City Profiles

Austin, Texas - Great Belly Dance Destinations

Austin, Texas claims to be the “Live Music Capitol of the World,” and rightfully so.  But if you think all you will find is Boot-Scootin’ C&W, Southern Rock and Texas Country... then you are in for a treat! Austin Raqs... Big Time.  The vibe is like none other, the eclectic communities are just... too damn cool.  And the belly dance opportunities are ripe, year round. is here to give you some insights on the hip and vibrant Austin belly dance and music scene.

Wanting to make a belly dance road trip with a group to attend workshops?  Austin has plenty.  The Austin Belly Dance Convention, held in the neighboring town of Round Rock has been a tradition in this area for a number of years.  Traditionally held at the start of summer, you will find a teaching line up of local professionals and international talent, as well as a ton of vendors... so bring plenty of cash! 

** Special note: Our team found the location The Wingate by Windham Hotel & Conference Center an OK place.  The hotel shares a parking lot with venure for the teaching.  Don’t bother trying to save a few bucks and stay elsewhere, it will be nothing but a hassle.

The dish about the hotel:  ummmm, 5 stars it is not.  Clean, nice staff and not too run down.  We did find that their “jacuzzi suite” is NOT a room with a jacuzzi, but rather a large room with a jetted bathtub/shower combo in the bathroom.  It sucked.  The jets didn’t work.

Upsides:  They offer a little breakfast buffet in the mornings, and snacks in the evening free to guests.  Not exactly your low-carb or low-cal fare, but free is free.  And once you are at the hotel, you really don’t need to leave to get anywhere, except a real restaurant for lunch or dinner.  There is no restaurant on site.

Other notable workshops that happen throughout the year include events hosted by Bahaia, and Zein.  The themes and times of year vary, so check with them to stay up to date.

If a more intimate learning experience is what you desire (private sessions or groups), then be sure to add the following to your list:

Versitile and vibrant Lily Tsai is based here.  You’ll find private sessions or drop in classes in different parts of the city different days of the week.  She is well versed in classic Egyptian as well as Tribal styles.  You can read more about her background here.

Stacey Lizette is also a talented teacher and performer in the city.  Her calm and patient demeanor is sure to put beginners at ease... but don’t be fooled: she will challenge you too!  (Don’t forget to bring your water bottle, you will need it)

Mother/Daughter classes are provided by Najla; Egyptian style is taught by Drakon (be sure to check out his video on his profile); and fun-loving Alyce teaches on both the North & South ends of town.  They are just a sample of some teachers you can find in Austin.  For more contacts, you can search here.

If you venture outside of “Austin Proper,” we recommend San Marcos... home to one of Dilara’s favorite shopping destinations - The Prime Outlets. 
Easy and reliable place to stay: Embassy Suites
Worst shoppng destination: Neiman Marcus Last Call - selection is poor, staff is NOT attentive, store is messy;
Best Shoppng destination: Betsey Johnson did not disappoint with great sale opportunities.  The messy store was a bit of an overload for a tired, shopped-out mind. 
Top people to contact for dance opportunities: Jamie Lynn!!!!!!!!  

Back to Austin:


The historic Driskill Hotel  tops our list.  This hotel is widely known for its Texas Sized Hospitality.  It sets the standards for elegance and offers a restaurant, grill, bakery, piano bar and many guests and employees have had their fair share of ghostly events.  If you are into budget travel, then this is NOT the place for you.  But sometimes you just gotta go for it!

Texas does have some great BBQ and if you leave this city without experiencing the amazing Tex-Mex, you are nuts!  For an atmosphere with a hip vibe, here are what the local dancers praise:

The Opa! Wine Bar and Coffee House and Alborz Persian Cuisine. Both feature various local dancers and musicians, so check with them about days and times.

Kick Butt Coffee
Address: 5775 Airport (near hwy 290, next to Specs) Monthly show hosted by Z-Helene and Rick Fink Last Saturday of each month Live drums and different dancers perform 8-10pm.

Belly Dance Shows and Events:

Sahara Nights
at Copa Bar & Grill
Address: 217 North Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701
Monthly bellydance showcase produced by the Sabaya Bellydance Collective Saturday, 7-9:30pm Cover $8  Going 5-years strong!

Rakasa Review
at Gemini Playhouse
Address: 5214 Burleson Rd, #209, Austin, TX 78744 Every first Friday of the month Cover $10, $8 (for Austin Bellydance Association members)  Newest showase which started this year. Organized by Kahramana

Desert Passion
at various locations in Austin and surrounding areas Every first Saturday of the month Cover $10  Organized by M'lilah.

Shimmy Into Saturday
at Carousel Lounge
Address: 1110 East 52nd Street, Austin, TX 78723 Monthly bellydance showcase of local Austin bellydancers Every third Saturday of the month, 8-9:30pm
Free Admission, tips appreciated.
Originally hosted by Melissa Amira, now hosted by Jeanette. The show is house in an old eclectic Austin bar, complete with a giant pink elephant.

So that’s our take at this time on the tops of an Austin trip - did we catch it all?  Probably not.  But, these are our experiences and opinions.  As we experience more places, people and events ---- will tell you the good, or not so good.  Honest.

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