Category Archives: Halyma

Improv dancing with some lovely ladies!

So first – here’s the video – in case you don’t feel like reading my rambling thoughts!
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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.
That’s the rambling.
Super awesome time with SLA and Y – you ladies were so gracious to get up and join me! 


The morning after – feeling grateful

Last night was the Tribal Fluid show- Ostara Tribal Showcase.Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 6.28.01 PM
It was a lovely event in an intimate theatre at Algonquin College, and had a very warm and connected feeling about it.
Part of this feeling for me was definitely coming from a place of relaxation. I was not in charge, I just needed to be told where to go, when to go there and otherwise could relax in the green room and enjoy the company of dancers of all levels and characters!
Seeing Audra of The Dark Side Studios  and Kala, both of whom I keep track of on IMG_2609social media #notastalker, had met years ago, and thoroughly enjoy seeing the projects they work on through their dance, was fun, silly and totally a laugh and a half.  These women are power house dancers with immense talent and constantly push boundaries and embrace and support others in their journeys. And they are so very down to earth. They rock.
Although the general theme of the show was under the larger umbrella of “tribal“, the performances were varied and creative across the board, with every dancer/ group showing something close to their heart, or testing their own boundaries and trying something new.
IMG_2598It was an honour to both perform as part of Bollywood For Fun, and to be asked to do a  solo.
On my own journey, I am on the inward part of my spiral, Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 8.42.46 AMexamining my own roots in dance from a new perspective. I began with ballroom/ latin and I am exploring that a little bit – and seeing where that takes me.
When I began belly dance, I did not perform to middle eastern music, and I have maintained that as part of my general repertoire. As I explore the realities of cultural appropriation, and a constant examination and re-examination of my choices in regards to this beautiful dance form, there is a lot of soul searching going on, and while I have no clear answers, I do want to respect the culture, and be true to my own love of dance from my own place of honouring it.
IMG_2593As I say, I have not come to any conclusions other than I can constantly strive to respect the source of the dance, and try to represent it in an elegant way, educating people with my own limited knowledge and re-directing them to more educated master teachers to spread awareness and appreciation for this gorgeous dance form.
So back to gratitude, as I do have that privilege of working with amazing performers and community members.
Great job Tracy and crew – it does get easier. Keep notes, repeat what worked, adjust what didn’t, ask for help when you need to and I hope you get today off!
Click on this one to see more!
Ostara Tribal Showcase

Back dancing again!

With my belly dance classes ending in late November, I had a few weeks off from regularly scheduled dancing.
Last week I began a new adventure in Salsa classes at the Taggart Family YMCA and am feeling the joy of simply learning to dance again!  A client who has twin feet to me generously let me help her clear out some shoes from her closet and the practice oxfords are GREaT!

Tonight/ this week, my belly dance classes resume and I am looking forward to a new group of beginners to guide into the sparkly waters of this shimmering dance style. I am also grateful for the return of the intermediates who have signed up and really want to play hard this session!
So there will be some drumming , random veil work, and who knows what else – I love to improvise!
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Tonight – we dance!

This is it – a chance to see over 30 performances – for $15~

December 14, 2016
Ottawa Community Class Party #OCCP37

This is the end of season event for many local belly dance classes and will feature an evening of students and professionals offering up their love of Baladi, Raks Sharki, Bollywood, Fusion styles, ATS, and more for everyone’s enjoyment.
This elegant and ancient art form has evolved and fused with modern dance elements, catering to the taste of many dance aficionados.

Doors 6:30p.m.
Show starts at 7 p.m.
Ottawa University Alumni Auditorium
Jock Turcot University Centre Building
$15 at the door! for more details!

Programme : NO PAPER COPIES WILL BE PRINTED – so grab this one!

Belly Dancing this fall – Wednesdays~!

Veil action

Halyma’s FALL 2016 Classes – Bellydance

Sandy Hill Community Centre – 250 Somerset East – 613-564-1062
Call to register with the barcode and your pin number or register online at
Bellydance Level 1  Learn the basics and have some jungly sparkly fun on humpday!
Sandy Hill 613-564-1062 
Wed. 6-7 pm  September 14 to November 16 <10 weeks>
Code: 1048409
Price $89
Bellydance Level 2 You know the basics, so let’s bring it up a notch and add some extra props, live drumming and more!
Sandy Hill 613-564-1062 
Wed. 7-8 pm September 14 to November 16 <10 weeks>
Price $89

And we danced! 

Today was day 2 of the Tamarack  Ottawa Race Weekend and a few weeks ago, I managed to connect with the folks running it. A few emails later, one important request to Siddiqah of Fat Cat Bellydance, and suddenly Ottawa’s Belly Dancing Community was back at the marathons! 
Thank you to all of the amazing dancers who came out and cheered, played zills, veiled and generally showed the runners we were there to support their efforts!
And thanks to Michel- husband of Siddiqah- his support of our community was extra helpful today!
Yay ladies for a great return to the Ottawa Race Weekend 2016! 

It's Souk Day

Up early to finish organizing my items for my booth/table at the Ottawa Souk.
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It’s wonderful to see new co-ordinators taking on the adventure and making it their own!
Congrats in advance to Jehane and Lisa-Marie for their energy and hard work in co-ordinating today’s event!
Details are here.
And I am looking forward to only having my booth, workshop and performance with Bollywood For Fun to concern myself with today!
TAV Creations-OttawaSoukWorkshop
I attended a Walrus Talk this past week and one of the speakers, Zahra Ebrahim, talked about finding others who can do what we do, so that we are redundant but not obsolete. And I connected with that so completely.
Having retired from organizing the Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar after my last one in October of 2013, and seeing others pick up the torch and give it a go, was my first step in opening myself up to other opportunities. This year, I stepped back from co-ordinating a June OCCP < Ottawa Community Class Party> and two lovely ladies, Mia and Daniya, immediately stepped up and are hosting their own event, and inviting those performers who would have been at the OCCP to join them at their Shimmy into Summer showcase.
And I am still busy. #bridalseason #bollywooddance #havingalife
Letting others have the chance to show off their skills and bring new ideas and fresh approaches to the community is a blessing and rejuvenation for us all.
At this point, I have been casually asked if/when I will give up the Dancers’ Newsletter… And it’s a question worth considering. I spend more time of late encouraging people to consistently submit their information, but often to “crickets” so, sadly, not everything gets included.
I do not pick and choose what events I’ll list – I leave that in the hands of the promoters and organizers to send me their information. But people are busy and I totally understand that.
For now, I’ll continue to offer this community service to share what information I am sent, but is everyone already seeing this information on Facebook anyway?
Do you get the Dancers’ News? Do you use the online page rather than receive the email version?  Do you even remember that it exists?
Does it help you to see the events in a list format where you can scroll through?  Or do you use Facebook to keep track of the events you plan to attend?
What about classes? Do you go online to to find the classes you want to attend, or check the school board sites directly?  Or does your teacher email you directly every session to remind you to sign up?
I’d love some comments and feedback or you can email me directly if you have thoughts but don’t want to share them publicly. or leave a comment below.
And come say hi if you are at the Souk today!

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

Playtime – Tis the right stuff!

What a great time tonight with a great group of dancers! Awesome to see my returning Tuesday ladies and welcoming back BJ!
If you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, my classes are taking a different spin on Tuesdays for the winter session and I’m just playing along with everyone!
We have the space, we are booked for the next 9 more Tuesdays and we are both watching along with those dvds I have purchased over the years, as well as some digital footage I’ll bring out later!
Details are in my class schedule, and you can come by any Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; pay the drop-in fee of $10 to me; and PLAY!