Spring brings events, conventions and festivals to Ocean City, with a wide range of interests from cars to crafts. This weekend marks the return of a truly unique event, the 4th Annual Art of the Belly, Maryland’s Largest Belly Dance Festival. Held at the Carousel Hotel March 20th through March 23rd, the four-day event features performances, workshops, live music and vendors.

Last year over 100 performers took to the stage at Art of the Belly, showcasing single performances as well as belly dance troupes. Performances included an array of choreographed and improvised routines that sought to teach the audience about Middle Eastern dance. Anticipate more dancing and talent this year, as Art of the Belly celebrates its fourth year in Ocean City. Heralded as one of the largest belly dance festivals in the Mid-Atlantic area, Art of the Belly draws some of the country’s most talented and most sought after instructors. This year includes a special treat, with an additional day added to the line-up to allow for more intensives with instructors.

The all inclusive belly dance festival boasts a mission of “helping to educate, promote and expand the awareness of the art form of belly dance and other types of dance as a means to facilitate the health and wellness utilizing performing art.” Touted as more than just another festival or event, the Art of the Belly Festival aims to draw upon the support and community of Ocean City, the beach and the belly dance community for a weekend of education, fun, and of course, dance.

Also included in the weekend line-up is the Vendor Village, which will feature over 30 vendors this year. A henna artist, massage therapist and manicurist will also be on the scene to round-out your entire experience. Past vendors have featured eclectic hand-made jewelry and accessories, costumes, masks and more.

Be sure to stick around for the merriment of the after parties. The house band, Ishtar, will be performing as party-goers and dancers enjoy the Art of the Belly signature drink, Zaghareeta. Between the dancing, the shopping and the live music, we can’t decide what our favorite part of this event is. Find out for yourselves and report back to us at info@shorebread.com!


Photo credit: StereoVision