From belly to ballroom, dancers joining 4th of July in Peabody

PEABODY – This Independence Day, dancers from Amira’s Dance Production and Southwind Shimmy will be joining the Peabody parade at 5 p.m. and performing at Peabody City Park from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. before the fireworks show. The belly dancing troupe performed in Peabody in 2017 and was an immediate success said dancer Catherine Weems. Weems, who owns the Peabody Market, is a member of the dance troupe, and will be performing American Tribal style dances with the group. “It is very family-friendly. Our costumes aren’t real risque. They’re fun and colorful. It puts smiles on people’s faces; it’s very joyous dancing,” said Weems. Weems added there will be more than just belly dancing on display before the game, with nearly half a dozen performances. “We’ve got hula-hoopers, ballroom dancers and the belly dancers,” she said. Bringing dancers into the parade, and then to perform, Weems hopes will get residents excited. “They’re very high-energy and the costumes are bright and colorful and eye-catching and it gets the crowd really excited,” she said. Weems said the dance troupe came to Peabody in 2017, and was immediately “a hit” with the community. “A good friend of mine, Beverly Marks, was friends with Morgan Marler (owner of Flint Hills Gypsies). She visited her store a lot, and Beverly and I danced together in Wichita. I came out to Peabody and danced about three years ago and they’ve been asking for the group to come back ever since,” said Weems. As a dancer for the last seven years, Weems said she finds joy in performing and gathering with like-minded women. “It’s hard to put into words. It’s comradery with fellow dancers – dance sisters – we develop a bond. It takes a lot of energy, and that energy to come and join and dance together, we find so much joy and acceptance in it,” she said. Weems said the performance will be family-friendly, and there are many varieties of belly dance. “It’s not what you think of when someone says ‘belly dancing’ This is colorful and friendly and happy and fun. We really enjoy doing it together. It’s self-esteem building, and exercise, for all of these ladies, that are all shapes and sizes,” she said. This year’s performance is especially meaningful for Weems. “We are excited to be asked to come back to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Peabody, and the 100 year anniversary of the fireworks show,” she said

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