Tag Archives: ottawa belly dance show

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.
IMG_6788
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

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!

March Break and St. Paddy's Day Drop in and Dance – #Selfpromo time

Alrighty – NO CLASSES this week { March Break} means I have to bug you people via the inter webs!
For those who were in my classes last week and remember me talking about putting a try { foil plate} on your head and doing all the moves, Click here to see a video,  It’s not me, I don’t know Ranya, but she does a lovely job so let’s all go watch her video.
Back now? Cool.
Sunday, March 16th – come see dancers!
Yes, there are advance tickets available, yes you can pay at the door, yes we have pretty much full roster with times allotted for open dancing. Click on the photo to go buy your ticket via paypal, or head over to the main site.
Sunday Drop In And Dance Poster
 
 
Also to note – Registration has begun for my spring classes! Class Details and my new class…

Awaken Your Inner Goddess
Click here for my blogpost about this.

2014- Back to Dance! Classes begin tonight – Dance Party Next week!

Every session my schedule changes. For 16 years now,  I spend a few weeks before the start date negotiating with the universe, the community centres and sometimes even potential students to at least get one night of classes running.

I am weak. If I didn’t “have” to be there, the futon, the computer, the paperwork, the lurking sewing commitments would all give me one more reason to stay home.

Teaching helps me.  It helps me get outside. It helps me socialize. and it helps me develop, practice and enhance my craft.

For the winter it’s Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and that’s wonderful!  See some of you tonight!

Oh Yeah – And I also talked a little while ago about stirring things up… so here’s my active contribution to the solution ( with my Bollywood For Fun gals to help)…

Get your tickets here

Jan 24 poster version2