Posts Tagged ‘belly dancers’

‘Colorful’ Locals Make Up the Parade

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Local belly dancer Raye De Ross will be in Idyllwild's Parade Saturday

Besides the horses, marching bands and floats, they’ll be plenty of “colorful” locals in this Saturday’s Independence Day Parade in Idyllwild, including Raye De Ross, and her belly dancing troupe, “The Outskirts.”

Raye’s the front desk secretary-receptionist for Idyllwild Arts Academy, but also teaches belly dancing classes once a week at The Chakra Shack.

“The Out-Skirts” belly dancing troupe is made up of her friends and customers, namely Sherry Cheney, Dakota Bailey, and her mother (who begged not to be identified for this article.)

“I have to live in this town!” she exclaimed.

She also insisted that she be covered in black from head to toe, including a veil for her face, that only exposes her eyes.

“If no one knows who I am, I can be free to have a little fun,” she said.

“Then we’ll have to put a lot of eye makeup on you, and put a bindi on your forehead,” De Ross said.

She is dressing the rest of them in colorful outfits with veils that cover their faces, long skirts that show off their waists, and belts that “chime” as they move.

Colleen is part of a belly dancing troupe called "The Outskirts"

De Ross started belly dancing 16 years ago, when her then-5-year-old daughter, Colleen, exclaimed that she wanted to take lessons. They were living in Seattle at the time, and had just watched an international belly dancing competition on TV.”

“It’s a misconception that belly dancing is erotic dancing,” said De Ross, who encouraged both of her pre-teen girls to take lessons. “It was originally created by women for women.”

She said belly dancing builds self esteem in young women and in larger women like her, who often don’t feel coordinated and pretty.

“Belly dancing is embracing our sacred feminine,” she said.

De Ross and “The Out-Skirts” plan to be walking more than dancing in the parade, however.

“Anyone who has been to a parade knows there’s a lot of standing around, waiting for everyone to catch up,” she said. “But, this year, we’re behind the jeeps.”

Like other parade participants, De Ross will be handing out candy and maybe some business cards to the crowd. She hopes to drum up more clients for her $10 lessons on Tuesdays at The Chakra Shack.

Idyllwild Independence Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 3rd, at the top of North Circle Drive, then winds down to the center of town. For more information, call the Idyllwild Rotary at (951) 659-4957. For belly dancing lessons by Raye De Ross, call The Chakra Shack at (951) 659-3191.

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Parade Participants Enjoy the Camaraderie

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Charlie Wix cleaned up after the horses in the Idyllwild Parade

Idyllwild’s Annual Independence Day Parade has been going on for more than 30 years now. Few small towns in the U.S. still host parades, but Idyllwild attracts the tourists, locals and volunteers like Charlie Wix who support it.

For the past three years, Wix has been scooping poop after the horses in the parade. One would think that he got drafted, but he said that he enjoyed it.

“Are you kidding me? It’s great!” Wix said. “Everyone cheers you on!”

He remembers one time, however, when a friend from Idyllwild Heating was tauting him, so he faked him out.

“I grabbed a handful of candy, and reached down into the wheelbarrow full of horse manure, and pretended that I was picking it up,” Charlie explained. “When I threw the candy at him, you should have seen him duck and run!”

For Saturday’s parade, however, Wix has retired his pooper scooper.

“I’m going to be sitting on the sidelines like everyone else, and enjoy the parade,” he said.

Earlier this year, a heart attack sidelined Wix, but now that he’s got the “green light” from his doctor, he’s ready to get back to work. He’s a popular van driver for for the students at Idyllwild Arts.

Charlie's house reflects his patriotic spirit

Besides the horses, marching bands and organizational floats, they’ll be plenty of “colorful” locals in the parade, including Raye De Ross, and her belly dancing troupe, “The Outskirts.”

Anyone who has been to a parade knows there’s a lot of standing around, waiting for everyone to catch up, but that’s when the parade announcers get creative and talk about the participants and past shows.

Gone are most of the corvette and other car clubs.

“Guess they don’t want to spend the gas to get up here,” Charlie said.

And the beautiful rescue greyhounds are no longer participating. Not because of money, but because of the heat.

“It’s too hot for them to walk on the pavement,” Charlie said.

Charlie isn’t the kind of guy that will sit on the sidelines for long. If he’s not cleaning up behind the horses, he’ll be helping out in some other manner.

Idyllwild Independence Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 3rd, at the top of North Circle Drive, then winds down to the center of town. For more information, call the Idyllwild Rotary at (951) 659-4957.

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