Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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 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

May 19th, 2015   Leave a comment

So happy the warmer weather is finally here!  My Spring class is well underway, and hoping to have two students perform in Halyma’s show, in June.  In other news, the Ottawa-Gatineau Shimmy Mob fundraiser was a big success, and it was great to be part of such a fun event.  Thanks to our Team Leader, Jocelyne Jehane Khan, for her unending enthusiasm, patience, and organizational skills; thanks to the staff at Greenboro Community Centre, for offering us their beautiful studio for rehearsals, and thanks to all the lovely dancers who took part.  The issue of domestic violence is a sad, serious, ongoing criminal problem across the world, and must be stopped.  We worked hard to raise awareness and funds to support a local women’s shelter, Harmony House, along with offering a unique performance event to onlookers.  

Stay tuned for upcoming events…I’ll post them as I get all the information.  Right now, I have a garden to plant! 

Ottawa-Gatineau Shimmy Mob Crew at Parliament Hill

Ottawa-Gatineau Shimmy Mob Crew at Parliament Hill

Shimmy Mob at Parliament Hill

Shimmy Mob at Parliament Hill

Shimmy Mob performing at City Hall

Shimmy Mob performing at City Hall

Rear view of Shimmy Mob at Parliament Hill

Rear view of Shimmy Mob at Parliament Hill


Posted May 19, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

April 2nd, 2015   Leave a comment

Hoping Spring is finally here.  The Winter session was so much fun, and my students are awesome!  Can’t wait to get back into the Greenboro studio in two weeks.  Taking heed from one of my favourite mentors, the incomparable Zeevah; I began using more “corner to corner” drills this session.  It’s an effective teaching tool to get the ladies (and me) accustomed to travel steps, while multi-tasking those isolation movements…it’s easy to get stuck dancing in one spot, and this method frees up the body for more improvisation, and feeling the music as you travel across the floor…nice!

Had a fabulous time at the recent Breast Cancer Action “Shake Your Booty” event, on Feb. 28th.  To my surprised delight, there were 25+ participants in my class (whew!), and I actually ran out of hip scarves.  We only had half an hour, but made it count, with lots of smiles, silliness, and shimmies.  I’m looking forward to dancing outdoors, and practicing hard for the upcoming Shimmy Mob in May.  Stay tuned for upcoming events, and if you need advice to take a class, just holler…I’m here to help!  ShakeBooty2015twelve

Posted April 2, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

February 15th, 2015   Leave a comment


Happy Valentine’s to all my dancing friends and fabulous students.  As we hit the mid-point of winter, it’s easy to get a bit discouraged, down in the dumps, and even downright depressed, with all this damned snow, salt covered boots, cold weather, and gray landscape.  I’m one of those people who suffers from seasonal affective disorder, and this year, it’s hitting me early and hard…ugh!  Luckily, there are a couple of fun local events coming up very soon, to bring joy and colour back into my world, with the promise of Spring not far behind.  Check out my ‘events’ page, for details on “Shake Your Booty”, “March Madness”, and “The Dancer’s Bazaar”.   So, time to shimmy those winter blahs away, and enjoy the festivities! 

Image courtesy of "The Chubby  Girl Dances Chronicles"...thanks, Misty!

Image courtesy of “The Chubby Girl Dances Chronicles”…thanks, Misty!

Posted February 15, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

January 4th, 2015   Leave a comment

Happy New Year, everyone!  Time for me to shake off those turkey leftovers and head back to the studio.  I’m excited to be enrolled in Halyma’s class on Tuesday nights, at Routhier Community Centre.  A wise teacher, knowing what a “lazy-bones” I can be; she directs my focus once again on posture, technique, detail, and practice-practice-practice!   All this hard work will pay off, as I’ll be able to pass along better skills to my own lovely students, at Greenboro community centre.  I can’t wait to work with them again, and look forward to tying on that coin scarf, sharing some smiles, and spending some shimmy time with my favourite dance divas.  Looking for a class this winter?  Want to try belly dance, tribal, or Bollywood?  Contact me at and I’ll do my best to steer you in the right direction.   For more class/teacher info, go to: and check out Halyma’s listings.  Happy dancing!


Posted January 4, 2015 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

December 17th, 2014   Leave a comment

To my circle of students, teachers, and dance-buddies, I offer best wishes for the Christmas and other festive holidays.  Dancers make the season bright – bringing colour, laughter, movement and joy to those around us…what a lovely gift!


Posted December 17, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

Nov 24th, 2014   Leave a comment

Well, we’re having a freakishly warm and windy couple of days, and I love it…so not ready for winter weather!  The Fall session class is complete, and I’d like to thank my students for sharing their time and effort, despite adverse circumstances.  Battling breast cancer (or any type) is a tough road to travel.  It amazes and inspires me to have these courageous women show up for class, even during treatment, to share smiles and shimmies – offering support to each other, while stealing an hour of “me time” to express themselves creatively with music and movement.   These beautiful women of the Amala Troupe are the toughest crew I know, and it’s an honour for me to dance with them.  I’d also like to thank Breast Cancer Action Ottawa, for their continued support in giving instructors like me the opportunity to volunteer, and share my love of dance.

So now it’s time to celebrate with a big party.  Please check out my Events page, to see the poster for Halyma’s Class Party, coming up on December 15th.  I have a few tickets to spare, so if you’d like to attend, just contact me at   Even though I won’t be performing with my students this time, I’ll still have a hand in costuming some of Farasha’s student performers with lots of sparkly stuff, so they can shine on stage….fun!!  Come on out and enjoy a great show…who knows, it may inspire you to sign up for a class this winter…shimmies are great for kickin’ butt on those cold winter nights!

images (2)

Posted November 24, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized

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:











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!


Posted October 8, 2014 by fatcatbellydance in Uncategorized