After sunset on May 15, Lady D swept onto a dance floor with a shawl flying above her and bare belly on display.
Kashmir Nights Hafla, a belly dance show, has returned to Quality Inn & Suites in New Port Richey. The resurrected event is a chance for dancers young and old to show off their creative moves on the dance floor to the entertainment of a crowd.
Lady D is the stage name of Doris Berge, a 53-year-old woman who works as a document manager for the Pasco County government. She has belly danced for about 15 years, currently in Kashmir Nights and other Tampa Bay area haflas.
“It boosts my self-esteem,” said Berge, a New Port Richey resident. “It gives me confidence, but most of all, I love the sisterhood.”
GloriAnna Longton, a Port Richey resident, started Kashmir Nights Hafla (Arabic for “party”) in 2010. Longton teaches yoga and belly dancing and performs at Prestige Lounge and Lebanese Cuisine in Dunedin over the weekends.
The Hafla took a seven-month hiatus while Longton, whose daughter is one of the dancers, pursued further education for herself. But now it's back, and Longton says its will continue to be held on the third Tuesday of the month in coming months.
"I think it adds community and culture" to the area, Longton said.
Want to catch the next Hafla? Keep up-to-date on upcoming events with the Kashmir Nights Facebook page. The celebration usually falls on the the third Tuesday of the month at Quality Inn and Suites at 5316 U.S. 19. Entry costs $5, and food and drink are available.