Belly Dancing

One Edmond restaurant is serving up entertainment as exotic as their cuisine. Namaste' Indian Cuisine offers more than curry to spice up their meal; diners can also enjoy the shimmy-shaky bling-bling of belly dancing performed by "A Mirage Dance Company " dancers. Patrons even have an opportunity to learn the art of belly dancing themselves at the restaurant's Saturday workshops.

Christie Giles is the director of A Mirage Dance Company. She is also a dance instructor and one of the twelve, featured dancers. Christie has been performing at restaurants, fairs, parties and even delivering Dance-a-Grams for about eight years.

"When I was still a teenager I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime," said Christie. "Becoming a belly dancer was definitely one of my goals. Ever since I was a little girl I was fascinated with watching belly dancers move and entertain at festivals and fairs. My mother even nicknamed me 'Fatima' after one of the most famous belly dancers of the 1900s."

Christie grew up with horses and became active in barrel racing and horse showmanship. She said there is a great deal of similarity between riding a horse and belly dancing.

"To be good at both, you have to keep the bottom part of your body soft and the top hard." explained Christie. "The inner thigh and quad muscles that you use to hold on to a horse, are also the muscles that belly dancers control to make the dance's unique movements, such as the shimmy."

The shimmy isn't the only movement a belly dancer must master. There is the vibrating movement called the "flutter," the individual bounce of each hip known as "hit the beat" among others. The techniques mean that