yadda Club, Covington, KY
  • 2007 and 2008 Hafla @ The Cincinnati Yoga School
  • 2007 Bondoura Burlesque Bash
  • The Center for World Rhythms and Movement
  • GMG Music Video Shoot (Private Party)
  • RhythmFest 2007 at Terrapin Hill Farm in Harrodsburg, KY
  • World Rhythms 3rd Anniversary at The Center for World Rhythms and Movement
  • The Enchanted Ball 2007 in the Cincinnati Music Hall Ballroom
  • The 8th Annual Cincinnati Witches Ball at the Southgate House, Newport, KY
  • FUNKe FIRED ARTS, part of the 20/20 Arts Festival, 2007
  • 2007 OctOHBurn at Hannon’s Camp America in Oxford, OH
  • Tha Blast – Streetwalk
  • Riverside Coffee Mill with Tree of Life World Music in Batavia, OH
  • Reconfiguration Art Show at Synthetica Gallery
  • Starwood Island Show & Final Fire 2007 at Brushwood Folklore Center in Sherman, NY
  • 2007 Rollerderby Halftime Show at Cincinnati Gardens
  • 2007 Scorched Nuts – Burning Man at Hannon’s Camp America in Oxford, OH
  • Final Friday with Mayan Ruins at Aquarius Star

Belly Dance and Burlesque

When I heard today that a local performance group portrayed a belly dancer in a strip-tease scene, I felt a little sick. I’ve seen a few high-level burlesque performances; they’ve told stories of love, mishap…timeless tales that we can all relate to. They’re entertaining.

But belly dance, to me, is a spiritual, respectful, and sacred form of movement art that unifies women around the globe, celebrates history, and is making history. I, along with many of the belly dancers I know, work hard to maintain a high reputation for it. Yes, it’s sensual; there’s no denying that, but it’s a celebration of the female form in a positive way that honors women.

Onca O’Leary is reviving vaudeville in the eastern United States and beyond. In my humble opinion, she’s a goddess. Check out her shows and workshops whenever possible. (Photo ©Robert Stoutamire, 2010)

Madame Onca of the Mezmer Society, the Accidental Circus, Baraka Mundi, and producer of TribOriginal, knows about belly dance and burlesque (and so much more). She kindly had this light to shed: “I think that burlesque in the sense of the striptease needs to remain a separate animal from stage belly dance. However, burlesque was historically a powerful, multidisciplinary tool for reevaluating and reinventing outdated social mores. Between its inherently radical, feminist roots and as a creative, vibrant, anything-goes-for-entertainment-value art form, belly dance has a lot to learn from the other B word about performance, underlying narrative, and stagecraft.”

Wow – do I agree! As a belly dancer, I find it bothersome that someone would misrepresent this genre. I think it blurs the line between the two separate and honorable dance forms, and could have a negative impact on how the general public perceives us. Even today, in 2011, I see eyebrows raise a bit when someone finds out I belly dance…as in, folks don’t realize that this isn’t just about shaking for the menfolk the gifts our mamas gave us.

If you see that Princess Farhana of Hollywood is teaching in your area – take her class! Yes, she, too is a teaching and performing goddess. 🙂 (Photo by Maharet Bryant)

Princess Farhana of Hollywood is another well-respected and uber-talented woman. Here’s what she had to share: “I believe that belly dance and burlesque are both incredible art forms. Historically in America, they have been presented side by side for at least 100 years in theaters, nightclubs, at fairs, circuses and carnivals, and most visibly, in television and film. This has definitely caused some confusion in the eyes of the general public.

“I perform both types of dance, but contrary to popular belief, do not EVER do a striptease while belly dancing, I keep my burlesque acts as “non-Oriental” as possible.

“There are many dancers who are interested in both styles of dance; hence I have been asked to teach and perform burlesque at belly dance events, and to teach and perform (straight up) belly dancing at burlesque events.

“Like Onca, I believe that practitioners of both styles can learn a lot from each other…and the more this subject is discussed openly, the less taboo it will be, the more we will be able to educate others, and the more the general public will be able to understand the difference between the two genres.” ~ Princess Farhana

What you’re reading here is a conversation-starter about the relationship of burlesque with belly dance. Dante’s has been known to perform in burlesque shows, but the sets weren’t related to belly dance; they had other, unrelated themes.

This topic is worthy of discussion, and I invite your input. All opinions are welcome, but I ask in advance that comments are respectful to all. 😉

Cherie Dawn

Dante’s Gypsy Circus is proud to announce that we’re hosting Onca and the Accidental Circus for a show and workshops in May 2012! Click here for the details; she’ll be teaching a workshop that addresses this very topic of which we speak! 🙂

Oh, What a Night!

If you felt the earth shake a little this last week, I can guess that it was during Zahara’s Carnival Noir / Club Bellydance at the Carnegie. In addition to Zahara’s Tangled Web and Dante’s Gypsy Circus, Cincinnati performers such as Aloysius Fox, Alhambra, Anaya Gypsy, Matt the Mime and Loren the Black took the stage, opening for the fabulous Bellydance Superstars.

Laura, Cherie Dawn, and Britney played the role of princesses (yes, we wore white and pink!) in Dante’s interpretation of “Sleeping Beauty,” choreographed specifically for this show. Photo by David Scorcher, courtesy Metromix.com.

Ladi Blaze played the part of the witch who cast a spell on our trio of princesses. (Aren’t the horns cool? She made those herself!)  Photo by David Scorcher, courtesy Metromix.com.

The goddess of dark (Zahara is front, right), taking her final bow with the entire cast of the show. You can see Dex to the far right; she played the role of our goblin, who naughtily woke the princesses before any prince even had a chance. 🙂

After putting on a beautiful show, the Bellydance Superstars hung out with everyone as we shopped, listened to music, and mingled. Here, they posed with Dante’s. 🙂

“Being back on that stage, solo, was a twist of fate, an act of bravery, and an effort to make some Peace with the Universe,” said our dear friend Loren the Black, who stole our hearts during his a capella rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” He’s posing here after the show with Cherie Dawn and Ladi Blaze.



Bellydance Superstars coming to Cincinnati!

Also Featuring
Zahara’s Tangled Web, Dante’s Gypsy Circus,
Anaya Gypsy Dance, and Alhambra
in Carnival Noir

Carnegie Arts Center, 1028 Scott Blvd
Covington, KY 41011

Ticket Prices: $20
Show Time: 7:00 p.m.

“Bellydance Superstars” has announced the launch of their new concept
” This exciting show will feature
Bellydance Superstar dancers Sabah, Moria, Sabrina, Stefanya and Victoria.

This new show will give the BDSS dancers an opportunity to try out new ideas and choreography not possible in the full theatre show while at the same time enabling them to enjoy watching their fellow bellydancers perform across the continent. In each city, the local bellydance community will provide the first half of the show and the BDSS dancers the second half. Workshops will be set up wherever possible and of course the tour will carry the BDSS traveling store with a wide range of bellydance products at great prices. The tour runs from September through October. We look forward to spreading the word on this dance phenomenon across America and beyond!


How Dante’s Came To Be: An Introduction

Buenos dias! The online home for Dante’s Gypsy Circus needed to serve you better, so we’ve created this blog to let you know of upcoming events, new classes, helpful sites, tribal news, dance and performance tips, and more.

If you’re not familiar with our tribe, allow me to introduce it to you. Dante’s (our affectionate abbreviation) began in 2007 when fire lit the eyes of two belly dancers who studied at the Center for World Rhythms and Movement in Cincinnati: Lauren Frederick and Andi Eastwood. Together with Tommy Schneider and David Sher, they combined their talents of dance, fire staff, fire breathing, and more to create Dante’s.

Personally, I’ll always be grateful to my teachers at World Rhythms, as well as Lauren and Andi in particular for the groundwork they laid for our tribe – they both taught me so much about performance arts  in the first couple of years that I performed with them, including how to eat fire. But like any organism, Dante’s expands and contracts. Lauren, David, and Tommy have since moved on to other adventures and to this day Andi continues to perform and be a part of Dante’s.

Of course, I can’t leave out Mac, one of our original fire safeties who moves around the country a bit; he continues to be a dear friend of ours. Pokes (Matthew Ferguson) is also a safety and performer, but you’ll learn more about him later, as he’s still very much involved in this odd family. And Sadi, our gothic queen who was there from the beginning also moved and so we wish her the best.

Today, our tribe is complete with several dancers: Andi (Ladi Blaze), myself (Cherie Dawn), Dex, Megan, Laura, and Britney. We also have Pokes and my own better half, Dwayne to fire safety for us, in addition to other contributions.

So, that’s a brief family history of Dante’s. Perhaps if you don’t personally know those involved, this could be a less-than-exciting blog post, but I felt it was only right to say thank you to everyone who conceived and nurtured our group’s beginnings.

Cherie Dawn