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!

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 8.58.41 AM

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

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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.

 

More dancing w/ Bollywood For Fun at Mercury lounge Saturday!

Welcomed once again by Kuljit of Galitcha to join in on a fun Saturday evening of Bollywood at the Mercury lounge, we hope to see you there!

KBH July 12 Poster with BFF 2014
And I’m getting my bellydance on in the morning at a private belly dance lesson – something fun for showers and bachelorette parties – think about it!

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!

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!

2014-dancepromosheetbdffSPRING

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.  Dropbox.com 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!