Authentic Belly Dancing Entertainment & Academy's staff of professional dancers pop up around Dallas, shimmering across the stages of restaurants, dazzling guests at private parties, and stealing the stony hearts of competition judges. During their weekend performances and special events, solitary dancers, partners, trios, and troupes perform traditional and Egyptian belly dance movements. They spice up routines with swords, candles, and fire while astounding audiences by manipulating their stomach muscles to pour shots or stop errant cannon balls.
Back at their headquarters on the hardwood studio floors of Dana's Dance Academy, the professional swirlers impart their art to aspiring dancers in beginner and advanced belly-dancing classes throughout the week. A social and enjoyable form of aerobic exercise—unlike sleep dancing, which is essentially solitary—the classes also aim to boost students' confidence, grace, and poise.
Academy students can take their skills to the public stage by performing at Harem Nites at Stratnos Greek Tavern, where, on the first Thursday of every month, professionals and first-timers alike dance together in front of a live audience of spectators, friends, and family.
The performing and fine arts community in Irving welcomed a new home in 1990 with the completion of the Irving Arts Center. The Arts Center's 10-acre complex features two fully-equipped theaters; four galleries; meeting, classroom, reception and rehearsal facilities; and a verdant sculpture garden.
In the early 20th century, a twisted ringmaster led his shadowy circus around the country, enticing visitors with his horrifying freak show. Mysterious disappearances followed the circus wherever it went?outcast and orphan children were especially quick to vanish. The ringmaster kept his stolen freaks in animal-like conditions, until one day they rose up against him in rebellion. These new ringmasters had a thirst for blood?and revenge.
The Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus now appears each autumn, showing off its sinister collection of clowns and man-beast hybrids. The circus occupies more than 20 haunted tractor-trailers, daring brave visitors to enter and join the show.
Certified Tribal Belly Dance teacher Heidi Wunder embraces every creative aspect of her art, from its empowering twirls to the traditional hip scarves that she crochets herself. She welcomes women of all ages during her classes, where she tutors tummies on the low-impact, largely improvised dance style. The form's various cues allow participants to step in unison without planned choreography or flowcharts taped to their foreheads. Because of the dance's social element, Heidi views her 2,000-square-foot space as a venue for guests to make lasting bonds while they discover their potential for strength and grace.
Heidi also handmakes many ornamentations to complement her students' routines. Custom-sewn clothing and spiraling henna patterns comprise striking tribal ensembles.
In 1974, the charismatic Johnnie High lassoed a stray guitar picker, fiddle twiddler, and a handful of troubadours to star in Johnnie High’s Country Music Revue. The collective heft of the house ensemble, the Superpicker Band, anchors each sophisticated journey into the country music anthology. In addition to the regular cast, featured performers and surprise special guests vary week to week. Dave Alexander summons the spirit of Western swing on June 18, and the patriotic "American Made" show on July 2 pays tribute to the colors of our nation's flag. Loftily lauded revue alumni include LeAnn Rimes, inaugural American Idol Kelly Clarkson, and young Yosemite Sam. Seating is based on best availability at time of ticket collection.