April 13th, 2016   Leave a comment

Hi everyone!  Sorry, it’s been far too long since my last post; the Winter session was busy, but that’s no excuse for being too lazy to write.  For the cold season, I had the great pleasure of teaching a bunch of beginner beauties (photo below) at Rideau High School on Monday nights.  These young women were so enthusiastic and energetic, (whew!) they will forever be known as the ‘Nashita’ troupe.  I was really impressed by their progress in such a relatively short time, and got to enjoy challenging them with layered movements, and the use of props, like sticks, veils, and zills.  On another night, I was fortunate to teach a technique class, for several former students.  This was a new type of class, which certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone to try something different, and it was great!  I have my own teachers and mentors to thank, for their inspiration and encouragement.   And of course, Fridays are happy dance days, with the Fit and Fab divas from Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.   It was a wonderful Winter session, and I feel very blessed to be surrounded by positive energy, laughter, and a sense of purpose.

So, now’s the time for a new session.  Registration info is posted on the ‘classes’ page for Spring, and please check the ‘events’ page, for upcoming fun stuff, like the Ottawa Souk (formerly the Ottawa Dancer’s Bazaar), Shimmy Mob, and Shimmy Into Summer Show.  Hopefully, this chilly weather will soon mellow into soft spring breezes and warm sunshine…so treat yourself to a pedicure, dig out those sandals, and sign up for dance class…it’ll put a little ((Spring)) in your step!

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Wow!  These ladies are wearin’ me out!!

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Nashita Troupe – Rideau HS Winter 2016

Posted April 13, 2016 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

January 3rd, 2016   Leave a comment

Happy New Year!  Hoping everyone enjoyed the Christmas and holiday season, along with our beautiful weather.  I was happy to perform with my lovely students at two events recently – the Dance With Alana’s “ugly Christmas sweater party”, and Halyma’s Ottawa Community Class Party.  The ladies did a great job, and I was so proud of their stage presence; wearing pretty costumes, heads up, smiling, and enjoying themselves after all that hard work.  We were blessed with appreciative audiences, and it felt good to know that their first introduction to performing was such a positive experience.  That’s what makes my job so awesome!  Big thanks to both Alana Hock, and Tracey Vibert (Halyma), for creating events like these, to allow teachers and students to shine on stage.  

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Nashita Troupe performing at Halyma’s Ottawa Community Class Party, Dec. 2015. Photo courtesy of RSVP Photography

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Nashita Troupe (minus one dancer) at Dance With Alana’s “Ugly XMas Sweater Party”

After a brief break, it’s time to get my suitcase loaded up with coin scarves and be ready to roll again.  Winter session listings are all updated on my ‘Classes’ page.  I know, it’s tough to get motivated at this time of year, when the weather gets cold, snowy, and all-around nasty.  Some days, I just want to curl up in my PJ’s and eat bonbons, and watch trashy TV.  But I must admit that getting out and getting active is a great antidote for the winter blues and blahs.  So, if you want to try something fun for fitness, come on out and learn to dance…shimmies and smiles guaranteed!!

Posted January 3, 2016 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

November 1st, 2015   Leave a comment

Hello Everyone.  It’s been too long since my last post…sheesh!  Wishing you a belated happy Thanksgiving, and hope you enjoyed a bit of scary fun last night during Hallowe’en.  At this halfway point of the Fall session, classes are progressing really well, and we’re beginning to work on a brand new original choreography.  I’m hoping some of the students will consider performing at Halyma’s Ottawa Centre Class Party in December…fingers crossed! 

I realize from my own experience, it’s a big commitment of time and effort, and kinda scary…practicing and remembering a whole routine, especially when you’re new to dance; so I’m trying very hard to choose great music, and write the choreography in a way that’s easy and fun to learn, and by providing short instructional “selfie-type” video clips for the ladies to review and work on at home.  These students are very brave to consider performing at such a large event; so I believe it’s important, as an instructor, to remember how they’re feeling; and try to prepare the group, so they can have a good first experience on stage, and enjoy meeting other people in the dance community, without feeling pressured or tossed into a competitive environment.  Fortunately, we’re a pretty supportive and friendly bunch!!   Well, wish us luck, we’ve got a lot of work to do!

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Posted November 1, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

September 19th, 2015   Leave a comment

The Fall session has started, and I’m very happy to be back in the gorgeous studio at Greenboro Community Centre, teaching lovely new and returning students in the BCA “Fit and Fab” program.  Although a bit disappointed that two of my anticipated new classes were cancelled, due to low enrollment, I’m looking forward to teaching beginners on Tuesday nights at Brookfield (spaces still available).  Perhaps now I’ll have time to sign up for a class with one of my favourite teachers!  

Stay tuned for upcoming events…I’ll update my “Events” page with information as I receive it.  Wishing everyone a lovely Fall season (I like this weather), and hope to dance with you soon…   alldance*******************************************************************

Posted September 19, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

August 21st, 2015   Leave a comment

It’s August already??  So far, a great summer.  I was excited to participate in the July 4th session of Aziza’s weekend workshop, hosted by Jocelyne “Jehane” Khan, and got to enjoy a delicious Middle Eastern feast and dance show that evening, at Musika Lounge; including performances by Aziza and Jehane…amazing!   At the end of July, I was pleased to be invited by Halyma, to join the Bollywood For Fun and Bellywood For Fun troupe, to perform at the Kites For Cancer event, held at Petrie Island beach…wow, that was one hot day!  I recently attended a couple of classes at Studio X, in the City Centre, taught by two of the fab instructors of Duniya Studio, Cathy and Taheya.   So, now I’m busily prepping music and lesson plans for the Fall session.  Check out my “Classes” page for details, and don’t be shy…there are lots of fun classes and teachers for every level to choose from here in Ottawa…come join us, and we’ll shimmy!!  Here are some photos from summer adventures….

Bollywood For Fun troupe at Kites For Cancer event...selfie by Halyma

Bollywood For Fun troupe at Kites For Cancer event…selfie by Halyma

Photo by RSVPhotography - Belly Dancing For Fun troupe Stick dance at Kites For Cancer event

Photo by RSVPhotography – Belly Dancing For Fun troupe Stick dance at Kites For Cancer event

Photo by RSVPhotography - Siddiqah at Kites For Cancer event, July, 2015

Photo by RSVPhotography – Siddiqah at Kites For Cancer event, July, 2015

Sparkly stuff for sale at Aziza's workshop

Sparkly stuff for sale at Aziza’s workshop, including Shibori Borealis silk veils…yay!

Posing with my "Rakstar" idol, Aziza, at the July 4th workshop

Posing with my “Rakstar” idol, Aziza, at the July 4th workshop

Posted August 21, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

June 21st, 2015   Leave a comment

Big thanks to Halyma, whose June 9th Ottawa Centre Class Party was a blast!  Wonderful to watch so many students and teachers, performing a variety of dance styles to all kinds of music.   Of course, I was most proud of my beautiful Amala dancers, who did a great job with their duet.  When they came offstage, we hugged, laughed, and cried; their smiles made my heart soar with pure joy…a most memorable evening, and I was happy to take part in the fun!

This weekend, I got to join the Belly Dancing For Fun/Bollywood for Fun troupe, to provide a little sparkle and shine while cheering on athletic ladies, gentlemen, and kids, at Emilie’s Run, held at the Aviation Museum.  This annual event honours the memory of Olympic hopeful Emilie Mondor. 

So, this week will be the last class of the Spring session, and time to take a bit of a break…well, except for attending Aziza’s workshop in July!  Looking forward to some gardening (darned weeds), biking, swimming, and barbeque parties with friends.  Have a great summer, everyone!

Photo courtesy of W. Thomas Leroux, Darner Media

Photo courtesy of W. Thomas Leroux, Darner Media

Posted June 22, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

June 4th, 2015   Leave a comment

Practice, practice….Halyma’s Ottawa Community Class Party is next Tuesday, June 9th.  Teachers and students from near and far will gather, to celebrate all our hard work during the Spring session, by performing in front of a whole bunch of people.  I’m pleased to be dancing with my classmates in a sassy little stick dance, and we get to wear baladi-style dresses…fun!  But I’m most excited to have two of my own “Amala troupe” students stepping on stage, to perform an original veil duet.   One of these lovely ladies, named Nasus, is a relatively new dancer, and this will be her first stage appearance; which is why I’m so happy she’s paired up with a more experienced dancer.  Zahara has performed beautifully in Halyma’s show on several occasions, and she seems to have nerves of steel (I’m so jealous!).  

These amazing women have taken time out of their busy, complicated lives, and worked very hard to master their moves while handling fabulous Shibori Borealis silk swirlies.  It’s a lot to learn, and not the easiest choreography I’ve ever written.  Their dedication is inspiring, and I find myself turning into a real mother-hen…fussing and fretting over them.  Jeez, they’ll probably be glad to go on stage, nervous or not, just to get away from me!!  Hoping I don’t embarrass myself (and them), by lurking behind the side-stage curtain and sobbing with pride as they dance…sigh…they truly embody the attributes of hope and aspiration, and I’m sooo proud…cluck cluck! 

So come on out and celebrate with us; it’s going to be a great show.  I’ve got a few tickets to spare, so contact me at fatcatbellydance@gmail.com and I’ll hook you up! 

Nasus (left) and Zahara (right)  Amala Troupe performers

Nasus (left) and Zahara (right) Amala Troupe performers

Posted June 5, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized