5 Spot | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

5 Spot 

Kismet Dance Studio’s Yasamina Roque

Pin It

An award-winning dancer, Yasamina Roque is director of Kismet Dance Studio and producer of the Kismet Middle Eastern Dance Festival. She has been dancing since 1972, and holds a degree in communication with a minor in Middle East Studies from the University of Utah. The festival will be held at Liberty Park, Aug. 18-20.


How does Utah measure up in Middle Eastern dance?


Based on my 34 years in the business, I believe we have the largest festival of its kind. Our festival was even one of the questions on Jeopardy. The question was, “What state holds the nation’s largest Middle Eastern dance festival?nn

You have your degree in Middle Eastern studies. Wouldn’t wearing costumes and doing dances like yours in the Middle East get a woman killed or maimed?


Americans should study the history of the Middle East! It is not a desert, and not every Middle Eastern person is a terrorist. However, I wouldn’t suggest producing a belly-dance festival in Saudi Arabia or Iran.


How many times have people inquired if belly dance is the same as stripping?


Rarely. In fact, my dancers are very popular at Mormon bachelor parties.


With so many dominant female performers, will any males take the stage?


Yes, Gypsy Caravan. Alex is the male dancer from Payson, Utah, and I will be front-and-center when he performs. Whew! He is incredible!


Do you want to see Middle Eastern dance become mainstream?


Yes. I know I will not be recognized in my lifetime for my contribution to the arts but I am leaving a legacy for other young women to follow my undulations and empowering other women and creating leaders. Belly dance is about empowerment and camaraderie, not competition.

Pin It

About The Author

Joey Hellrung

More by Joey Hellrung

  • 5 Spot | Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, former military analyst

    Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, 77, is a former military analyst and government whistle-blower, who worked on a top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam, which later became the “Pentagon Papers.” Ellsberg will speak at the ACLU Bill of Rights...
    • May 7, 2008
  • 5 Spot | Dr. Oakley Gordon

    The Kenosis Spirit Keepers and Salt Lake Quakers will host a fund-raiser featuring Dr. Oakley Gordon speaking on “Andean Mysticism and Healing the Planet,” this Friday, May 2, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Quaker Meeting House (171 E. 4800 South)....
    • Apr 30, 2008
  • 5 Spot | Daniel Hill, youth program coordinator for the Utah Pride Center

    Daniel Hill, youth program coordinator for the Utah Pride Center (355 N. 300 West, 539-8800), is asking students to clam up for the 12th annual Day of Silence (DOS) on Friday, April 25, to protest the silencing of GLBT students. The center will “break...
    • Apr 23, 2008
  • More »

Latest in News

  • Crime Scenes

    SLC's mayor and police chief promise results after a spate of violence
    • Sep 8, 2021
  • Paradise Lost

    New zoning could forever change the character of the southwest Salt Lake Valley.
    • Aug 25, 2021
  • In the Red

    A Summit County movie theater faces a staff strike over low pay
    • Aug 18, 2021
  • More »

© 2021 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation