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Archive for Sunday, November 5, 2000

70-year-old dares to belly dance

November 5, 2000

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— About 16 years ago Linnorh Grove took someone up on a dare.

She learned to belly dance. "I always wanted to do it, but thought I was too old," said the 70-year-old. "I got a rude awakening when I went to my first class and found women of all ages belly dancing."

The classes at a West Seattle dance school, now defunct, launched yet one more interest for Grove. Besides being a belly dancer, Grove is an award-winning vintner, an artist, a former motorcyclist and a talented bonsai grower.

Life, Grove claims, is really one adventure after another.

"I enjoy belly dancing; it helps me keep my weight in control and prompts you in remembering that what you put in your mouth you end up wearing around the waist," she said.

The belly dancing has become more than a pastime. Grove is one of nine women, ranging in age from 42 to 78 (three are grandmothers), who perform all over the country as the Ahmes Oriental Dancers of the Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America.

"Other women in the group do it for the fun," she said. "Physically, belly dancing keeps them well and young in both body and mind, believe me!"

Grove has little spare time between dance practices three nights a month, traveling, pursuing her award-winning wine-making hobby and puttering around the garden.

But Grove's real love is dancing.

Grove and the Ahmes Oriental Dancers spend a lot of time on the road performing. Grove is dance director emeritus, having directed the group for almost 15 years, choreographed the dances and selected the music.

She tells of a cruise to Egypt in late 1991.

"There was a talent competition so I organized eight women, all strangers, and we formed the Pharaoh's Court. We made costumes from anything and everything we could lay our hands on, performed belly dances and won first prize," she recalled.

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