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You’ll have to forgive the crappy quality of this photo, which I snapped on my cell phone, but I wanted to make a small point about belly dancers in restaurants. There seem to be at least two schools: The sex-and-death type that you’ll find at Marrakesh on New York Avenue NW, where the dancer takes to the center of the restaurant and shakes her hips in the spotlight while brandishing some sort of Arabian sword.

But at Taste of Morocco in Silver Spring, I witnessed another school: the family-friendly belly dancer. Instead of a sword, the dancer brandished a glitter-covered walking cane, which, for some reason, reminded me of a pimp cane. She didn’t beat anyone with it. Rather, she invited my friend Joe to try to balance it on his head, which he didn’t amazingly well, even when she insisted that he start shaking his hips. I think Joe picked the wrong profession: Screw psychotherapy, man. You should be shaking your ass for a living.

But the dancer didn’t stop there. She proceeded to pull diners, men and women alike, out of their seats and teach them to belly dance. (See picture above.) It was a fun way to lose a few calories before packing in hundreds more.