Belly dance a homage to many cultures

Justin
Justin Crann
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Belly dance is a truly multicultural craft.

A troupe of bellydancers from Regina's Belly Dance with Linda school give an impromptu performance in Happy Valley during the 40th annual Motif Festival. The dancers were just one group of performers to take Motif's stage over three days.

Just ask Rachelle Stephens, a belly dancer out of Regina, and the group she dances with from Belly Dance with Linda.

"We celebrate all sorts of cultures, but we don't try to represent any one specific region. We're careful not to," Stephens told the Times-Herald after her troupe's routine on the Motif stage Saturday.

"We pick and choose what works for us best. Belly dancing comes from all over the world, and we see pretty things and like to absorb them into our costumes."

Stephens has been dancing for eight years, and has been with the group that performed at Motif "for a few years now."

She said the dancing is less about practice, and more about working in the moment.

"We got together last night and practiced for three hours, but we did pretty much nothing we actually planned," said Stephens. "It's an improvisational activity."

That, of course, means you have to be pretty well in tune with your fellow dancers.

"You have to know them and what they're about to do by their body language," she explained. "It's not choreographed. You have to watch each other very closely, and know each other very well."

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Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Regina

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