"Otaku Belly Dancing" | Otaku Belly Dancers
Otaku Belly Dancing, popularized by Sevdha (known as "Rose Lee" in the convention circuit) refers to the melding of anime, manga and video culture (along with other fandoms) with the art of belly dancing. Sevdha began performing at conventions in 2006, and performed with the epithet, "the Otaku Belly Dancer," long before then in Japan. Then, the epithet was granted in mere jest, the ironic juxtaposition of the terms "otaku," and "belly dancer" and the contrasting images brought upon by the two terms caught on in reference to Sevdha, and soon enough, stuck.
"Otaku," refers to the Japanese equivalent of a "geek," along with other cultural implications. An Otaku, a sometimes derogatory term in Japan, refers to a individual with an obsessive hobby, generally surrounding anime / manga and video game culture. Outside of Japan, foreigners have adopted the term to be used lightly for those who are enthusiastic about anime, manga and Japanese culture. Abroad, the term "otaku," is generally proclaimed with pride, although not always so in Japan. However, with advents of recent such as the story, "Densha Otoko," the term "otaku" has been steadily gaining a more positive connotation, not unlike the term, "geek," in America.
Upon returning to the United States, Sevdha (or Rose Lee) began performing at various anime conventions all over the United States, and eventually formed the "Raqs Attaq! Belly Dance Company," (formerly "Raqs Otaku," a term coined by Sevdha) along with her protege and co-founder, Raihn. The group formed a solidarity for women and men who loved both anime, manga and the art of belly dancing, and soon enough, the Raqs Attaq! Belly Dance Co. formed many alliances with a network of performers with both bases. Not to be confused with, "Otaku-fusion Belly Dancing," a term coined by Serafina, Otaku Belly Dancing, or Otaku Belly Dancers is a general term used for any belly dancer who is coincidentally "otaku" and is a belly dancer.
Otaku Belly Dancing consists of performing to songs related to anime, manga, sci-fi, video games and other popular fandoms, and/or performing belly dancing and skits in cosplay. The Raqs Attaq! Otaku Belly Dance Extravaganza show generally includes performances by 2-5 dancers (depending on the request or event), and includes interactive elements allowing audience members to request songs (and sometimes cosplay) for the dancers to perform to.
Convention Services Offered
The Otaku Belly Dancers offer numerous event options for convention, never fail to draw a great crowd to their events, and have a track record for filling their events to capacity to the point of having to turn some spectators away due to lack of space. Otaku Belly Dancing piques the interest of newcomers and fans alike.
Performances: The Otaku Belly Dancers offers the "Otaku Belly Dance Extravaganza," a show incorporating performance in cosplay along with taking performance requests for popular anime or video game music from audience members. Other interactive aspects include "guess the anime," and other mini-games and comedic performance skits. This is ideal for stage shows or cosplay contest half time shows.
Workshops: The Otaku Belly Dancers offers dance workshops at conventions.
Panels: "Learn Unconventional Japanese," with Sevdha, a fluent speaker of Japanese, offers instruction of the Japanese language through comedic skits and other unconventional methods and phrases.
Maid Cafe: The Otaku Belly Dancers offer a maid cafe service modeled after the cosplay maid cafes of Japan.
Sevdha, along with Raqs Attaq! and the Otaku Belly Dancers Cosplay Belly Dancing group has been guests at, and has performed at various conventions across the United States, including DragonCon, Janicon, Otakon, the various Supercons, Mizucon and many more for multiple years. All dancers are highly skilled professional dancers who possess a love for anime, manga, SciFi, video games and various other fandoms.