Back to work – well for some of us!

I completely envy the folks who chose this week to head off to warmer climates for a sojourn. Good call.

– 15C <Canadian> with a windchill of -24C means the snow pants and extra inner layers come out for any walkabout I do today.

But January in Ottawa, what do I expect?Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 6.46.48 AM

And now it’s also time to look ahead to both my week < tis Monday morning pre-7 a.m. after all> plus being the first Monday of January 2015, there is a little symbolism there since I pretty much follow the Gregorian calendar. Thus the “new year” begins.

For me, the new year actually starts in the fall, when classes resume and so this feels more like Second BreakfastSecond breakfast.

But French toast with jelly made from Campbell’s Bay wild plums < thanks Laura and Todd> will make second breakfast do just fine…

( In case you were wondering, Elevensies comes around April)

Annnd…back to work, oh yes.

So classes start in a couple of weeks – depending on enrolment, so of course here is where I poke you to be sure to sign up – take someone’s classes – get dancing!

Or sewing, as yes, I also have sewing classes on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings …

Print Me-SewingClubPromo2015

And I’m already booking custom sewing appointments this week so I hope you will keep me in mind if you have any design needs this coming year – weddings, costumes, anything pretty and fun will always catch my interest!

Happy first week back to work – or first week on holidays depending on your situation!

See you soon!


Getting ready to dance… students and professionals all put their belt on the same way.

Well, sort of – I was trying to come up with a dance related metaphor  for ” putting your pants on one leg at a a time”, and that was the best I could come up with in 10 seconds of thinking…

Onward we go.

In our area, we have an assortment of opportunities available to us to perform, depending on your level, interest in generating dance opportunities < pros- advertising your availability to restaurants and for private parties; students, nagging your teachers to give you a chance to dance >.



While there are better pics of Halyma, this shows a bit of the veil and skirt from Shibori Borealis...


And there are some standards that help making the transformation from your everyday gorgeous self ….

to your super powered dancer self.

As we are approaching my own Big Bi-Annual OCCP < Ottawa Community Class Party >, I spent the end of my final rehearsal time with one of my student groups listing a pile of things to think about as they prepare to dance that night.

And I thought some of you might find it helpful, interesting, and can add your own little tidbits in the comments, especially to help the new and up and coming dancers have more information! HAS A GREAT ARTICLE TOO -SO CHECK IT OUT!!

These are not in any particular order, just how they pop into my head, so prioritize based on your own process!

Know your music.Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 8.07.29 AM

Do I need to say more? Unless you are improvising to a live band you have never met before, in which case, just dance!!

Know your routine with your eyes closed.

Dancing a choreographed piece with other students? Know your routine with your eyes closed < literally, yes, I mean it>,  while still being prepared to adjust if everyone else suddenly forgets and you are the only one “doing it right”.

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 8.08.54 AMPractice Your Smile.

Unless your piece calls for a different facial expression, in which case, you should practice that.  It’s muscle memory once you don’t have to think about it, and that will make those pics of your look great.


Stand up straight, from the ribcage, and keep your butt tucked under to both protect your lower back and keep it from looking like you are doing some sort of Booty dance – unless you are doing it ironically, of course!  AND LOOK UP!!!


On stage, the lights are bright – your face will fade into a neutral blob unless you define your lips and eyes. Here’s my cheesy video for applying make-up:

IMG_2098Nails and feet

You don’t have to go out and get an expensive mani-pedi, but take a moment to make sure your nails are neat and even, add polish if you like, but well groomed is the key. And shoes or not is also your choice, but it’s good to have a pair with you, just in case the space you are dancing in requires shoes, or is simply safer for you with shoes.


YES. There are some costumes that make it difficult, but Bellydance has enough of a PR issue without the audience being distracted by the accidental viewing of more than they expected. And yes, I’ve heard that “in the old days” dancers didn’t wear underwear, so I’ll add that this is my OPINION, with which you can do what you like… but think about it…

Cover-up/Galabeya/robeScreen Shot 2014-12-06 at 8.35.03 AM

Wear one for wandering around the audience. Yes, your veil can work in a pinch, but if you have a loose dress/ long tunic/ something comfy and pretty, save the viewing of your actual costume for when you are on stage. It also allows you to eat and drink – so that you don’t faint – without risking getting stuff on your costumes.


Your choice, but remember that MANY people have allergies/ sensitivities/ coughing fits around freshly sprayed hairspray, so TAKE IT OUTSIDE to a separate area where you can spray and return to the dressing area without overwhelming your colleagues.

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 8.26.51 AMPERFUME -NO.

Just no. It’s really not needed in this day and age of hygiene, and think about it – if you are on stage, no one is going to smell you anyway; and if you are dancing in a restaurant, shouldn’t the patrons be enjoying the smell of good food and drink? And that goes for essential oils, incense, and any other heavy scents – again we have society that has a number of people with sensitivities or should I say “Scentsitivities”, some of whom will actually become nauseated or get migraines from perfumes. Please be kind and just don’t. < lecture ends here >

STUFF– I treat this like I treat camping:

  • Pack light;
  • Keep your site clean
  • Make it better than how you found it;
  • Take home everything your brought with you
  • Recycle and clean up your garbage

Arrive on time or a little early

You may not get the chance to walk through your routine, but at least if you can check out the space you will be dancing in/on, you can take a few moments to prepare any modifications you might need to.  We’ve danced in shopping malls, in parks on rickety stages, in parks on uneven grass, and in theatres where it’s simply glorious, and every situation has required a quick run through with the group to establish entrances, exits, placements on stage etc.

Have you music in multiple formats

Click here for great Cd Art

Click here for great Cd Art

These days, in  my opinion, cd’s should be gone the way of cassette tapes < which is what I started with!> but many venues are still using cd players for their sound system. So, while I always inquire in advance, I usually bring my music on my iPod  < not my phone, that risks a disturbance in the force while dancing>, a USB stick and in rare cases, if absolutely required, cd. Most modern DJs have their laptop in place and can take your music right off a USB stick – but having it in more than one playable format is good.

What else do you do to prepare for a show?

Leave me some comments and if you have questions, pop them in the comments as well!

2014 – updating the site – a little bit at least!

In an effective way to still be “productive” while avoiding pulling out the stacks of paperwork I need to process for my businesses, I’ve been updating the look here just a little bit and shifting the information around.

Hopefully it will feel more streamlined, and be effective for use by people looking to find out more about my classes, my DVDs, hiring me or my bellydancingforfun ladies for events etc.

And, of course, I’ll be continuing to send out weekly updates to the Dancers’ News, both from the online version here, as well as the one you can subscribe to on the original site.

So, welcome 2014, I look forward to tweaking { not twerking, just to be clear} things as I try to improve both my dance and custom bridal and eco sewing & design business presences online!

And in case you want to come dancing- registration is underway:


October 17th Dancers’ Bazaar – come vote!

Hey folks – in a few weeks it’ll be time to go shopping again!  Start saving your loonies and get ready for another fun SUNDAY Afternoon at the Ottawa Dancer’s Bazaar!



Sunday, October 17, 2010

12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

260 McArthur (Knights of Columbus Hall), Ottawa, Ontario.

The largest gathering of Ottawa area dancers with the best selection of new and used costumes, fabrics, music, accessories and more to buy, sell, swap and trade!

Open to all – free admission

Meet teachers, check out class schedules, get costume information, and much more!

Something for everyone – young and old – men and women! Come on out and enjoy the afternoon!

The Dancer’s Bazaar now hosts over 40 tables of goods and services to appeal to the shopper in us all! All booked with a variety of local and out of town vendors for your shopping pleasure!

Looking for zills? Sticks? Veils? Skirts? Music? Anything you can think of, and many things you might not have thought would come in handy – tote bags and cover-ups, baladi dresses, and accessories to complete any outfit! Whew! There will be new stock from Egypt, Turkey and of course from our local artisans and designers. And be sure to check out the many deals for used costumes as well.

If you have never been to the Dancers’ Bazaar before, come check out the Shopping Guidelines here for some ideas on how to make it a fun day!


– you can choose as many categories as you like!

Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar Poll-March2010

With the Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar coming up on March 6,2010, we as vendors want to know what you as shoppers are looking for!  So please take our poll to see what is the most wanted items for this winter!  You can choose more than one item – but what are your real intentions for your shopping adventures??

If you are looking for something other than what I have included, please leave a comment saying so! We’d love to get your thoughts!

This will really help provide some pre Bazaar guidance for those of us hoping to provide you with what you are looking for!

So help us out – give your feedback and have some fun!~