All The Right Moves
Aug 03, 2009 03:53PM
● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana.
By the age of 18 she was crowned the “Junior Belly Dancer of the Universe.” For most people, that’d be sufficient cause for retiring. But all it provided for Adriane Dellorco was more encouragement.
“I’ve been belly dancing since I was 14 years old,” says Dellorco, who, now at age 27 still performs, teaches and produces belly dance events. “From my very first performance it felt so natural, and it’s become a huge part of my life.”
That may be an understatement. From a passion that was first ignited by a troupe of belly dancers at a local Renaissance fair, she’s gone on to make an impressive name for herself. She’s got her own belly dance troupe, “Cabaret Arabe” (loosely translated, “Arabic Cabaret”), which features anywhere from 4-10 dancers, depending on the performance, and teaches beginning and intermediate level belly dance classes in Fair Oaks and El Dorado Hills. She’s also been featured on “Good Day Sacramento” and in the Sacramento Bee for her popular classes.
Make no mistake, however, it’s not about the accolades. Behind her passion is a love for sharing the benefits, as well as the history and culture of belly dancing with others. “It’s a phenomenal core workout; it takes a lot of technical prowess to isolate and work those muscles, but at the same time it highlights the grace and beauty of the feminine form,” Dellorco says. “It’s something women of all shapes and sizes can do, and any progress brings more confidence in their bodies and skills. It can be very empowering.”
That may explain why belly dancing as a form of exercise and dance instruction has been taking off in the U.S. in recent years. In that regard, however, we are only catching up with the Middle East. Belly dancing originated there, and in North Africa, thousands of years ago; it’s one of the world’s oldest dance forms.
Notably, most experts in the subject agree it originally developed as a form of movement to help women in childbirth. That being the case, one could guess that remarkably few tickets were sold for early performances. As the style evolved, it became more of an art form. Every country where belly dancing is popular has a unique style of its own, but on the whole, true belly dancing expertise – together with the elaborate costumes and other elements – can be compared to the very best forms of ballet and modern dance.
“I teach and perform the Egyptian style, where the aim is to convey the feeling of the music, whether it’s a rich classical piece or modern pop,” Dellorco says. “It’s also focused on the audience. The dance is meant to entertain; it’s flirtatious and it’s interactive, I love that audience connection most.”
Dellorco and Cabaret Arabe perform frequently at local restaurants and clubs and are frequent attractions at parties and events. Dellorco herself will be performing in The Nutcracker with the Folsom Symphony and Folsom Ballet in December of this year. •
For more information about Adriane Dellorco, visit adrianedance.com.