Post Bazaar…on to the next round of classes!!

Another Ottawa Belly Dance Community event completed – some I organize and some I simply enjoy being able to participate!

I did get the chance to Emcee the new addition to the Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar – a last minute decision made at about 11:30 a.m., but I’m always glad to help and amuse!

Loved being able to showcase a mere sampling of my client’s outfits – in the TAV Creations Client Collection segment of the Fashion Show.  Thanks to all of my models who were awesome and also stepped out as last minute models for the other vendors!

I was on stage, so I did not get photos, but i think there’s at least one I’ll be able to snare and add here later!

So, with the Bazaar complete, the next event in my outer  world will be as an Ottawa Browncoat at the upcoming Ottawa Comic Con. Personally my Mom’s bday will be a nice afternoon out of town and a friend’s wedding will take us on a weekend away adventure, so those will fill up weekends in April before ComicCon.

I also have a new session of classes underway – some began last week and some start  this week and some start at the end of the month – all continent on enrolment!

So check out my schedule and if you think any of those catch your eye – come play! Please note, the Wednesday Level 1 class shown in the poster below has already been cancelled.

You can also read my latest article on my new course, “Awaken your Inner Goddess through Dance” in the April issue of Tone Magazine here!


Another Open Dance party success!

Sunday Drop In And Dance Poster

Yesterday, Siddiqah and I had a party.  About 45 people came out to dance and socialize, meeting up with old friends, and getting to know new people in our community.

I had a good time working with my co-host – hopefully she can say the same :-)  as we discussed planning methods that would work for us, how we wanted to approach it, and what our expectations were of the day. I found that Google Drive was a great way to share spreadsheets and documents, allowing us both to edit and update information as we went along, as well as allowing dancers to sign themselves up. works great for sharing music files!

For me, they were well met, costs were covered, a donation amount over $140 was made to be donated to Clara’s Big Ride, I had fun talking to people, also meeting new folks as well as seeing familiar faces.

I know it was still not a completely spontaneous, “bring your music and dance” kind of party, and I have realized that, if I am part of the organizers, it will never be that way. #controlfreak

Hopefully, as dancers and audience members attend these more relaxed events, and see how much positive can come of it, someone else will step up and have a totally free form event – if that’s what they want to do!

The biggest concern for me is always 2 fold – are the costs covered and did the attendees have a good time.  Part 1 ensures that I am happy, and part 2 ensures that I did it right! Working with someone else, it’s also important to discuss their ideas of success too so that both of your expectations and goals can be addressed. Fortunately, we had very similar and definitely mutually workable goals for this event!  And we both now have a better idea of what works for us and where we can shift things – if we ever do this again!

Both Siddiqah and I had a few personal things affecting our  energy and focus levels during the weeks of planning this event, but we were really able to rely on each other for a great back and forth flow.  It was nice to be able to delegate/take on the different aspects and  feel that we were each giving 100%  when we could, and on the days that we had other things to deal with, it was still ok!

At least, that was my perspective, I hope Siddiqah felt I did my part!

Siddiqah and Halyma

I am sure I speak for the both of us in gratitude { though I am sure Siddiqah will be creating her own post as well} to the volunteers who came early and stayed later to help with set-up, running the show, cleaning up and generally be there as support and helpful community members!

We are also so pleased to have hosted a place for some first time soloists, and up and coming dancers, who all gave great performances and shared their gift with us for a few moments.

I hope to see all of you dancing more and more at future events and  that having attended and participated at this event, that you will take advantage of future opportunities as well!

So, who is hosting the next party?!?

And finally, if you have any feedback for us, please task this quick survey and add any comments below.  It helps us as organizers to know where things went well and where things can be improved!  You can click more than one statement and add one yourself if you noticed something  we should know about!

Got more to say – send it to me!

March Break and St. Paddy’s Day Drop in and Dance – #Selfpromo time

Alrighty – NO CLASSES this week { March Break} means I have to bug you people via the inter webs!

For those who were in my classes last week and remember me talking about putting a try { foil plate} on your head and doing all the moves, Click here to see a video,  It’s not me, I don’t know Ranya, but she does a lovely job so let’s all go watch her video.

Back now? Cool.

Sunday, March 16th – come see dancers!

Yes, there are advance tickets available, yes you can pay at the door, yes we have pretty much full roster with times allotted for open dancing. Click on the photo to go buy your ticket via paypal, or head over to the main site.

Sunday Drop In And Dance Poster



Also to note – Registration has begun for my spring classes! Class Details and my new class…

Awaken Your Inner Goddess

Click here for my blogpost about this.

I got tagged in a couple of places regarding a blog post…

So… What a conundrum. The blog post in question is entitled, “why I hate white belly dancers”. Notably it has a stock photo in it as opposed to an original shot.

I am one of those dancers who has studied for over 15 years, do my best to respect the dance’s origins by learning and relating the information I glean.

I find myself correcting people who equate the dance form with less family friendly forms of dance.

I try to make sure the non Arabic people who organize multi-cultural events I perform at clearly understand that “Bellydance” Baladi, Raks Sharky etc is not from India, but from Arabian countries.

Yes, I also have a stage name, and it helps me connect with my dancing in a professional capacity.

And I can see her points. But I live in a multicultural area that is continuing to become more multicultural all the time.

I just performed at an international women’s day event where I was joined on the dance floor by Muslim women, French Canadian women, Asian women, Aboriginal women and more. I was greeted with smiles and questions about my background and the type of dance I would be doing ( I chose to wear an Egyptian Baladi dress and danced with my zills and a tiny bit of veil work).

The Lebanese woman who joined me with grace and style, she was not offended by my being non Arabic. The Sudanese dancers who performed before me, stuck around and joined me as well, with glowing compliments.

So should I feel guilt and shame for the years I have spent learning, perfecting and sharing a dance form that I was not born into?

I don’t think I will take that on.

I do understand that there are a LOT of dancers out there who do just toss on a bra and hip belt and shake their thing.

And if the writer was targeting those dancers who are not taking at least some time to understand the basics, and are just going on their cuteness and sex appeal, well ok then.

Appropriation of other cultures is a serious matter. Disrespecting others is a serious matter. Ignorance is not an excuse.
The world is getting smaller every day. Learning another’s language is not wrong. Learning about other peoples cultures is not wrong.
Finding a balance is a constant journey, and there will always be juggling and shifting as we learn to enjoy our cultural differences with respect and joy.

But I have no interest in studying irish dance, which my cultural background should make me feel obliged to stick with, if I follow the writer’s advice.

So thanks Natasha for tagging me and making me think for a few minutes.

I am going to go back to my dog, my sewing, my family visiting, and generally being the best creative force I can be.


Butternut squash soup

Since I had some dental work a couple of days ago, I have been on “soft food”.
Fortunately my love of alternative recipes has been a great help as I have made myself things like avocado and cocoa pudding ; mashed banana and peanut butter pudding ; the usual smoothies, and an odd concoction of canned mushroom soup, mashed potatoes and cottage cheese…


Today is butternut squash soup day.
And I like things simple when possible- so here goes:

1 butternut squash- peel it and chop into cubes
1 sweet potato- same idea
1 large carrot – can you guess what to do with it?

Toss all those cubes into a soup pot and add water to just cover them.

Start your engines and boil til tender.
Add spices you like, mine are:
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg( I only had that left)

Once the veggies are tender, purée it and add about 1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk.


Makes 2 bowls for now and a 1 litre jar for later: