Ballroom gives way to belly dancing

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Loyal readers know that I’ve taught ballroom dancing for over 53 years and still teach classes twice a week at Seth Low IS 96 for the FIAO Beacon Community Center. My readers also know the size of my girth and probably cannot fathom where I could ever find a ballroom large enough to accommodate my belly dancing or a structure strong enough to sustain my belly’s gyrations on it, which was been recorded as 3.2 on the Richter scale

at a Kiwanis Club meeting where my good friend Michael Rizzotto, the president of the Gravesend Kiwanis was holding his final meeting as president and installing Ghassi (Gus) Fattouh as the new president and officers of the club, whose Kiwanis’ motto is “Serving the Children of the World.

Gus the new president is Turkish American and in his honor the Installation Ceremony was held at Taci’s Beyti Turkish Restaurant, located at 1953-55 Coney Island Avenue. For dessert, Mike Rizzotto thought it would be fun and a great honor for Gus to engage a belly dancer for entertainment.I had a student in my dance class, Katya, who belly danced for fun, but I couldn’t reach her and asked my nephew Anthony Vento, an American Express Trip Planner, who made worldwide reservations for large groups involving all aspects of first class travel, accommodations, food and entertainment.

Anthony told me, either use an agency he knows that provides all types of entertainment or go to Bath Avenue and 17th Ave to Porto Marina where they feature belly dancing on Friday nights. “Belly dancing in Bensonhurst” I asked? Well, that will be another column on the unique Porto Marina.Anthony made the connection, which I gave to Michael Rizzotto to make final arrangements.Tuesday night, October 13, Anthony picked me up after dance class and we went to Tacit Beyti Turkish Restaurant to check out LaUra the belly dancer. The restaurant was very bright, very open and for a Tuesday night the restaurant was crowded; and had a nice adjoining private party room where the Kiwanis met.

To my horror, the dinner had been served and the meeting was about to end. While Anthony went to Michael to inquire, I was looking for a piece of bread to eat. LaUra hadn’t arrived, and Anthony made a quick call. Michael came over and I asked for some wine to calm my nerves, this belly dancing project involved several weeks of negotiations and she hadn’t shown.Anthony came back saying LaUra was on her way.

Is it blasphemous to say that this angel of a belly dancer finally appeared and she was absolutely heaven to watch? LaUra is an international, beautiful, young accomplished dancer. Her footwork was excellent, her body movements mellifluous and earthshaking at the same time. She was totally entertaining! Everybody got up to dance with her and showered her with dollar bills%u202­6including the women. Whether she was dancing with sabers, fans or gorgeous veils, each performance left everyone wanting more. LaUra also teaches belly dancing and her BellyTrance can be found on line: and You-Tube has also posted videos on her performances.To be continued.

Screech at you next week!

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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