Troupe to wow crowd

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 08:27 15/11/2012
Belly Dancing
MARYKE PENMAN

WINGED DANCERS: Isis Belly Dance troupe, from left, Tais Derbasova, Rasiya Roberts, Gillian Green, Sarah Bishop and Anya Permitina.

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Belly dancing to pop music will be a step away from tradition for the Isis Belly Dance troupe when they take the stage at Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park.

Based in Sunnynook, the troupe has been rehearsing a freshly choreographed piece to Get The Party Started by popstar Pink which they will perform alongside singer Jackie Clarke, December 8.

The group of six women will be wearing their trademark "Isis wings" as a tribute to the Egyptian goddess known as the patron of nature and magic.

Last year the group performed at the Rugby World Cup and the Cult-Couture Fashion Design Awards.

Award-winning belly dancer and leader of the group Tais Derbasova says the five-minute piece has taken just a week to put together.

"It's been a challenge in such a short timeframe, but we've had fun with it and we're all very excited."

Troupe member Gillian Green, the seamstress for the group, has been working on the costumes to ensure they will impress.

"We source a lot from Turkey and, surprisingly, you can also get some good stuff from China," Ms Green says.

"Ten years ago when I started we would wait weeks for a shipment from Egypt and everyone would go crazy choosing their favourites. But now the internet is the best way."

Ms Derbasova also runs classes for women of all levels under the name Tais Belly Dance.

"It's one of the oldest dance forms, it dates back about 3000 years. When people see it for the first time they truly appreciate it because it encompasses all women, regardless of size or age."

The youngest belly dancer she tutors is just 7 years old, Ms Derbasova says, and the oldest is 64.

"It's a very supportive environment for women," she says.

Isis Belly Dance troupe member Sarah Bishop says it has done wonders for her self-confidence.

"The sooner you accept that some bits are going to jiggle, the sooner you're going to enjoy it," she says.

Go to tais-bellydance.co.nz for more information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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