Mandanah Gallegos is not your average belly dancer and she's not afraid to show it.

We love seeing people do things about which they are passionate while disregarding how society dictates they ought to behave. In the video below, Gallegos (usually referred to by first name alone) performs a belly dance solo during the Middle Eastern Treasures concert on Oct. 19, 2008, at the Humanist Hall in Oakland, Calif. When she takes the stage, her masterful moves and dynamic facial expressions demand your rapt attention. Gallegos' captivating routine proves that size does not determine skill level, and stereotypes are meant to be subverted.
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According to Belly Dance Intensive, Gallegos is the "first highly awarded full-figured Belly Dancer." Over the course of her five-year competitive career, she has received multiple accolades for her dazzling performances, including numerous first-place awards for her duets and drum solo congeniality at the 2006 Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition. She is also recognized for playing the zills (finger cymbals) and even performs zill solos to accompany her enchanting moves.

Gallegos is half of the Petite Jolie duo with Shabnam, another extremely accomplished belly dancer. The Shabhnam Company studio is located in Oakland and offers a range of dance classes in the San Francisco Bay Area to suit all skill levels. Shabnam describes her studio as "semi-private, women-only studio specializing in master instruction in Bellydance, Acrobatic-Dance Flexibility and abdominal Fitness." Additionally, Gallegos and Shabnam are available for performances through Ooh La La Bellydance, a burlesque showgirl troupe. Whether you want a belly dancer to perform at your wedding or want to attend a belly dance workshop, Shabnam and her dancers promise a memorable experience.

Watch Gallegos in action in the video below, and be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments section. What do you think about Gallegos' performance?