The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

2009 RAGBRAI

Belly dancers in Truro

The gaggle of belly dancers who welcomed riders into Truro got all kinds of appreciative catcalls – and at least one unusual question.

“We were asked if we were Amish belly dancers because we weren’t showing much skin,” said Trish “Isaura” Karsjens, with a great big laugh.

The group of nine dancers, from the Creative Fusion Dance Company in Des Moines, ranged in age from 8 to 40 years old. They’ve dance at the Des Moines Renaissance Fair and have an upcoming gig at the Drake farmers’ market, where they’ll mix traditional belly dances, Bollywood-style routines and something they call “tribal fusion,” a blend of swing, hip-hop, jazz and ballet.

“We even put some cheerleading into it,” Karsjens said.

In Truro they dance with veils, red-feathered fans and a pair of “poi” fashioned from two striped socks with a tennis ball tucked in each toe. Their undulations began around 9:30 a.m. and they planned to continue until about 2 p.m., taking turns to avoid going belly-up.

“We just pace ourselves,” Karsjens said. “When we’re tired we just say, ‘Hey, it’s your turn.’ ”

Here’s part of the group, from left: Kasi “Selma” Larson, Rebecca “Fateema” Donaldson, Mary “Miyah” Larson and Trish “Isaura” Karsjens.

dancers

– Michael Morain

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