Scholar, Belly Dancer, Existentialist: At Green Mountain College, She Fits Right In

Indian-Belly-Dancers

Josie Winship

Sabrina Thomas, Susanne Claxton (center, at back), and Chrissy Moore perform at a Rutland street fair. Ms. Claxton is teaching belly dancing at Green Mountain College as part of a philosophy course.

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Josie Winship

Sabrina Thomas, Susanne Claxton (center, at back), and Chrissy Moore perform at a Rutland street fair. Ms. Claxton is teaching belly dancing at Green Mountain College as part of a philosophy course.

There was no shortage of small-town spectacles at a recent Friday night fair on Center Street in this mountain town: a trio on acoustic guitars belting out REO Speedwagon, a pull-up bar tended by a skinny Marine in a khaki service uniform, and lots of carts serving up greasy food and ice cream.

But it was a primal drumming and the sound of a violin warped through a wah-wah pedal that drew me to a tent decked out with silky fabrics, Oriental rugs, and mystical trinkets, like decorated