Friday, August 1, 2008

Lights, Cameras, Dance -- the Amateur Competition Results

When the contest between six competitors came down to a tie between two beautiful dancers, the audience made the final call between Emily and Iowana in a last round dance-off to live drumming by Gorkem Somer. Both competitors demonstrated strong talent -- and both self-taught, they told show founder and emcee Farah. But in the end, Emily of Riverside, in her shimmering green, blue and gold ocean-themed costume, earned her place as the winner of the inaugural Amateur Belly Dance Competition at Orchid Persian Cuisine restaurant in Costa Mesa.

It was the culmination of a successful evening that started with a terrific buffet, a performance by Farah and a visit from Ben Aaron of KDOC's "Daybreak OC." Aaron's camera crew followed along as the correspondent wrapped a red and gold hipscarf around his waist and tried to follow as Farah and Perizad showed him a few moves and how to work a crowd. Before he left, Aaron announced that footage from the event would air on "Daybreak OC" on Tuesday; the show runs from 6 to 8 a.m. on KDOC.

Then it was time for the women in the audience to dance. Farah and Perizad packed the dance floor and led the group through hip drops, shimmies, serpent arms and more, ending with an impromptu circle dance.

It was a great prelude to the competition that was to come. Every competitor showed talent, and the costumes were stunning. Best of all, the audience -- filled with friends, family and other dancers -- was kind, welcoming and appreciative of every competitor's skills. And with all the dollar bills flying around, every dancer was "enriched" by the experience, too.

If we're lucky enough to have Farah host this event again in the future, you won't want to miss it. I know I won't...

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