Gypsy Raqs is a gypsy-tribal fusion belly dance troupe which was established in 2010 by some of the former members of the Dark Flower Gypsies. With belly dance as our base, we are continuing in the tradition of borrowing freely from all dance forms to fuse together into our own unique style. This is our meaning of gypsy in the name we have chosen, and raqs is an arabic term for dance. We enjoy dancing with veils, swords, wit, and snakes to entertain our audience. Our sword dances are performed with live combat steel, so you can see and hear the heaviness when two swords meet in our dance.
Our dancers are quite diverse in training. We have taken instruction in many parts of the United States, including Tribal Fest in California & Spirit of the Tribes in Florida. Although our first love is the gypsy-tribal form of belly dance we perform at Renaissance Faires, we also enjoy the many other forms of dance. If you have only seen us dance at faire then you have not seen all the dance we offer. We have taken many workshops with Tempest,and Ariella , two of the pioneers of Gothic Bellydance. They have inspired us to step closer to the edge and incorporating more of our selves into our own unique style of belly dance.
Our troupe also includes several members who dance with snakes. It is definitely a unique partnership and we are honored to be able to present this form of dance. Two of our snakes are native to this country; the Arizona Desert King, and a Florida Kingsnake. The other of our snakes are Ball Pythons, native to Africa. Pythons have traditionally been used in snake dancing, and in Europe are still called the Royal Python. We strongly recommend checking the rescue centers before getting any new pet, whether mammal or snake dance partner. Our troupe also recommends anyone interested in snakes to educate themselves by reading books, researching on-line sources, and by joining your local reptile society.
The mission of Gypsy Raqs is to entertain and educate our audiences by promoting Belly Dancing in all of its forms and fusions in a professional, enjoyable, and respectful manner.
As of 2010, Na'imah has had the most influence on our troupe. When we were the Dark Flower Gypsies she fostered us and helped us to grow as dancers and as a troupe. Gypsy Raqs is happy to be able to say that she has and will remain an influence in our dance. In 2011/12 we have been enjoying learning Bollywood/Belly Dance fusion choreography from her.