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October 8th, 2014   Leave a comment

Hey There!  Thanksgiving weekend is nearly upon us, and I’ve been enjoying our lovely late-summer weather; particularly dancing outdoors for the Epic Walk, on September 27th.  We had a blast, and I wish to say thanks to Halyma for rounding us up to perform as Belly Dancing For Fun, and the Cancer Foundation organizers for having us there.  Here are a few photos from the event:

Ameenah

Ameenah

Wendy

Wendy

Zeevah

Zeevah

Eurika

Eurika

Cassandra

Cassandra

Siddiqah - hot flash!

Siddiqah – hot flash!

 I’m reminded this time of year to be thankful for many things, including dance, and occasional movie work as a background performer.  These activities have opened the door to friendship, fun, community service; and promoted a sense of belonging, productivity, and purpose.   Retirement from the government-grind has finally unlocked a real feeling of freedom and creativity, while introducing me to very talented and wacky members of the thriving arts and entertainment community.  Ottawa has become home, and I’m blessed to have good friends, great students, moderately good health, and fun stuff to look forward to, as I transition into the deep uncharted waters of middle-age…a bit scary, but what the hell, it’s an adventure!

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Posted October 8, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

September 24th, 2014   2 comments

September so far is super!  Started teaching my awesome BCA students at our new location – Greenboro Community Centre, and it’s a lovely studio.

This past weekend, I took part in a belly dance workshop at Studio X, hosted by Jehane Khan of Dunyia Studio, and instructed by Aziza….wow!  Our theme was travel, transitions, and technique.  It was a lot of fun to learn new stuff, and we all worked very hard to achieve the technical and artistic  goals she set for us.  That evening, I got to watch Aziza dance at a local Turkish restaurant.  She’s an incredible teacher and performer; with high energy, charisma, and phenomenal skills.  It was a real honour to be in her class, and I’m hoping to sign up again the next time she comes to town.  Even though I was initially worried about keeping up, and that perhaps I wasn’t at a high enough skill level to fit in, it turned out to be a wonderful experience; I felt welcome and able to hold my own amongst all the other participants…even those half my age!  Lesson learned…it’s better to believe in yourself and take a chance on something new and scary, than to sit back and regret a missed opportunity.

So, this weekend, I’ll be dancing outdoors with Halyma’s Belly Dancing For Fun troupe, in support of the Ontario Cancer Foundation’s Epic Walk.  You can read the details on my Events page, and if you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you there…come on out and dance with us!!  Best shimmies…

Aziza Workshop

  Aziza Workshop

 

Happy Hips

Happy Hips

 

Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Epic Walk Saturday, Sept. 27th

Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Epic Walk
Saturday, Sept. 27th

 

Posted September 24, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

August 28th, 2014   Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again, all you lovely aspiring divas!  The kids are heading back to school, and (oh no!) summer’s nearly over.  Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking a dance class, but can’t seem to find time in your busy schedule?  I hear ya!  But here’s a thought…try and think of it in terms of investing in your own health.  An hour of “me time” with music, movement, and artistic expression can do wonders for your fitness, energy level, and femininity…meow!  Dancing is an opportunity to shut out all those “to do” lists, or a bad day at work; tie on that hip scarf, and you can finally take a deep breath, relax, share a few smiles, and simply enjoy the moment with other like-minded ladies, before returning refreshed to all that multi-tasking you’re so good at.   Check out my Classes page for information on where to look for available lessons and teachers here in Ottawa…we’re blessed with talent…there’s something for everyone – from basic beginner to show-pros.    So invest in yourself, ’cause you’re fabulous! 

image by alternatevisions

image by alternatevisions

Posted August 28, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

August 19th, 2014   Leave a comment

Okay, whew!!…finally got myself a (nearly) new home computer.  Now I just need to figure out how to use all the fancy features and unfamiliar screens, because I’m a total techno-dinosaur.  Happy to have my e-mail up and running…yay!!  I’ll be able to answer inquiries, and update class information, along with upcoming events…back in business, baby!  For now, I’ll just do a little happy dance to celebrate…see ya! shiman********************************************************************

Posted August 19, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

August 8th, 2014   Leave a comment

Well, jeez..this is annoying, inconvenient, and totally non-dance related….my poor old computer is on its’ last legs, and will require repair or replacement…$$$..ouch!  So, for anyone trying to contact me by e-mail at fatcatbellydance@gmail.com  If you don’t receive a reply within 24 hours, I’m not ignoring you!!  Please leave me a message at:  (613) 523-2135  Thanks, and apologies for any inconvenience…  5761********************************************************************

Posted August 9, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

August 4th, 2014   Leave a comment

On Friday, July 25th, I attended the Summer Sizzle “Ignite The Night” show, with my BFF, Wendy, at the R.A. Centre.  This annual event, hosted by Catharine Crerar,  raises money for various charities, including Bereaved Families, Distress Centre, and the Snowsuit Fund.   We were treated to a splendid evening of top-notch performances, cocktails and buffet nibbles; with handsome firefighters on hand, selling raffle tickets and generally providing masculine eye-candy for all the ladies present.  The dancers were a diverse group, including out-of-towners; from belly dance to Bollywood, Tribal, folkloric, jazz, 20’s style flappers; amazing veil work, wings, and a group choreography using small luminous globes.  Special performances by Denise Enan, Halyma, and finalé by the breathtaking beauty, Shandarika.  All in all, a night to remember.  These women work very hard to make it look effortless; their dedication, skill and passion for creating and sharing this art form inspires those of us who attend dance classes, aspire to instruct new students, and those who dream of taking the stage someday…bravo, ladies!

Shandarika & Laura

Shandarika & Laura

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Posted August 4, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

Friday, June 27th, 2014   Leave a comment

Siddiqah, using Shibori silk veil as checkered flag

Siddiqah, using Shibori silk veil as checkered flag…custom costume by TAV-Creations

  Last weekend, colourful ladies from Halyma’s Belly Dancing For Fun, and Bollywood For Fun,  got together to offer our support for awesome female athletes, at the annual “Emilie’s Run” event, held at the Canadian Aviation Museum.  We cheered and zinged our zills, as fleet-footed runners neared the finish line in a 5km race; then later, for the kids’ run.  We also performed a couple of choreographies indoors, at the awards ceremony; then some of us had to scamper away for costume changes, as there were other events taking place on a busy Saturday, when a dancer’s work is never done…whew!

Halyma, Eurika, Wendy, and Laksha

Halyma, Eurika, Wendy, and Laksha

Eurika and I were scheduled to teach half-hour sessions (Bollywood and Basic Belly Dance) at the Breast Cancer Action “Shake Your Booty” event, held at Greenboro Community Centre.  Despite small numbers in attendance, we were happy to lend our energy, and wish BCA every success at their next fundraiser.  The programs and services they offer are invaluable to women going through diagnosis, treatment, after-care and beyond.  They deserve community support in their efforts to ensure no one goes through it alone.  The local dance community takes pride in volunteering their time and talent for fundraising events…we love to share our love of dance, and bring smiles wherever we can…so share a smile and a shimmy with someone today…it’s free, and feels fabulous!!  Best summer wishes to all… 

Eurika & Siddiqah share a hug at "Shake Your Booty" for BCA

Eurika & Siddiqah share a hug at “Shake Your Booty” for BCA

 

 

Posted June 28, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

Monday, June 16th, 2014   Leave a comment

Last week, I had the pleasure of performing with classmates, at Halyma’s Ottawa Centre Class Party.  We opened the show, and Wendy and I decided to challenge ourselves by playing zills for the first time on stage.  She did okay, but me??…jeez…I seem to be one of those people who can’t chew gum and walk at the same time…oh well, it’s something I’ll definitely work on for future, because zill work is so much fun.  

The show was awesome, with lots of different dance styles, beautiful costumes, a supportive audience, and proud teachers wiping tears of happiness at their students’ accomplishments.  That’s what this dance community is all about…women of all ages, from all walks of life, coming  together to share a special bond of artistic and creative cameraderie, in a warm, welcoming setting.  

Only two more classes to teach for the Spring session, and my students are shakin’ up the dance studio splendidly.  Nearly time for summer vacation, and I’ll update my pages as new stuff comes along…best shimmies to all!!

Triple Trouble

Triple Trouble

   

Photo courtesy of RSVPhotography

Photo courtesy of RSVPhotography

GroupChoreo

Posted June 17, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

May 9th, 2014   Leave a comment

Happy Friday, everyone…Feeling much better after enduring a miserable cough-a-thon and cold recently, so I splurged on a pedicure last week, and my feet are sooo happy in sandals.  I’m also happy to be taking two classes with Halyma this session, and working towards better overall health.

Friday BCA classes are progressing nicely, with three lovely new students to add to my returning roster of dance divas for the Spring session.  Having new ladies join the class, I’m reminded of just how important it is to work on the very basics of Middle-Eastern dance; learning the individual isolation movements by getting re-acquainted and re-connected with your mid-section.  You don’t have to display it…you just have to work it!!  

Many of us have issues with our bellies – we believe that if they don’t look “perfect” (like media images), then we’ve somehow failed, or that they look awful…and it’s so not true!!  It’ s the source of our power, femininity, and life force; and yet, we keep this area well camoflauged, stiff, tight, and unloved.  By learning to let go of our inhibitions, and engaging this core area of our bodies to create beautiful dance movements, we can start to see and feel that mind/body connection to our own unique femininity, sensuality, and artistic creativity.  Working your belly releases lots of happy hormones to your brain, and feels wonderful…so put down that fashion magazine with its’ photo-shopped images of 16 year-old models, and show a little love and respect to your own image…it’s fabulous!!

Yes Dancer

Posted May 9, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

April 11th, 2014   Leave a comment

Hoooray!!  Finally starting to see my front lawn again, and spotted a pair of ducks behind the house yesterday…can Spring really be upon us?  

Had a fun afternoon last Sunday, with my co-vendor, Wendy, at the Dancer’s Bazaar.  Big hugs and thanks to Erika of Eurikadance for being the hostess with the mostest.  Also thanks to the volunteer vixens, who made our set-up easy, keeping us on track for the various activities, and offering yummy snackables.  More thanks to Halyma, for allowing us to parade around in our custom made Tav-Creations costumes in the fashion show.  

Wendy and I were happy to pass along some treasured items to new and younger dancers, who will look beautiful on stage, and keep the inspiration to dance going strong.  I was very pleased to see some current and former students there, and excited for one of my Amala lovlies, who purchased her very first Shibori Borealis silk veil.   It was wonderful to mingle with members of the dance community, out-of-town vendors, various instructors, students, and newcomers to this event.  Money was raised with the sale of Gee Gee Robinson’s camel collection (toonies-for-tots), and a donation will be made to CHEO in her honour…yay!!

Stay tuned for upcoming events, and why not consider signing up for a dance class in your neighbourhood?  Celebrate Spring with some booty-shaking, mood-enhancing movement to music…it feels great!!  For teacher/instructor information, check out:  www.tav-creations.com 

Dancer's BazaarDancer's Bazaar2

 

Dancer's Bazaar3Erika EurikaDance

Posted April 11, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized