LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Belly Dancers will join thousands of dancers around the world for the 2nd Annual “Shimmy Mob” this Saturday.
Similar to a flash mob, the Shimmy Mob will involve groups of belly dancers appearing at various locations around the world and breaking into choreographed hip-shaking routines.
However, unlike flash mobs, the Shimmy Mobs are being announced ahead of time in order to promote World Belly Dance Day and help raise funds for women’s shelters.
“For us, it’s the Valley Oasis,” said local Team Leader Michelle Hilario. “The Valley Oasis is the only abuse shelter and rape crisis center out here.”
Hilario said, for the past two months, Antelope Valley Belly Dance has solicited donations for Valley Oasis. The group has distributed donation cans at businesses around the community urging patrons to donate to the women’s shelter. Additionally, all advertisements promoting the Shimmy Mob locally encourage residents to donate to Valley Oasis.
At Saturday’s Shimmy Mob, there will be a donation box for spectators to contribute money to Valley Oasis after viewing each performance.
The event is also aimed at promoting Word Belly Dance Day, a day to promote belly dancing as an art form and clear up public misconceptions.
“A lot of people like to think immediately that we are very close to strippers or that we walk around half naked,” Hilario said. “That just not true. It’s just a beautiful art form and we’re really trying to get rid of that shadow that’s placed upon it.”
Shimmy Mob performances locally will take place on Saturday, May 12 around 3:30 p.m. in front of BeX Bar and Grill on The BLVD; around 4 p.m. at the Lancaster International Mall; and around 8 p.m. at Sushi Zen Bistro in Palmdale.
“It’s four minutes and 30 seconds [for each performance], we’re in and we’re out,” said Hilario. “I hope that people do come and check it out… we’ll also have information on Valley Oasis.”
Antelope Valley Belly Dance is encouraging all residents to donate to Valley Oasis, the only abuse and rape crisis center in the area. You can donate directly at www.ValleyOasis.org.
Antelope Valley Belly Dance offers classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Danz Scene, located at 620 West Ave. L, Suite 105, Lancaster. Private lessons are also available by appointment. For more information, contact Co-Director Michelle Hilario at 661-208-6186.
Last year’s Shimmy Mob took place on May 1, 2011. The following is a video compilation of various Shimmy Mobs across Canada, the U.S. and internationally that took place on that day.