still she danced and other 2021 reflections

Hello friends! Wishing you a vibrant 2022, in whatever ways you find that spark…be it dance, art, your favourite person/pet, or stories of collective action during these uncertain times.

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May your shimmies be juicy and your footwork be fancy!

This global pandemic is fatiguing, and seeing so many people lose their livelihood and even their lives to coronavirus makes hope hard to come by sometimes. Throughout it all, art has been a saving grace, whether serving as a tool to process and express ourselves during these times, to distract and lose yourself in another world or dream up new ways of being from the debris of failed systems. I am heartened by the possibilities of new structures that allow for more equity, connection and honouring people over profit. Toward this future, its so important that we keep making art, keep dancing, keep the creativity alive.

In my reflections of 2021, I am most proud that I continued to work on dance training, collaborations and projects. My love and motivation for dance burns strong and although the landscape of performance is so uncertain (like everything!), I know that dance is woven into the fabric of my life, I can’t imagine it without. I also know that people need inspiration and beauty in these times and if you didn’t see art as a survival tool before this pandemic, I hope you have come to witness the power of art to buoy us individually and collectively in difficult times.

Here’s a timeline of my year in dance. Have a click through to see some of the wonderful artists in our local and international fusion bellydance community!

JAN Dance For Screens with Franscesca Avani, attended ‘Cultural Concepts for Fusion Dancers’ with Amel Tafsout. Zagat Solo class with Melissa Gamal of Ya Amar

FEB – flexibility training series with Deb Rubin, started teaching Wavy Wednesdays, attended Gather at the Delta online

MARCHHouse of Shimmy at Glitter online: radical improv edition, House of Shimmy at Medusa Rising

APRILHouse of Shimmy rehearsals with Lynx Dean

MAYSerpentine Studio Body Bootcamp

JUNE – The Online Dancer with Audra at Darkside Studio, House of Shimmy with Lynx Dean at F*ck Shit Up: a Trans & Non-binary Cabaret, online classes with Mardi Love, solo and HOS at Serpents Circle (online)

JULY – Weekly classes with Zahira at Dragonfly, Music In The Park (live!) with Lynx Dean, Sword workshop with Michelle Sorenson, Body Bootcamp at Serpentine Studio

AUG – House of Shimmy at Bellydance Brew online (hosted by Vanessa Mathews of Seraka), Fan veil class in the park with Stacie Noel

SEPT – in person workshop with Audra at Belly Up in Burlington, House of Shimmy video collab with Lybido (stay tuned for release!), Vogue 101 w Dana Rosales, attended Moving Meditation with Denise Fujiwara, Mardi Love classes, flexibility with Deb Rubin

OCT – House of Shimmy with Lynx Dean (live!) at Music in the Park

NOV – Audra workshop (in person!), House of Shimmy at Rockin’ Raqs, weekly Dragonfly classes

DECFAOC ‘Beige Christmas’ video shoot, weekly Dragonfly classes, attended online conference on Amazigh Tribal Inspiration in USA Fusion Dances by Lei of KiKif Bledi, sword workshop with Zahira at Dragonfly

I am so grateful to have continued to be carried by art through this pandemic. I got a few live shows in and it felt really great –like no time had passed. Especially at Rockin’ Raqs in November as the dancers filed into the changeroom, it was such good heart medicine to perform live with and for people. As we continue into another wave of uncertainty in this pandemic, lets us be reminded that art will always find a way for it is a part of our humanity, and especially now, essential to our collective wellbeing

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