Time for another Gratitude post…

Where do I start?

Sitting in my comfies < yay a for self -employment>, with a little furry bundle on my chair with me, making ridiculous food choices for breakfast from the leftovers that came home with me from last night’s OCCP #34, I’ve sorted almost everything, written up the credits for the video production and now want to write a heartfelt thank you note to everyone who came out last night.

And – wow- run on sentence much?

<blaming the Ooey-gooey…> don’t ask….

So randomly as the thoughts occur:

Teachers – wow. As usual, the teachers “brought it” with their choreographies, co-ordinating of costuming for the groups, and supporting their students as these people take what they are taught and put it together to show us!

Thank you: Antonina, Marina, Chantal, Farasha, Jalilah, Suhani, Niki, Anna and Safiya, and Deepali.

The Student groups: Months of learning and weeks of practice go into presenting all of the pieces that grace the stage at Ottawa U each OCCP.  The additonal commitment to make it a community event by agreeing to pitch in a donation to help cover the expenses, and then to bring along friends and family to support themselves and share their love of the dance form – I know that the way we do things is an anomaly- this is something I am truly grateful for – thank you all!

It’s a sign that Ottawa has it’s own flavour as a dance community, and I will always  be thankful that we can support each other in this way! And GREAT JOB everyone – especially to my groups, who get put through the wringer to prepare I know!!

Rogues and Pros: The soloists, duets, and professional groups  who “bring it” on their own – be it as students dancing solos for the first time – “I’m no longer a virgin”, is a quote from one of last night’s performers heard in the dressing room after she finished her first solo – to the pros who give their time and energy to share their more advanced skills, giving everyone something to which they can aspire!

Thank you Gilane, Iana, Khalia, Leslie, Lilia, Moonlight Dancers, Karina, Mia, Zhannah, Jehane, Gothic Muses, Chantal, Eurika and my amazing dance mates of Bollywood For Fun.

IMG_6788

Behind the scenes:  Every show, the creative mind of Michele Roy blossoms as she arrives before I even get there – it’s good she has connections at the venue – and she embellishes the basic scenery in gorgeous fabrics and trims. She sets a beautiful space for everyone to shine upon.  Thank you Michele!

Once things get started, Catharine and Eurika have been my right and left hand and brain for the past few years, so they have it down pat. They herd the cats < I found it very amusing to note that yesterday was actually Cat Herding Day>, they introduce each act quickly and keep things rolling along with door prizes, and anything else that needs tweaking as we go.

I literally could not do it without them and with dancing in 4 pieces this show < I NEVER DO THAT> I am so grateful to have been able to leave it all in their capable hands!

Sustenance: Food is a super important < for me> part of the back stage experience  – this is a party, after all! And Safiya started helping out a few years back by volunteering her services to pick up snacks and water for the dancers. It makes my life so much easier to know that someone else is handling it, and they always bring great food!

THANK YOU Safiya and Anna and special mention to Madhumaki/Melissa, who always brings a pan of OoeyGooey – and I always end up with a generous serving to take home afterwards.

Front of house:  As the dancers come to check in and their guests arrive to find their seats, everyone was greeted by a crew of helpful women who acted as runners guiding the new folks in the right direction, as well as checking the performers in, collecting tickets, as well as processing the dvd orders. It is not a one person job, and it takes patience and co-ordination to keep things rolling and not miss anything – this OCCP’s crew was fabulous!

If I miss anyone in this specific thank you, please forgive me – I was running around and may not have seen you in action! Thanks to Farasha and Laksha, Linda, Jehane, Tiana, and during the first set, Safiya stayed out to help guide in any later-comers.

Sponsors:  I love being able to give back – and something tangible is a fun way to do that. I rely on the generosity of the community to offer up little and sometimes bigger items to be given away with random draws of the ticket numbers during the show.  Thank you Jehane/DuniyaStudios, Siddiqah, Deepali, Lisa-Marie, and Eurika

Video: Yes, lucky I am to have a professional in the family. Tom of Darner Media has not only been video taping me dance since my first or second public performance way back in the mid-90’s, he’s been one of the most supportive dance husbands I’ve ever seen. Those of us who have supportive dance husband and partners, even if they cannot be at every single show, we know how lucky we are, and we are grateful every day when they just shake their head ruefully as they pick up sequins off the floor, attend as many dance shows as  they can/ or for those with kids, watch the family/ bring the family when they are needed as we have to head off in a flurry or sparkles and chiffon to dance for another event.

In our case,  he  also provides us with our moving memories of every Ottawa Community Class Party, and does his best to create a dynamic dvd that let’s us share the fun we had with family and friends after the fact!  Thanks Tom.

NOTE: Performers if you missed your chance to order a copy of the dvd, please email Tom directly: info@darnermedia.ca

Photography: Robert of R.S.V.P.hotography  kindly gave his time and energy to join us again last night.  His shots of local cultural events capture the energy of the performers and the feeling of the events, and I know he’s always bouncing around to so many events it was greta that he could come take shots for us last night!

NOTE: Performers, if you DO NOT want your photos displayed on Facebook, please message Robert directly or send me an email and I will forward it to him, otherwise, you’ll find the shots on his Facebook page as soon as he has a chance to process them.

Ivy Ploughman is developing her skills as a photographer and comes out to use the OCCP for practice, and some of the photos she has achieved in the past have been amazing, so I’m also very grateful to have had her in house latest night! It may take a while to see her shots, but when she has them ready, they will be in a private Flickr.com page – and I’ll let folks know here.

UOttawa Crew: Yes, this is their job, and I pay them to do it, but they always go beyond the call of duty in helping us make it a fun night! From helping Michele get the decor set up, working with our dancers special requests for lighting, helping solve music issues,  working with Tom and the photographers, as best they can, to make it a great show, Denis, JP, and Gabrielle are part of the community!

I think I’ve covered it all, with words that barely do it justice.

Thank you.

Happy Ho Ho.

T/H

Summer Sabbatical just around the corner…

Last Friday, I was pleased to have been a part of a great charity evening, Summer Sizzle Ignite the Night 2014.IMG_5922

 

The dancers were !!!!!! Amazingly phenomenal!  I on the other hand, after giving my energy to our Bollywood For Fun performance, was hit by that wave of inertia that I try to keep at bay, but with everything else happening in my  personal little universe…

So, instead of being an “awesome stage dancer”, which each and every one of the other performers that night showed how to do that, I chose my alternate route – for which I am known.

After a few fun moments on stage, I took to the darkness,  dancing through the crowd, enjoying being a “community dancer”.  I think I chatted with as many people as I danced around as I did during the rest of the evening when not performing!

So congrats to Catharine Crerar for another great event.  And thank you for having me be a part of it.

This week I am preparing for our move, not far, but after 17 years in the same building, 16 in the same unit, I’ve had a lot of stuff to go through.

And the new place is still under renos < which are being done so I am grateful, but timing!!!  So panic mode is gently running under the calm demeanour I am trying to maintain while I finish off 5 clients today and tomorrow, pack boxes and stack them, calm a stressed out dog < with the most appreciated help of Dar > and attempt to organize the generously offered time of friends and family who will help us move – assuming we can get in there Wednesday to at least stack boxes into a big empty room :-)

Then August 1st hits and I am on SUMMER SABBATICAL.

Which means time is spent settling what we can in the apartment, dealing with outstanding website issues, business paperwork and sleeping if possible. But generally, heading offline, outside, unavailable, disappearing, socializing  when possible and just taking some family time!

Then I’ll see you in September! < click for my class schedule :-) >

Scene from Pog lake

 

Busy summer ahead- as usual but a little different!

This weekend, I danced at Community Cup with Bollywood For Fun.
Go see pics here:
Bollywood For Fun by wtl
Last weekend, I danced at Emilie’s Run with the amazing Belly Dancing For Fun Rogue Dancers:

click for more photos

click for more photos

And then I switched over to join up with Bollywood For Fun and headed east bound to the Blackburn Public library for a quick dance and lesson then off to Andrew Hayden Park for the MSMF picnic, meeting up with 2 more BWFF dancers there.
More photos:

Click for more photos

Click for more photos

Not a very dramatic telling of the weekend’s of fun but know that the dancing is what keeps me somewhat sane.

In the midst of all of the dancing, I still have sewing clients, though the universe has blessed me with more costumes and less bridal this summer!  And we have more dancing to come, so I hope to see you out there!

I am also about to move a lot of stuff. everywhere.

Virtual world: this weekend, my main business website for both TAV Creations and Belly Dancing For Fun is about to undergo mitosis. So if anything goes wrong, it’s while people are drinking and carousing here in Canada, and won’t even be online to see :-)

Virtual World: I also, as part of the above mitosis – what a great word – have moved my weekly Dancers’ News weekly email to a new distribution site and have had to comply with the new Canadian Anti- Spam stuff – so confusion and wackiness there!

Real world: Boxes and Boxes and Boxes abound in my home as the apartment building we have lived in for 17+ years has been sold and the new owners are doing major renos and we have to leave. So forced out by upcoming paint fumes, dust and an actual legal requirement, we have found a new home nearby and will be spending much of July purging and packing and hopefully trickle-moving over towards the end of the month with a binge move and yard sale to take care of the final bits.

Real World: Annual August sabbatical: yep, we still get our time off, and the time we’ll spend unpacking will be offset by some time in the woods – but at a NEW site – disturbing to not know where the trees will be, but our zero gravity chairs we got last year are at least a sold plan if the hammocks have to be configured in a less than usual way ( we’ve had 1 of 3 sites for the past 16 years, so now that we have to move to a new one, more adventures!)

And so, blogging may be limited for the next while, but keep an eye on my twitter stream for short bursts!

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day 2014

Another show…and some fresh perspective.

The finale when everyone joins in the fun!

The finale when everyone joins in the fun!

I usually write up a thank note of sorts here on my blog after whatever latest event I have organized has taken place and we’ve all started the recovery.

And this is sort of that, but I wanted to explore some of the other aspects of the event organizing business and maybe it should be separate, but we are all busy, so let’s get that stuff out of the way first.

Community verging on family:

That’s what our Ottawa Belly dance Community feels like for me.  We  cannot all be at the family reunions, we sometimes get irritated with each other, once we know each other really well, then we say things without reservation, and most of the time that’s great, and then sometimes it’s like the proverbial family sitcom where the journey is full of ups and downs.

But we all come through it in the end because we support each other. There will always be things that happen at any event both seen by all as well as behind the scenes, and we have to deal with it in the best way we can.

I want to send my first thank you to the folks who took care of a lot of little, and maybe not so little, things that took place without my knowledge. These women, who are my friends and chosen family, know me well enough to see the twitching near my eyeball and save me from the “1 more thing to deal with” that might take me right over the edge.

Anyone who has organized an event knows how many balls are in the air the whole time and you do your best to keep them going where they need to be, but it’s a lot easier to do when you have great friends who are there to step in and grab the balls that are heading for the floor before they shatter. < not a ball joke, A&S Advanced class, I swear!>

Honour system:

How cool is it that the wonderful system I go with for ticket distribution and collection works on an honour system. That sense of community allows me to trust that yes, everyone who has accepted responsibility to sell tickets and return either the tickets or cash on the night of the show, works. It just does. BTW – if you were supposed to pay for tickets and forgot, just send me an email interac payment :-)

” My little sandbox”:

One comment I got on Facebook overnight was from a dancer I have known for years, but this was the first time her group was able to join us and dance at the OCCP. Being an invite-only party with a limited amount of time and space, I cannot always include everyone I would like to, and sometimes if people are not in my face about wanting to dance, they slip through the cracks.  So I was very pleased to be able to add new groups and Rogue dancers to the show this time around to mix things up and give others a chance to show us how great they are.  And her comment about playing in my sandbox { it was positive} reminded me that yes, I am a dictator < hopefully benevolent> , and yes, as much as it could not happen without a LOT of help, the OCCP is still my baby, my turf, and I am ok with that.

A LOT OF HELP:

Ok- outright thank you time! Thank you all for playing your own special role in making the evening great!

From the door help: Linda, Michelle, Erika, Laura, Gailene, and even Robert for a while; to stage manager: Catharine; to Decor: Michele; to photography: Robert, Yasmin and Ivy; Video < and general life support>: Tom; to food: Anna and Safiya and Melissa; to cleaning up afterwards: Emilie, I could not imagine how things would go without you all doing the things you do!

The teachers who spend months working with their students, the Rogue Dancers, who spend extra time working on their own routines, the performers, who should take so much pride in their accomplishments – from beginners through to pros, you all keep raising the bar for this show and I am so grateful you take advantage of this opportunity to be creative, exploring different inspirations and then sharing it with us.

The Sponsors who donate their gifts to add that little something extra to the event – go support them the rest of the year, ‘kay?

The guests- friends and family of our dancers who come out on a weeknight, staying out past bedtime, who come to support one friend and then share their enjoyment of the entire show and support everyone who dances – you are wonderful!

Thank you all.

AND FINALLY:

If you performed and wanted a DVD but did not get a chance to order one, email info@darnermedia.ca and make arrangements with Tom directly.

Unclaimed Doorprizes:

Ticket Number 25 { you are one of my students, but I don’t know who! }: Scream A Little Dream Dvd and a Gift Certificate from Dunyia Dance Studio for one 4 week Registration.

Ticket Number 97 {You are one of Bahiya’s Students}: 1 set of weighted veils from Zamira of the VeiledEye.com including a 1 hour lesson plus 1 free ticket to the upcoming Summer Sizzle in July!

Please message me to figure out a good day/ time to get your prize to you! email: halyma@bellydancingforfun.com

Share your photos on flickr.com:

Yes RSV Photography has spoken to most of you about the option to eventually put pics up on his pages both his private website to start and then Facebook, but I am a fan of flickr – it’s free, you get lots of space, and you maintain all of your rights for your photos.

So I have set up a semi-private Flickrgroup where if you can PLEASE share any shots you took, and share them with others who attended. When you click through, just request to join and upload your photos.  If you are unsure of how to do that and prefer to send me your shots and I can upload them, giving you credit of course, that’s great too!

UPDATE: The Dvds have been shipped – if you missed your chance that night to order one { And are a performer} message info@darnermedia.ca and make your request before June 20.  Let Tom know which performance you were in!

And - just showing off: my new Logo for Halyma's Belly Dancing For Fun

And – just showing off: my new Logo for Halyma’s Belly Dancing For Fun

Come dance? Summer Playtime: half class/half practice

The idea:

Drop in for bellydance time in a studio space with mirrors.
It is Air conditioned- though we don’t always feel it.
I would teach a bit, and then you would have free time to play. And if you just want to practice on your own, that’s fine too – the fee is to cover the room rental fees.
You’ll have room to practice your own thing with veils, wings, zills stick, almost anything!
Tuesdays from June 17 to July 22
-6:30 to 7:30p.m.
Location: 172 Guigues – Free parking < entrance off Cumberland just north of St. Patrick>
$65 for 6 weeks 
Drop ins $15/ personTo Register for the full session:

Send me an email at halyma@bellydancingforfun.com and an email itnerac or Paypal payment of $65.  Or pay me in cash the next time you see me :-)

 join the Facebook event

 

Link back here if you like this poster!

May is gonna be so busy!

I just began my Monday evening classes last night, and it’s a small group, but I think that’s going to be just right for this session!

I also start my Awaken your Inner Goddess classes this coming Thursday, and am working on how I’ll be manifesting this concept – since it’s a new type of weekly class for me, I want to go with the flow.  Fortunately, I am sure the women who have signed up will be open to the adventure!

May 9-11 is also Ottawa ComicCon and I’ll be volunteering there as an Ottawa Browncoat and am hoping to see some  cool celebs  when I take my breaks!

Tracey, Nathan, Tom

And then there’s the dance festival events that are coming up for both Bollywood For Fun { my other dance group} as well as Belly dancing For Fun and Bellywood with Halyma.  Lots of practices and co-ordination with my many wonderful colleague dancers ahead!

 

Keep an eye here and on the Dancers’ News for info about the many events – some are fundraisers and  have a ticket purchase involved, some are community events and are free to attend!