Improv dancing with some lovely ladies!

So first – here’s the video – in case you don’t feel like reading my rambling thoughts!

Thanks to Sarah Leigh Anne and Yvonne for being willing to suddenly, unexpectedly, and totally spontaneously joining me on the stage!

Now the rambling…

As I get older – and maybe wiser, but I don’t want that kind of pressure, I am embracing those moments when my life is a full on spiral. Finding myself coming back to revisit experiences from my youth, but with new perspective and some joyful abandon, it’s very freeing, and enlightening.

People who have had actual children, please do not be offended by the following – it’s an analogy, a metaphor, a perspective…

I realized today that I have been having the wonderful experiences of my kids growing up, moving out, finding new relationships and moving on.  Without the loss, without the empty-nest feelings, without rancorous feelings about whoever they are choosing to hang out with/ get involved with/ move in with… it’s fine.  It’s great in fact!

Years back, I retired from hosting the Dancers’ Bazaar, and it went off into a polyamorous relationship with two lovely organizers, tried being monogamous with one of them and has moved on to another poly situation. It’s awesome.

Last December, I hosted my last Big End of Season Student party. I had already kicked that kid out in the spring  of 2016 and it also immediately sought out a couple of lovely young ladies with which to spend it’s time.  It had to come home for the holidays, though, and I announced that night that I was done – fly, be free, leave the nest!  And it has gone one to party with a new tribe  < see what I did there?>, but with many or it’s usual friends still coming out to play.

And it’s also awesome.

So, back to the point of the video and my spiralling back upon things I did in my “youth”. While I still get to engage audience members when we perform with Bollywood For Fun and have an interactive finale, I had stopped doing that spontaneous, “I want to get others up with me”, stuff years ago as I was trying to be a better technical dancers, challenge myself with new costumes, props, artistic approaches.

So, this past week, I went back. Did I know my music – yeah…sort of… I had listened to it a couple of times when I took it from my students’ potential songs, Thanks Veronique!. And I listened to it maybe 2-3 times on Wednesday before performing. Yeah, I’m busy, I’ve done a lot with pushing myself over the years, but I always had the most fun when I could just dance.

No pressure, no choreography, no stress – yeah – I don’t get nervous if I am improvising. I get nervous if I am doing a routine with other dancers where it will show when my brain leaves the stage.

Anyway.

That’s the rambling.

Super awesome time with SLA and Y – you ladies were so gracious to get up and join me! 

 

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Volunteering in Ottawa’s Belly Dance community

As some of you have read, I’m shifting my focus to enjoy some new adventures in my life, and letting others pick up the torch for some of my long time endeavours.  I am looking forward to continuing to be  apart of these wonderful events, as a volunteer/ sponsor/ participant, just not as organizer.

I thought I would just do a quick post to highlight a couple of upcoming events that can use some helping hands and invite you to contact the organizers to offer your help!

If you are already on the crews, please feel free to share this post to invite more folks to help out and maybe get some of our newer community members involved in fun ways!

Info from the Dancers’ News – submit your event info here

Leading up to the May 14, 2016 Ottawa Gatineau Shimmy Mob, advanced help and day of help would be awesome – PLUS MORE DANCERS!!  All proceeds go to charity, and for 2016 – Interval House Ottawa!

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Head over here for preliminary info:www.ottawagatineaushimmymob.ca .

To join in on the dancing, and to get your t-shirt and choreography access, you’ll need to sign up at the official site to perform, but other help is welcome too!

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 9.01.28 AMThe new incarnation of the Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar, now known as the Ottawa Souk, will take place April 24th.  I think Jehane and Lisa-Marie, the awesome new bosses, have a full onslaught of vendors, but be sure to “volunteer” you time and come out to shop!

If you have students looking to perform this spring/summer –  June 21st, 2016- Shimmy into Summer Dance Showcase see the Facebook event is happening at the Studio Theatre in Centrepointe Theatres!

I am not producing a June OCCP this year, and the lovely and enthusiastic Mia and Danya are shimmying up, presenting this night of belly dancing in support of Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.

They are still looking for performers, please contact: miacharlotte1957@hotmail.com for more information.

I hope to hear of more community events in the future, and to see all of you soon!

T/H

Another step back in order to step forward

2015 has come to an end and I’ve learned some stuff this year that I am choosing to work with as I move forward in my businesses and personal adventures.

Catch phrases that apply:

  • I’m not as young as I used to be…
  • Work smarter not harder…
  • If your own cup is empty, you’ll have nothing to share with those who around you…

 

I’m not as young as I used to be…

This is a simple fact.  Not a self-deprecation, just a fact. I have arrived in a place where I have been pushing myself, mostly quite joyfully, sometimes stressfully, for years and lately I have felt the repercussions of perhaps doing a bit more than my body and sanity should have allowed.

Certainly, I have been choosing convenience eating and have the resulting physical manifestations of that occurring. I have benefited from therapy over the past year for anxiety issues, and have begun to process the changes I want to make in my routine that will contribute to me being healthier, both in body and mind.  One step at a time, and one day at a time, with some accountability worked in, but not too much pressure.

Work smarter not harder…

Self-employment has always been part of my income stream, and I have always tried to keep a logical head about outside work. For the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of a somewhat regular paycheque and the chance to work with some crazy fun ladies through bouts of high pressure and creative moments. Lots of challenges, and lots of rewards and LOTS of learning.  Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.33.03 AM

Awareness dawned that working outside my studio space, even “part time”, involves a big commitment, and the rewards are worth it, so I’ll be looking at some “stepping back” from my dance related activities during my high sewing season, even more than I have in the past.

I will continue to offer classes through the Winter 2016 session, both sewing and dance classes. In the spring, I will step back from teaching Saturday sewing classes.  I need that time for clients, both my own and the shop’s.

I also have realized that with my work in the bridal world being full time busy from April through the summer, I cannot organize a June Ottawa Community Class Party.

There will be NO Halyma’s OCCP in June.

I hope to offer a community showcase dance recital again December 2016 – depending on interest, classes, etc., of course. Keep posted in the fall for that.

What this might mean for May/June is that other teachers/studio owners/ community members, either as a collective or on their own can take the opportunity to show off their event-organizing skills and hopefully extend the invitations to me and other teachers, continuing that community feeling I have worked to create for years. Or not.  We shall see.

If your own cup is empty, you’ll have nothing to share with those who around you…

And finally, this concept: I am finally ok with the idea that I must take some time for me. I’ve already begun trying new skills, exploring other creative paths, revisiting past creative paths, and some days, just being.

And as I find cool things that inspire me, challenge me in a healthy way, or excite me < yeah, if you know me, you understand the hyperbole of that phrase, but hopefully will allow for some degree of “excitement”- at least in my writing about it>, I’ll be sharing those adventures here or in my other social media places!

So, there you have it.

2016 will be a journey like no other, based on the lessons of the past…

 

*Flashback*:“The Present is a Gift from The Past, and an Inspiration to the Future.” -Tracey “Halyma” Vibert, TEDxOttawa Talk, December 2009.

 

Another post-OCCP post

Happy seasonal greeting.

It was that time of year again last night as we came together dance, laugh, get all sparkly and party.

This is my Thanks to all post, and I’m pretty tired – it’s 5 a.m. the next day. So it will be brief.

General thanks and kudos goes out to all of the students who performed  – it’s never easy to bare yourself to the public < but it’s not that kind of show…>, so I hope you all were as comfortable as possible at our little shindig.

Thanks to the host teachers who accept my invitation to bring their classes and sometimes themselves out to share their skills as choreographers, improvisors, and guides for those who study with them.  And for the work you do to help with the show – dealign with tickets, herding the cats, getting them all prettied up and encouraging them to hit the stage, or just come out to watch their classmates.

The rogues are also most appreciated !  You soloists and duets who are either in between the ranges – you are an advanced student working on your own thing, you are a teacher looking to get creative beyond the expectations of your regular curriculum, or you are guest teachers who are able to come out and shine for us – thanks you all too.

I was contemplating how much I delegate/ should delegate/ find it hard to delegate. And I realized that for years, a core group of amazing OCCP crew have already been quietly undermining my sense of ” I must control everything”.  These ladies take charge of the tasks they have chosen to do at the OCCP and have made the night one where I can actually host.  I run around, checking on superfluous things and chat.  So thank you to Linda, Erika, Catharine, Laura, Michele, Safiya and Annie.

Without you offering very specific things that you can take on, I would not find it an easy thing to ask people. So thanks for figuring out that way to help that makes it easy on me!

And the folks who are stepping up to offer, but are never sure what might need to be done, thank you as well! Even if I did not constantly keep you busy, it really helps knowing that folks are ready to step up as needed and make the operation run smoothly! Tina, Cat, Cassandra, Tracy, andI am sure there were more of you asking if you could be of assistance – thank you!

Rogue photographers – thank for joining us for our colourful evening – we cannot wait to see the shots you get!  The flickr group  is set up https://www.flickr.com/groups/occp36/  so we can share them privately! Linda, Ivy, Tom and Robert your shots will preserve our memories of this fun time! And if anyone else got amazing shots of the evening your photos will be welcome too.

Tom – thanks for being my rock at home, listening to my rants and helping keep me on track. And of course for providing a video record of the evening .

NOTE: If you forgot to order your dvd, message Info@darnermedia.ca with what group you were in…

There are some lost and found things – I’ll add those later – but if you lost something, let  me know. If  I don’t have it, you’ll want to contact the university directly to see if the tech guys found it after we left.

And thanks to the tech guys! – Denis and JP – were awesome as always.

And I may edit this later to add on the folks I forgot – but thanks everyone!

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Prepping for the upcoming Ottawa Dancer Bazaar- March 8

March 8th.

Knight’s of Columbus Hall at 260 McArthur.

Doors open from 12-4 p.m.

free admission – details of other vendors can be found here

Come to my table/booth:

TAV Creations/ Belly Dancing For Fun

Halyma’s Belly Dance instructional DVDs on sale:

CLICK on the photos for more details!

Halyma's Belly Dance DVD 1 coverHalyma's Belly Dance DVD 2 cover

Bazaar pricing will be $40 per set!  

That’s about half the price of ordering online!

1 day only!

Visa and Mastercard will be accepted, and cash is always welcome!

I’ll also have some used costumes, some new pieces and a new concept I’ll be presenting from my TAV Creations custom design side of things!

 

And I’ll also be practicing up this week to help lead the first official rehearsal for the May 9th Ottawa Shimmy Mob – part of an international fundraising challenge – still time for you to join!!

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.

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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