She may not have the vocals of Shakira, but her hips don't lie.
Lana, a renowned, Vancouver-based bellydancer, will prove that when she comes to the Timberwolf restaurant and lounge for a special dinner performance on Saturday (Oct. 13).
Lana told The Chief that she's been taking dance classes since she was a child but the art of bellydancing ignited a unique passion inside of her.
“Since I was a child I've studied all different forms of dance like ballet and jazz, but then about 10 years ago I started going to bellydancing classes socially with my friends,” she said. “They stopped and kind of got bored with it but I stuck with it. It struck a passion in me because it was different than my other dance training and I loved the freedom of it.”
She has parlayed the classes and experience into a burgeoning small business. Lana performs all over the Lower Mainland at special events, weddings and birthdays. She also has regular shows at nightclubs and restaurants. She said she loves the energy that her performances can bring to a room.
“I really love the connection with the audience,” she said. “I love bringing in a positive energy and mood to the room and it's especially exciting to be there during people's intimate occasions like birthdays and weddings to help break the ice. Being able to share the dance with people is something I love doing.”
The art of bellydancing seems to be gaining popularity around the world, with clubs popping up all across the globe, including one in Squamish. Lana said it's easy to understand why the activity is so popular.
“It's absolutely growing all around the world and becoming a craze in some parts of the world,” she said, noting that the classes she teaches draw people from all walks of life. “It's a dance that can be very rewarding and gives women a chance to do some feminine moves that make sense towards the curves of their body. It also attracts people of all ages, shapes and sizes.”
Lana said she trains five days a week to maintain her strength for the show but admitted that she does like to indulge in certain foods. It'll be her first performance in Squamish and said she's looking forward to her debut.
“I'm very excited to perform in Squamish,” she said. “People can expect an entertaining evening and a lot of audience participation. I think we'll see people come out of their shells, lose their inhibitions and even come up and try some of the moves. It's going to be a lot of fun for everyone.”
She's scheduled to do two separate performances lasting about 20 to 25 minutes and will feature her sword dance and her Arabic drum dance, which sees her do a balancing act on top of a large drum.
Check Lana out at the Timberwolf on Saturday (Oct. 13) or visit her website www.lanadance.com.