East Coast Classic Dance Festival Celebrates Five Year Anniversary at The Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Article by Debra Freeman
Lead photo of East Coast Classic organizer Nadira Grubbs by Charles Long Photography
Dancers, musicians, and vendors from all over the world will come together from January 18-21 to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront at the Wyndam Hotel for a weekend of inspiration, art, and community. The East Coast Classic Dance Festival is a celebration that features artists from around the world along with coaching by internationally acclaimed judges, innovative workshops, and a collaborative vibe.
With this festival, organizer and owner of Seven Cities Dance Studio in Hampton, Nadira Grubbs, also a full-time foodie, is bringing audiences to the oceanfront in the off-season, which is a great opportunity for local diners to experience restaurants in that area without the congestion of tourist season. As a bonus, attendees will be provided with a voucher to be able to take 10% off a meal at either Esoteric, Stoley’s, or other participating Virginia Beach restaurants that will be announced shortly.
Now in its fifth year, the festival features international dancers such as Suhaila Salimpour, a world renowned belly dancer who has performed on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Nourhan Sharif, Shahrzad, Mira Betz, Moira Chappell, and Amustela, who will teach a variety of belly dancing courses. Along with workshops, there will also be vendors, performances, and competitions which are also open to the public (five ticketed shows and competitions), and two free after parties.
Workshops run all weekend, and are open to all dance levels. A few of the classes include: American Style Cabaret Technique, How to Dance to a Live Drummer, Hip Hop Fusion, Mastering the Belly, Mastering the Belly, and Sacred Dance Sacred Geometry.
Also in attendance is Issam Houshan, a drummer known as the Pharaoh of Rhythm, who has performed with Sting and traveled with Lollapalooza, is teaching and performing all weekend. Houshan is featured on many belly dancing DVDs, has released several studio albums, and is considered as one of the foremost teachers of the Arab drum.
In addition, the festival has partnered with Beyond Boobs, an award winning local breast health and advocacy group that reaches out to women under 50 who have been affected by breast cancer. Magic Mutts Calendars, a group that supports the SPCA, will also be onsite to sell calendars to benefit the charity on Saturday.
For more info on the East Coast Classic visit www.eastcoastbellydance.com