Bellydance Extravaganza Wrap-up

Congratulations to the winners of Pittsburgh’s first ever Belly-Off competition!

The competition was fierce and soooo close! Congrats to all of the winners, and all of the dancers who entered! Special thanks to Melissa Murphey & Ishtar!

Entertainer Winner: Mehira Hawaii, PA

Mehira of Pittsburgh, PA

… 1st Runner Up: Kari Merlina-Kizina, PA


Headliner Winner: Lalita, MD

Lalita of Maryland

1st Runner Up: Nadia Saeed, PA


Troupe Winner: Gypsy Soul, OH (Anne Laing and Jypsy Sole)

Gypsy Soul

Artistry Award: Gypsy Soul, OH

Miss Congeniality: Jemeena, PA Jennifer Marino

Personality Plus: Kari Merlina, PA


Also, we would like to thank all the competitors who traveled so far to participate in the event. We hope to see you again soon!

Sherena Workshops and Gala Show

It was a great pleasure to host Sherena of Ohio for an intensive series of workshops and a Gala show over the weekend of Nov. 5-6. Sherena is a dynamic and highly talented teacher. She taught a series of workshops including Ballet for Bellydancers, Practice vs Performance, and Gypsy Skirt Choreography. Sherena began dancing at an early age, both as a bellydancer and ballet dancer. Her mother was a talented bellydancer, and her Great Grandmother was a Russian dancer famous for her “butterfly step” light and beautiful footwork. Sherena is a highly technical but passionate dancer and brilliant teacher, and it was a pleasure to host her workshops.

Sherena and Katia

Those who participated left exhausted but elated. Luckily, the dancers were able to save some energy for the Gala Show. The show was held at Istanbul in Lawrenceville, featuring Sherena and local belly-rock band Ishtar. It was an amazing night of dancing featuring the best of Pittsburgh’s cabaret and tribal dancers as well as live music from Ishtar. Thanks to all who attended and participated in the workshops and the show.

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