[Susan Petroni | Framingham Patch]

Diosa Dance Fitness held a showcase performance Friday night to raise money for Voices Against Violence, a non-profit helping to end domestic and sexual violence.

The showcase dance event raised $1,500 for the Framingham organization.

Voices Against Violence’s mission is to end sexual and domestic violence. Its services include a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, confidential short term emergency shelter, counseling and support groups, information and referrals, and medical, legal and criminal justice advocacy.

Friday night’s standing room-only showcase featured belly dancing, pole dancing, and burlesque-style dance.

It is an “sassy, saucy, sensational and deliciously entertaining evening of empowering dance,” said owner Paulina, whose dance center has been operating in Framingham for three years.

“Through dance, yoga, and holistic health, Diosa Studios works on the body, spirit and mind to awaken the potential for healing, compassion, and creativity that lies ready in each one of us.”

The center, located at 9 Pleasant Street on the second floor, offers classes in ballet barre, yoga, belly dancing, Bollywood cardio dance, Zumba, pilates, and more.

The classes are designed to increase core strength, heart rates, flexibility, agility, balance, and fitness.

“Our classes empower women and make they feel good too,” said Paulina, who performed a pole routine to I Am Woman by Helen Reddy.

Some would not think pole dancing is empowering for women; but it is not always about being sexy but being strong and in control.

Each of the performers who used the pole Friday night had to hold and control their own body weight in the air, which takes physical strength, a strong core, and hours of practice.

Some of the performances were sexy, others sassy, but all were entertaining.