Author Archive

July 6th, 2019   Leave a comment

Well, hello again!  Time to admit I have shamefully neglected my poor website for many moons.  Life has moved on, and my teaching schedule is now down to once per week.  After nearly 10 years as a volunteer instructor with Breast Cancer Action Ottawa, my association with the organization has come to an end.   I wish to thank the former Executive Director, Karen Grazat, for her dedication and hard work; and my past students for their participation, energy, and trust.  We had many joyful moments throughout the years, and I cherish the memories.  So now, I’m trying something new, as a private instructor.  For summer, 2019, I’ll be volunteering my time to offer a free weekly class for cancer survivors, on Fridays, noon to 1pm, at Greenboro Community Centre.  I’m keeping it small to start; anyone interested in attending my class may contact me at for details.  I’ll try to do a better job updating class info and events… but in the meantime, for the latest information on other local classes, teachers  and events, check out   Enjoy the sunshine!!




Posted July 6, 2019 by fatcatbellydance in Weekly Blog

September 5th, 2017   Leave a comment

Hi Ladies:  Fall is definitely in the air.  Hoping everyone enjoyed summer, even though it was way too short!  I’m very happy once again to be offering a class for breast cancer survivors, through the “Fit and Fab” program at Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.  Please see details on my “Classes” page, in order to register.  Not sure which class to sign up for?  Email me at, and I can offer suggestions…there are lots of great teachers and classes around town, for all levels and styles, from basic beginner to pro.  Have fun with fitness, and love yourself at any size…shimmies are great for the soul….don’t be shy!  3pancopy**************************************************************************

Posted September 5, 2017 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

April 5th, 2017   Leave a comment

Spring may finally be here!  After a much needed break, and some travelling this winter, I’m happy to be back in the studio at Greenboro Community Centre; teaching a beginner class for Breast Cancer Action’s Fit and Fab Program.  So nice to welcome new faces, and welcome back those who’ve been with me before.   Fridays are fabulous once more!  I’ll be updating my “events’ page in the next week or so;  so please stay tuned for some upcoming fun, and mark your calendars for shopping and outdoor dance adventures.   Spring is a great time to sign up for a dance class, to kick those winter blues in the butt, and work on our waistlines…hahaha…mine’s a bit of a mess after all that good food in Europe!  But that’s okay…I’ve learned the hard way, to love yourself at any size; feel the freedom of movement to music, and express your creative side with a great group of women.  Classes are available all over town, from basic beginner to senior level, and different dance styles.  Got questions?  Contact me at and I’ll do my best to find a class that works for you…Ciao for now, Bellas; get outside and enjoy some sunshine!

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Zahara + Siddiqah at “The Art of Hope” event, hosted by Vixens Victorious, October 13th, 2016

Posted April 6, 2017 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

Sept. 8th, 2016   Leave a comment

Yay!  My “BCA Fit and Fab” Fall session for breast cancer survivors is ready to roll…Fridays, starting September 23rd, noon till 1 p.m., at Greenboro Community Centre.  For registration details, please check my ‘Classes” page.   Looking forward to welcoming new students, as well as re-uniting with familiar faces.  For anyone wishing to try a belly dance, tribal,or bollywood class, there are lots to choose from in the Ottawa area.   Got questions?  Contact me at:  Let’s have some fun with fitness!


Posted September 8, 2016 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

July 20th, 2016   Leave a comment

So much to catch up on for my blog page!  The ‘Shimmy Into Summer’ event was a success; raising nearly $1,400 for Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.  I was really proud to perform with my students from the Amala, Nashita, and Jamaleen Troupes; they worked so hard to get ready for the show, and brought me to tears backstage.  Big thanks to Mia and Danya for organizing! 

The next event was the Ottawa Race Weekend.  Halyma and I organized a small but mighty crew, and set up a cheering station along the runner’s route (with generous assistance from my amazing husband).  We danced our hearts out, to encourage participants on their journey to raise money for various causes.   Thousands ran past us…quite a sight!  Many offered a smile, or briefly shook their booties, in recognition of our effort. 

Next came Emilie’s Run, at the Aviation Museum.  A beautiful morning to set up and dance along the Parkway, and cheer on Olympic level female runners during their 5K race.  We also got to dance for the Kids Race, and the little ones gave it a good effort. 

Today, I stepped way out of my comfort zone, and danced in a set with two professional performer/teachers at the Byward Market Dance-At-Lunchtime series.  It’s one thing to free-dance in a group; it’s quite another thing to dance a solo choreography in front of a large crowd.  I was extremely nervous, but got through it somehow.  Watching Eurika and Niki, I admire their abilities, and learned a lot about the art of public performance; especially getting audience members to come forward and participate.  We even got to meet a couple of lovely girls visiting from Brazil.  Even though I don’t have these particular skills, charisma, and nerve, that’s okay; it’s good to do things that scare you once in a while, to challenge yourself, and perhaps re-focus on what you ARE good at.  So now, some time off to rest, relax, and re-group.  It’s been a wonderful dance season, and I feel blessed to have such great students, friends, and mentors.   Have a super summer, everyone!

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Dancing in the Byward Market with the ladies from Brazil, July 2016


So happy to be part of this fundraising initiative!

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Dancing in the Byward Market, July 2016 with Eurika and Niki

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Ottawa Race Weekend 2016


Shimmy Into Summer Dance Showcase 2016

Posted July 21, 2016 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

May 17th, 2016   Leave a comment

Despite our fair city’s unseasonably chilly weather, the dance season is heating up.  The Souk and Ottawa-Gatineau Shimmy Mob were very successful, and we’ll soon be shaking things up along the sidelines at the Ottawa Race Weekend.  I’ll admit to being a bit heartbroken when scheduled classes at Rideau and Brookfield High Schools didn’t run for the Spring session, due to low enrollment; but it’s amazing how other opportunities will present themselves when you least expect them, eh?   Right now, I’m busy teaching two private groups, along with a regular Friday class for BCA Fit & Fab participants; and recently got the opportunity to instruct a gorgeous group of 25 ladies at a bridal shower…so fun!  Both student troupes are working very hard on their choreographies, and they’re going to be wonderful to watch at the upcoming Shimmy Into Summer event on June 21st. 

You know, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day doing of things; like lesson plans, music preparation, scheduling, and other task-oriented aspects of teaching classes…making sure students are getting the best “bang for their buck” and focusing on prepping for shows…perhaps losing sight of what really matters, like…why am I still doing this, and, am I still any good at it?  Sounds a bit self-serving and New-Age silly, but lately, I’ve been questioning abilities, effectiveness as an instructor, and purpose; even contemplating an exit strategy.  But, during the past week, I’ve had two unexpected conversations with students, that brought me to tears; with a re-affirmation that this job actually can have a positive impact on other people, and the service provided is meaningful.  So, despite some self-doubt, I plan to carry on; happy to help other women try something new and fun in their fitness journey, and recognize the beauty of their own bodies, while expressing themselves creatively through music and movement, share support and camaraderie in a non-competitive environment, with a few girlish giggles along the way.  This is how the job started out, and this is what still really matters.  Counting my blessings, going forward! 



Posted May 18, 2016 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

Ottawa-Gatineau Shimmy Mob 2016   Leave a comment

Join us on Parliament Hill, Saturday May 14th, 2016, 2 p.m., as we shake up the Capital in support of Interval House of Ottawa, and bring awareness to all in the struggle to end domestic violence.  This event will be happening simultaneously in many cities across North America.   Your contribution can make a difference!




Shimmy Mob at Parliament Hill 2015

Posted May 13, 2016 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized