Shifting sands BELLY dance

Las Vegas, NV

Festival Information


*Performance and Camping request applications can be found on our Forms page!
(*Please note: applications and sign-up forms are generally only available online within a few months of the event)

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Originally chartered in 2005 to promote the art of belly dancing by providing free classes at the Flamingo library, Shifting Sands Belly Dance established its own encampment that year at the Las Vegas Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival.  Our students had performed at the Festival for several years, and we merged with another troupe under the SSBD name to provide more dancers, sound equipment, and a professional 20’ x 16’ stage for our enlarged encampment. We started in a 50’ x 100’ site housing seven tents; with four dance troupes, 34 dancers, and performances three times each day. We adopted the theme of a caravan traveling along the Silk and Spice Roads, gathering merchants and eclectic performers from China to Morocco.

By 2006 we re-located to a larger space (83’ x 150’) to accommodate our growing number of overnight campers and dancers; our tents numbered 19. We increased the size of our stage to 24’ x 16’ with 25 acts by eight troupes totaling 50 entertainers. This included ten dancers and musicians from the California professional belly dance ensemble, Oojahm, who were invited to camp over the weekend and participate with us at the festival.

In 2007 our encampment expanded to 83 feet x 180 feet with 19 tents on site. We had 11 troupes in 24 performances presented by over 64 entertainers. Oojahm contributed again with live music and great dances. We acquired two new hexagon-shaped tents which were placed side by side to make a main pavilion measuring approximately 32’ x 13’. We were now providing continuous daily entertainment throughout the entire three days of the fair.

The 2008 encampment sported 21 covered tents and rich decorations reminiscent of the Orient, Middle East, and North Africa. We had 24 acts that featured 13 dance ensembles with over 90 dancers performing.

Our tents were maxed out at a whopping 25 tents; there were 16 troupes and 2 soloists in 35 performances, and 132 dancers utilizing our stage. The year 2010 brought 115 dancers; however, some performed in more than one troupe, which made the true total 98 individuals. There were 43 scheduled acts, and 19 tents arranged in a Bedouin camp style. This year, we also invited Diva Dreads and Opal Moon Designs to camp and vend their wares out of our encampment. This kept a steady stream of onlookers for the entire weekend.

When Sunset Park began a two-year renovation project in 2011, the Renaissance Festival moved to the soccer field at Silver Bowl Park. The change in location sparked a lot of change in the participation since there were no trees to shade our site. Our encampment diminished to only 10 tents. Something new that was added in 2011 was a Performance Halfa. Everyone contributed food and money for delicious food to be prepared fresh; our own rendition of a "Faire Feast". We also had live drummers and open dancing. It was a success! Despite having a smaller number of participants, we still had 25 acts by 8 troupes and 5 soloists, with 71 performers on stage. As they had done the previous year, Parks and Recreation also scheduled SSBD to provide additional performances on their Royal Miller main stage.

In 2012, we returned to Silver Bowl Park but received an added bonus on space! We received a 180 x 80 foot sized encampment, which gave us extra room to have a fire circle for the Friday night halfa prepared by Tara Kaveney. For the hafla, we dropped the back drop to the stage and placed the new wood benches that Shifting Sands members helped build around in a semi circle with fire pits in the center. Those who participated were met with live drumming, dancing and food until after the close of the Festival for the day. There were 14 tents this year holding about 30 people during the weekend. Performances were held every hour and half hour. We had 28 acts on our stage, 7 visits to the Royal Miller stage. 88 performers danced throughout the weekend! We had a new duo handling the volunteers this year- Shalini and Cindy Coons. We had an amazing wealth of donated items by members of the community and next year promises to be great as well! This year, we had the pleasure of accompanying the camel, Safron, to stand trial at the British Court for attempting to "assassinate" the queen in a game of "Pirate Tag". Fun was had by all!

We returned to the fabulous (and completely remodeled) Sunset Park in 2013. There were 21 tents assembled with approximately 40 overnight campers. The hafla feast was bursting to the brim with people and delicious food cooked by Tara Kaveney and many other wonderful volunteers. Over the three days, 20 different acts occurred on the stage, including fire dancing for the first time! Everyone was very excited to be returning to Sunset Park and had a great time enjoying some shade, and even a sudden wind storm!

In 2014, Shifting Sands received the benefit of moving locations to be next to the Kingdom of Coreathea! We were right in the heart of all the action! We had 24 tents assembled with roughly 40 over-night campers. This year, we had the honor of hosting D&B Leather, a representation of the Sea Hawks pirate guild, and Sister of Cybele from Gladius. Our stage hosted 14 different troupes and soloists, making up a grand total of 34 acts over the three days of the event. Tara Kaveney out did herself on the hafla/feast thanks to the help of so many awesome volunteers and cooks. One of our board members even constructed a “Gypsy Wagon” to have on display in the encampment! It keeps getting better every year!

2015 was our largest event yet! We were located in the heart of the vendors where we entertained passersby for hours! We had 24 tents and roughly 54 campers. We also presented the unveiling of the new Moroccan style pavilion for the first time. The new pavilion provided a beautiful centerpiece for the encampment, was enjoyed by all, and it really added to the overall atmosphere; we truly appreciate all the members who helped make it happen! Although the weather was HOT, we all worked together to make it a wonderful time while the crowd was happily entertained by the many performances on our stage. The annual hafla and feast on Friday evening was also a great success, and delicious! A great time was had by all!

2017 was our first year of having an encampment at the Las Vegas Pirate Festival! We kept our encampment small with 9 tents and we had 22 total campers. We put up our small pavilions which was fun to dance and sit under as we entertained the patrons. We had many amazing performers grace our stage and we appreciated every help us make this new event a success for us. In October Renaissance Fair went off without a hitch. Our encampment was bustling with dancers and their loved ones. We had 57 total campers and 20 tents in our encampment. As usual our vendors Leather Dave and Knight Rowen brought in extra patrons and worked side by side with us to keep the crowd happy with awesome goods and entertaining performers. Very successful event and we are looking forward to next year!

2018 was a blast! We had 21 tents, 2 vendors and 57 campers. The fair brought in highest numbers of patrons to date and we were proud to be an important part of the entertainment. We had camels directly across from our encampment which was pretty awesome and of course tied right in with our middle eastern theme. Our stage was filled with incredible dancers and the morning children and patron classes that were offered were a big hit as always. We had an encampment dinner on Friday that included delicious yummies with a little bit of something for everyone. Other than an crazy Vegas wind storm during tear down the weather was kind to use all weekend and event was a success over all. 

We endeavor to present examples of the diverse styles that have evolved in belly dancing, and hope people enjoy our performances at the renaissance festival.

Dance with your Heart; Sing with your Soul!


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Below you will find information referring to rules for SSBD Campers and those who would perform on the SSBD stage. Please be aware that these rules are reprinted within the request forms found on the download page for camping and performing with SSBD.
  • Please also be aware that we require all campers and each performer to donate at least one gallon of water to be used by all campers and performers at the encampment.
  • For a complete list of SSBD Rules in addition to our State, County, and Event Obligations during the Renaissance Festival, you may download our Rules Companion on the download page.


  • Everyone within the encampment must be in period garb at all times, including after the park is closed (for security reasons). For insurance purposes, everyone that enters the encampment must sign a non-liability waiver.
  • All persons camping at our site and performing on our stage must be current members of Shifting Sands Bell Dance. Exceptions must be approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Non-Camping/Performing Volunteers need to be in period garb and sign a waiver, but do not need to be members of SSBD to donate their time.
  • Guests, families, and friends of SSBD who have been invited into the encampment must be in period garb at all times and sign a waiver, but they do not need to become members. The member who invited them into the encampment must be physically with them at all times and is responsible for their behavior.
  • Intoxicated and/or disorderly persons within the encampment will be handed over to park security.
  • Food and drink publicly consumed (in the pavilions, on the straw bales, or in view of the paying public) must be done in a fashion consistent with the Renaissance Period and without modern trappings. Paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils or obvious modern containers are not to be used in public but may be used out of sight of the public (e.g. within a tent).
  • Any member of SSBD and their guest may sit in the main pavilions if they are in period garb and have signed a waiver. Since alcohol is served at the event, we expect all members to use discretion if bringing it into the pavilions, which may be allowed with prior permission.
  • Only “period-looking” food is allowed in the main pavilions, as well as “period” containers for food and beverage. Glass containers are discouraged because of possible breakage and danger to performers and others in bare feet. Please clean up after yourself if you choose to eat in the main pavilions.
  • No smoking is allowed in the encampment, except for the hookahs.
  • You may take pictures within the encampment, however, use discretion. Taking a few quick photos around the site is permitted. Please do not set up something like a prolonged, professional photo shoot in the main pavilions with all your friends, unless you have permission from the Board of Directors.
  • If you need to make a call or answer one, please go someplace where the public cannot see you using your phone such as in your tent or outside the encampment. Never use your cell phone in the main pavilions!
  • Do not store personal items in the main pavilions or audio tent. Please also do not store personal items in the tents of campers unless you have permission to do so. SSBD is not liable for any lost or stolen items.
  • There may or may not a dressing room with full length mirror and shelves set up in the encampment. Performers may leave their props and other gear with someone you know and trust within the encampment.. If you have valuables that need protection, leave them with a friend outside the encampment or someone you know and trust within the encampment.
  • The performance schedule and a clock will be posted in the audio tent. This tent houses the sound system and convenience items for the campers and performers.
  • The sound system is for scheduled performers only, and will be turned off and covered after the last performance each night.
  • SSBD rents a port-a-potty exclusively for overnight campers only. It is not to be used by other performers, guests, friends, or family. Non-campers may use the public privies that are a short distance from the encampment. The only exception will be for visitors with physical disabilities.
  • The Volunteer Coordinator will maintain the Guard Schedule and other volunteer schedules; and will be camping on site throughout the festival.


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  • All campers must be members of Shifting Sands Belly Dance and must sign a non-liability waiver. Any exceptions must be approved by the board of directors.
  • All campers must volunteer at least two hours of time to the SSBD encampment during the event and for either setup or tear down.
  • All campers must help set up the SSBD encampment before setting up their own tent.
  • Mundane tents must be fully covered and must remain standing during the three days of the event. No tent may be collapsed during this time.
  • All campers, or a representative of each dance troupe that is camping, must attend the daily encampment meetings to receive information from Parks and Recreation (P&R). Two SSBD members attend the mandatory P&R morning meetings (approximately 9:00 a.m.) to receive notices concerning all guilds and performers at Ren Fest. Then, at approximately 9:30 a.m., they return to the SSBD encampment and pass on that info.
  • Each tent must have a personal fire extinguisher (required by SSBD as a safety issue). P&R will have a fire extinguisher company on site for anyone who wants to have their fire extinguisher serviced. They will charge a nominal fee.
  • Individual fire pits must be 12 inches above the ground and must have a wire/mesh screen to cover the flames. You must stay with your fire pit until it is completely out.
  • We recommend that each tent have a first aid kit.
  • Campers are expected to walk in the morning parades on Saturday and Sunday. This is a requirement in our contract with P&R.
  • Campers must be members and all persons staying in those tents must provide their names to the Camping Coordinator by the designated deadline. These names will be included in the list submitted to Parks & Recreation for the wristbands (credentials) that allow members free entrance to the the Festivals. The wristbands will not be available for pick up until Thursday of set up and will be issued at the SSBD encampment.
  • Prior campers, volunteer participation, behavior, and on-time dues payers are factors in consideration for tent space. Just because you received a spot last year, does not guarantee a space this year. P&R can and most likely will change lay-outs of our encampment area.


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  • Every performer must be a member of Shifting Sands Belly Dance, must sign a non- liability waiver, and must acknowledge that he/she has read the encampment rules.
  • Each performer must provide two hours of volunteer time at the SSBD Encampment during the event and for either setup or tear down. 
  • All soloists and troupe directors (or their representative) must attend at least one SSBD meeting that is convened for information and discussion of festival objectives.
  • Each soloist, duet, trio and troupe must provide their own technician to run the stereo equipment for their performance. The technician does not need to be a member of SSBD, but must be in period costume, and must sign a non-liability waiver. The technician must attend the SSBD training session in order to operate the sound system. Only persons who receive training will be allowed to operate the sound system. Sound system training will be provided on the Thursday evening before Ren Fest.
  • Each performer/troupe must bring their dance music on a phone, mp3 player or ipod. 
  • The Performance Committee will schedule performance times for all three days of festivals, will review costumes and music for appropriateness, and make recommendations to the board of directors for final approval.