It’s a man’s world, according to the James Brown song.

Brown clearly never attended A Dash of Diva.

The annual Girls’ Night Out event — sponsored by GO publisher MaineToday Media — brings live music, belly dancing, diva karaoke, a fashion show and a host of lady-centric vendors to Portland’s Holiday Inn by the Bay from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday.

Now in its third year, A Dash of Diva: Girls’ Night Out is a welcome opportunity for ladies to ditch the fellas and head out for some zumba, shopping and cocktails.

The diva festivities fill two floors of the downtown hotel and include jazzercise with Wendy Gagnon, comedy with Karen Morgan, and belly dance with the local group Naya’s Trance. Attendees can also catch live music from ’80s masters The Awesome.

Clothing trends take the stage during the fashion show, and the ladies of Red Hot and Ladylike prove that sexy and saucy don’t have age restrictions.

“There’s zumba and jazzercise, and there’s a rock group. There’s a little bit of a taste for everyone,” said Adrienne Dodge, organizer of the event and director of marketing and new development at MaineToday Media.

Cocktail-appreciating women can enjoy a Pink Stiletto, a creation from Sonny’s Restaurant and Bar in Portland that won top honors in the DivaTini Challenge in August. They can also sample vodka from Double Cross and Pinnacle, as well as beer and wine, in either of the two Dash of Diva tasting rooms.

A $5 donation is requested for admission into the tasting rooms. A portion of all the evening’s proceeds benefit the Waterville-based nonprofit Hardy Girls Healthy Women.

Bold ladies who aren’t shy about belting out a good tune can take the mic during diva karaoke. The less musically inclined can sing to themselves while they peruse the multitude of vendors, which include Sephora, Massage Envy, Lia Sophia, Stella + Dot, Pole Parties by Stacy and Dahlia’s World/MonaVie.

Women can get a lesson in the art of belly dance, a makeup makeover and a psychic reading from medium Vicki Monroe.

“It’s a night all for girls. You can grab your friends, get dressed up and just come out and let loose,” said Dodge. “There’s fashion, there’s fun, there’s drinks. It’s really just to bond with your girlfriends and have a good time.”

At A Dash of Diva: Girls’ Night Out, it’s a woman’s world.

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at: [email protected]

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