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3 Questions for a Belly Dancer


Belly dancer Jadeera Rose, aka Jade Itiene, has been performing at El Morocco for 10 years. During that time, she has expanded the live music belly dancing from the first Sunday of the month to the second (when she strives for a looser, more party-like atmosphere) and fourth Sundays (when the music is really authentic). On other nights of the week, except Mondays when the restaurant is closed, dancers bring their own recorded music—creating a festive atmosphere that complements the colorful, exotic Moroccan cuisine. 

Q: What drew you to belly dancing in a restaurant?

A: After all the frustrations of the day, it’s fun to transform into my higher self and do what I love doing most. I don’t care if everyone is looking at me every moment. It’s more about bringing energy into the space and emanating an uplifting heart and spirit … and to get a good workout for myself.

Q: How do you metamorphize a dining room into a performance stage?

A: I make a bold entrance with a veil, colorful and large, spinning and whipping it around. It’s like a wind; you’re whisking away bad energy. Consider a belly dancer as a shamanic group healer. That sounds out there, but in ancient times, that’s what it was really about.

Q: How do you pick people to dance with you?

A: I look for someone bopping in their seat, who’s been smiling a lot and who hasn’t just been handed their entrée. People go away happier if they get up and dance. They’re going to remember that more than a perfect performance. I lead them, guide them, let them shine. After the first person gets up, other people see how fun it is.

Read our full feature Stay Local, Eat Global.

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