Belly dancing has been a passion for Sarah Dailey for seven years, although many who know her do not know her creative side.

Her style is classic Egyptian, also known as Raqs sharqi, which she fears is a dying art. The music she dances to may be sensual, a party atmosphere, a love song or a sad ballad.. She will even throw in some of her favorite modern songs. “I love it when I can make an audience feel what I feel through the art of dance and the art of music,” said Dailey, who lives in Seaside.

A few months ago, Dailey began Bellydance Benefit to help support Clatsop County nonprofit organizations. Her first benefit was for The Harbor in Astoria, which helps those who have survived domestic violence and sexual assault. The second was for Clatsop Animal Assistance in Warrenton, where she used to volunteer.

An animal lover, Dailey’s next benefit will be for the Wildlife Center of the North Coast on Aug. 25 at Buddha Kat Winery in Seaside.

“I wanted a way to give back and to be able to share my love for dance with people,” she said.

After being a stay-at-home mother for 3 1/2 years to daughter Katherine, Dailey decided last year it was time to re-enter the workforce.

She joined the Seaside Downtown Development Association as an administrative assistant and, not long after, became executive director. The association enhances the community with beautification projects and organizes events.

“I love living in a small town. I get to work with wonderful people in the community,” she said.

One of her goals is to share her passion for belly dancing with others.

“I love showing people the art of it and giving people exposure to it,” she said.

Dailey uses some choreography from her instructor, Susan Embum, who has a home studio in Randle, Washington, but she creates most of her routines.

Some of her performances are improvised. “I sync into the music, and I basically let the music take me,” she said.

Dailey is also a runner, but describes belly dancing as a “great alternative form of exercise.”


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