Now in its 11th year, the 2015 Hawai‘i Belly Dance Convention will bring performers and teachers from near and far to Honolulu to share the beauty and drama of Middle Eastern dance October 8-12.

“We’re so excited to announce the eleventh annual Hawai‘i Belly Dance Convention. This year will be the best yet, bringing some of the best belly dancers in the world to Honolulu to share their knowledge and passion with dancers and dance lovers alike,” said convention founder Malia Delapenia. “We hope you’ll join us this October.”

Featured visiting performers and instructors include Moria Chappell, a tribal fusion belly dancer from Washington DC; Shahrzad, an Oriental belly dancer from Virginia, and belly dance royalty Princess Farhana from Los Angeles as well as Andrea Aranda from San Francisco and Draconis from Texas.

Enjoy a warm Hawaiian welcome and meet dance lovers from near and far on Thursday, October 8 at the no-host HBDC Welcome Gathering from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the beachside Hau Tree Bar at Waikiki’s Hilton Hawaiian Village (2005 Kalia Road). Join us in your beach attire for a gorgeous Waikiki sunset to start off the convention.

The weekend kicks off with the Shimmy Showcase Gala on Friday, October 9 at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre (900 S. Beretania Street). The Shimmy Showcase is an opportunity for convention participants to see their teachers in action, and for everyone to appreciate the enchanting art of Middle Eastern dance. The two shows will be preceded by a no-host reception with special preview performances. “Essence” the 6 p.m. show, will be a family-friendly show that traces the once traditional movements of belly dance to its contemporary existence. “The Reveal” will continue the modern exploration with more edgy, sensual, fusion performances for an audience 18 years and older at 8 p.m.

The Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, now in their eighth year, will be held at the Neal Blaisdell Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11. The workshops will cover topics ranging from Folkloric Dance (Shaabi, Egyptian Saidi, and Lebanese Dabke) to tribal and modern fusion belly dance techniques. The teachers bring decades of experience to each workshop, and offerings will be available for belly dancers at all levels of experience.

Individual workshops are $35-$70. New for 2015, a free Beginners of Belly Dance class will be taught on Sunday from 12:30-1:15 p.m. All ages and levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to share in the love of the art.

Just outside the Shimmy with Aloha Workshops at the Neal Blaisdell Center, a marketplace will be set up with belly dance costumes, dance wear, and other Middle Eastern artisans from around the world. Many of these products are not available locally most of the year. The Middle Eastern marketplace will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 10 and 11.

Following the Sunday workshops, an official HBDC VIP After Party will be held at Bar 35 in Chinatown (35 North Hotel St.) from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The after party will feature belly dance and burlesque performances by Lorien Archambeault from California, Nizana from Florida, Miss Catwings, Betty Bourbon, Vila Donovan, and many more surprises.

The final day of this year’s HBDC, Monday, October 12 will begin with a half day of outdoor adventures with friends old and new. Learn to surf, paddle board, take a ride on a canoe, or just kick back under an umbrella. Waikiki Beach Services is offering a discount for HBDC participants from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Book your activities on HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com.

The closing event is new for this year: Reflection is an intimate night of performances and commentary, an opportunity for professional feedback from HBDC’s visiting instructors. From 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Ong King Art Center in Chinatown (184 N King St.), dancers can participate in a question and answer session with the visiting instructors and get feedback on their own performances. This years panel will include Shahrzad Raqs, Moria Chappell, Princess Farhana, and Marshal Bodiker. This forum is open to the public. Dancers wishing to perform must apply. Forms are available on HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com.

Also new for this year, attendees can save over $100 and gain admission to all HBDC events with the All Access Pass. The $415 pass includes VIP access to the Shimmy Showcase Gala, Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, HBDC VIP After Party, and Reflection.

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