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Exotic entertainment, meal planned for AAC fundraiser

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Get ready for “An Evening on the Silk Road” as the Andalusia Adult Activity Center presents its annual evening fundraiser.

This year’s event will be held on Sept. 14, at the center, at 6 p.m. The family-friendly will feature entertainment by the Sweet Magnolia Tribal Bellydance group.

Attendees will kick things off with an internationally-themed dinner prepared by Simone’s Cafe and Confectionary featuring savory kabobs, tangy salads and a creamy dessert.

Professional dancers from Florida and the Mobile area will be joining local dancers to present a variety of dance styles, such as classic Indian, Flamenco, traditional Egyptian, Bollywood and Gypsy folk dancing, said group member Amy Henderson.

“Most people have a stereotype of belly dance in their head,” Henderson said. “People imagine provocative scenes from an old James Bond movie, scantily clad females gyrating in a room full of men.

“That has very little in common with modern American belly dance,” she said. “ In particular the influence of something called ‘tribal style’ has elevated the earthy, cultural elements of bellydance. There is less flash and bare skin and much more emphasis on giving the movements power and integrity. This is not your stereotypical bellydance. This is better.”

Henderson said that more and more, women are dancing for women and for themselves. “There is no flirty hair-tossing; no accepting dollar bill tips; no sitting in laps,” she said. “Tribal dance is done to edify the dancers and convey grace and strength to the audience.”

A lot of thought has gone into a seating plan that will give each audience member a front-row view of the performance area, Henderson said.

The entertainment has been organized by Andalusia’s own Sweet Magnolia Tribal. This troupe has performed in venues throughout Lower Alabama and the Gulf Coast and specializes in a form called American Tribal Style (ATS). This dance is improvisational, with a leader cuing each move to a group of dancers behind her, Henderson said.

“This is unlike anything in our area,” she said. “This is a great chance to have a really different evening, to try new food, to feel transported. Not many people can buy a ticket to Egypt or India or Spain and just fly away for a night. But anyone can easily buy a dinner and dance show ticket and experience elements of these exotic locals at this event. Its always fun and entertaining, the meal is going to be delicious. There will be swords and Flamenco skirts and an amazing live drummer who has, in the past, literally brought the crowd to pin-drop silence during a solo.”

Proceeds will go to the Andalusia Adult Activity Center.

Cost is $25 per ticket. For more information or tickets, call 222-6891.