Tag Archives: students

Backstage at the Bay, St. Laurent and More!

Click on the photo to go to my Flickr Page!


IMG_0719.JPG, originally uploaded by campdancer2000.

Hey folks,
it has been a while! I’ve been fabulously busy with my sewing work! But I wanted to get these shots up so that the wonderful ladies who came out with me for this show can see how great they looked!Click on the photo to see the whole set!

Pics are also up from the National Women show ! Check them all out!
IMG_0500.JPG by you.

My thanks to the lovely ladies who came out with me for these two events!  

The Bay: Farasha, Shade, Isaden, and Ameenah! And Miriam, who took the pics! And Tom of course who shot video – but we are still working on getting that footage up!!

The National Women Show: Jewel, Zamira, Shade, Isaden, and Bollywood For Fun And Miriam, who took the pics! And Tom of course who shot video – but we are still working on getting that footage up!!

A Busy Weekend – come on out and see me!

Being self-employed means spending a lot of time working, and then a lot of time self-promoting! This weekend will have me doing a lot of both before I get to take some time off on Sunday!

Friday evening, I will be out in Kanata, doing some lesson demos and promoting my two instructional belly dance DVDs which I produced to fill a niche in home lesson DVDs. Halyma’s belly dance lessons on DVD are for a beginning student who wants to learn the movements in a fun and safe way! I had a lot of fun making them, and have them available online , but also in the Chapters in Kanata in their local authors area – as they are produced and distributed from here, Ottawa.

Saturday morning takes me bright and early to the RA centre on Riverside drive here in Ottawa to set up for the Ottawa Eco-Fair. There I will be promoting and selling my Eco-TAV green textiles product line in person.

Though you can buy the Eco-TAV Napkins and Pouches online here, and the Blossom Bags and MP3 player/camera/phone cases here online! After I do my best to save the planet one napkin at a time, I then head off for an evening of dance for charity!

Saturday evening takes me to the Glebe Community centre where I will be presenting two performances for a good cause. One is my Tuesday intermediate student group. A lovely group of ladies who have been practicing our new routine to get ready for this show, and then we’ll be embellishing it and adding more layers and fun for the June 10th show at the Bronson Centre [ details about that later]!

The second presentation involving me that evening will be as a member of a new dance group that I have helped found with 4 other dancers: Bollywood For Fun. While not quite our inaugural performance, it will be out first show before a large number of our peers in the belly dance world, and hopefully they will be kind!

So where ever you may be this weekend, I hope you can find some time to come by and say hello!
Now back to some of my other work!
Blessed be…

Upcoming Events in Halyma’s world!

Life is getting busy!  And that’s fabulous!

Sometimes I like to sit and make lists of all of the events, workshops, classes, and shows I have in my calendar for the next while, just to get my head wrapped around it all and sort of my timing.I’ll be performing in a few charity shows, as well as  baking cupcakes! I’ll be teaching along with a colleague of amazing status how to out together fabulous belly dance costumes! And I’ll be promoting my eco friendly products, in the hopes of spreading some awareness and joy!

I hope that if you are in Ottawa during the next few weeks that you’ll be able to come out to paricipate in some of these fun activities! Be sure to say HI!

March 21/22, 2009: TAV Creations/Eco-TAV at the Ottawa Go Green Expo

New products along with the growingly popular Eco-TAV Napkins and Pouches!

pouch-napkin promo shot

March 29, 2009 Featuring two charity events!  

s52492299268_9978The first will be in the afternoon and I’ll be participating as a baker at the first annual Ottawa CupCake Camp. They are hoping that over 2000 cupcakes will be there for the tasting!




In the evening, I’ll be part of a group of creative souls raising money for another at the Mercury Lounge in  Ottawa….Halyma performs at:pARTicipate! A Benefit for Hollis Hawthorne.  

Saturday, April 4, 2009: Randala and Halyma’s Costuming Extravaganza or How to Costume the Belly Dance Goddess in You!  Check out our Promo video!

April 18, 2009 – Another double header!  

Not only am I, TAV Creations /Eco-TAV, in the Ottawa Eco-Stewardship Fair during the day, but that evening I will have students performing as part of an eclectic  charity  Belly dance” show at the Glebe Community centre! It promises to be a great show with a wide variety of performances demonstrating the evolution of belly dance!

Two Great belly Dance Shows in Ottawa’s Byward Market

Ottawa Twestival pics by wtl.  Click on pic to see more!


Ottawa Twestival, originally uploaded by WTL-Ottawa.

This past week brought two completely different but equally important events to Ottawa’s Byward Market.

On Sunday, February 8th, Shakti Fusion presented the Dark Fusion Cabaret at the Mercury Lounge. The evening featured local tribal style dancers, raks gothique, and dark fusion performances.
This type of show brings “belly dance” into the community in an artful and creative style that can be appreciated by those who enjoy a darker flavour to their entertainment!

ATS or American Tribal style belly dance has been around in the US for a while now, and has been making great headway in Canada. It offers a different approach to belly dance that appeals to many dancers, be it in the costuming, the structure, the group dynamics and/ or the music.

Raks Gothique, and a variety of darker fusion styles also appeal to new dancers who are more interested in dancing in a belly dance style, yet to music that is less arabic in nature { although there are some amazing pieces that bridge the styles for sure!}

There are some fabulous photos taken of the show by Lainie Cambria, viewable here on her online gallery.

The second show that happened this week was presented at the Ottawa Twestival on Thursday evening at Suite 34. I am a member of the international online community/social media network,Twitter. In a very short time, one of the Canadian members, Amanda Rose, took it upon herself to start the ball rolling for a one day fundraiser to raise $1 million for the Charity: Water.

And it worked. In over 200 cities, all over the world, February 12th brought out many twitter members to their local Twestival events.

Online video podcasters got together to create a video to explain and promote the concept.

When I first heard about it, I realized that this might be a fun opportunity to bring the Belly Dancing For Fun Dancers out to play and asked the organizers if they thought this would be of interest. @bitpakkit and @sassymonkey { their Twitter ids} were my main contacts and they were very receptive to the idea! 

I contacted the ladies and we made our plans! We chose costumes and I mixed some classic cabaret tunes into a 15 minute track that allowed us to create an energetic and fun improvised dance show!

We had a blast bringing the awareness of cabaret style belly dance to a community of social media folk who, for the most part, have not actually had the opportunity to see belly dance in person before this!

I think we are already booked for next year!

Click on the main pic to take you to @WTL‘s flickr page to see more shots from the day!

The End of one decade, Beginning of the next Era

No, I am not going to talk about the amazing moment in history that occurred yesterday in the land of our southern neighbors.

Well, maybe for a brief moment, just to give a tip of the hat to the US of A in congrats for what looks to be the beginning of a new Era in their political and emotional journey.

Here is hoping their changes are swift and painless and reflect well on the rest of the world as well!


ON His Big DAY!
ON His Big DAY!



Selfishly I also want to explore my own journey on this planet, this time around if I go with that reincarnation possibilities.

Today marks the end of 40 years for me.

And I am gonna celebrate for sure.

I am the youngest of my family, and am fortunate enough to speak to them all somewhat regularly. I have 8 amazing nieces and nephews that I am blessed with the chance to see on Facebook and in person to get to know them! My mom and her hubby are also within a short distance – and she’s on Facebook now too so I get poked often enough 🙂

I have a wonderful [ understatement of the year] husband who supports me in every way possible. Emotionally, he is my rock. Business wise, he is my tech guy, consultant, first line of brainstorming for new ideas. Lifewise, he is my best friend. I luv ya honey!


From our 10 year anniversary party Feb.2008
From our 10 year anniversary party Feb.2008



We have our little dog Boing to keep us company and make us laugh – and she does that often between the moments of insanity.

I have many, many friendships of all depths and levels of which I can only begin to extoll the virtues! Some are here and I see them multiple times a week, some are far away and I only touch base with them once ayear or less, but we have touched each other’s lives and hold a place in each other’s hearts.
And some are new, and developing acquaintances that may stay at this level or may blossom into close friendships, and that’s nice too!

I am part of a dance community that is supportive, talented and amazing – so very happy with that aspect of my life. May of these women are also part of my friendship circle!


At the Bay, Bayshore!
At the Bay, Bayshore!

And I love my many jobs – I get to be creative, hands on and ethereally! I get to dance, make pretty things, and try to save the planet with my endeavors.


I guess this is more of a thank you note to everyone around me for the many years of support, friendship, love, adoration, fangril and fanboy behavior you have all sent my way! [ Obviously kidding on those last few quips, kids!]

So, thank you all for the well wishes, laughter, and your presence in my life at this time.

I know that my new era and Barack’s are filled with promise and hope of even more greatness and potential for us and those who we touch!  Wow, that sounded a bit arrogant, but I’ll leave it in with the caveat that the potential and greatness comes from those around us as well as within ourselves.  Working together is what makes it all happen!

Blessed  be~

While I should be doing housework…

Instead of doing the laundry, I slept in. Instead of exercising, I couch surf. Instead of washing dishes, I dirty more by trying some new recipes.

Well, that’s only because it’s the last week off from classes and I will need to get myself in gear by the end of this week in order to be ready to start teaching again next week!  Actually I need to get myself in gear by this afternoon as I have a huge list of to-do’s for this week in regards to all three of my businesses [ well the three that I can count today – there are more when I break it down!]

What’s on my lists, you ask? Or not – depending on how busy you are with your own lists!

Beadwork done a few years back

TAV Creations has a lovely January wedding on the roster!  Yay!  I don’t always get January weddings but for the past two years I have been blessed with them!  Nice for the alleged “downtime” to not be downtime!  3 bridesmaid dresses plus the wedding gown means I need to get my space cleaned up, vacuumed, and ready for action!


Halyma’s Belly Dancing For Fun has a couple of events to prep for next weekend – January 17th brings us to The Bay at Bayshore for the “Beauty @ the Bay Beautiful Skin Event.  This event is all about wellness and beauty in 2009.  There are several components to this event, skin care regime, sun care, health and diet, fitness and well being.”


Then Halyma will be performing later that evening as part of the multi-dancer show: Uncle Louis’ Restaurant Belly dance show/Hafla Still room to book a table and come out I am sure for a fun evening of Lebanese food and dancing!

Halyma at Uncle Louis' - 2002

But before that, my classes resume on January 12th, 13th and 15th at all of my usual haunts, and I am looking forward to getting moving again!  I really do use the classes as my own personal workout time since the rest of my days seem to be involved with sitting and typing or sewing.

And the new baby: Eco-TAV has lots of work waiting for me to do for it as well!  I  will meet with a co-op this week to see about sewing help.  

mmm snackies!

I need to contact a list of stores regarding carrying the products in house – but I need to make more stock first so that i have it on hand when I approach the stores!  I still have a good amount of cotton and some hemp available [hint, hint] !

I also want to/need to do some major tweaking on the website and am looking at setting up my products on an online market place – but I need to get photos and descriptions organized for that before I go much further!

 I am supposed to be working on that lovely wedding, my time can only be split amongst so many projects before workmanship suffers!

That’s an exaggeration of course, workmanship never suffers!  Organization skills and phenomenal talents are my magical powers!  At least that’s the illusion I like to keep up!  and only as long as I schedule in fun time, rest, relaxation and time with hubby!

We won’t even get into the sewing videos, newsletter look update[ not done yet!], DVD3 [ not happening anytime soon, kids] or any of the other creative endeavors that I happily explore when I have a spare moment!

So, now that I have listed off most of what I want to do, I should really check on the soybeans I have cooking on the stove. I am trying a variation on the wontons that my friend S and I made back in December, but a vegan version with soybeans and mushrooms as the filling.
Maybe some other veggie stuff in there too – we’ll see! I was able to get the wrappers at a little chinese store in the market, so I am ready to go once the filling is !  
Hope your own lists for the upcoming year are fun filled and creative!  
Or healthy and beneficial!
Blessed be!

On self-employment, revelations, observations

I have been having a fun week.  Fun in the sarcastic, OMG, what else would the universe like to send me. But, intermingled within moments of clarity, FUN!, in the, wow, what a great person! or, what a gorgeous day for a walk! or what, you are giving away muffins on the street corner? [ This happened in front of a little cafe in centretown as the end of the day was fast approaching, so rather than throw out their last dozen pastries, they sent out a guy with a trya, and gave them to passers-by! See, what FUN!]

I choose to take on sewing work based on how “fun” it sounds. Well, most of the time.  I also choose to take on larger jobs that I know will give me a bit of challenge, but I’ll make some cash and get really rolling on that savings plan/emergency fund/ holiday bonus.

I choose dance gigs based on what kind of energy I get from the person booking, what kind of return I’ll get on the investment of time and energy [ they are not all paid, some are promos, some are volunteer/charity, some are paid handsomely].

And then I make work for myself.  I am at the beginning stages of developing a small line of products [ more about this gradually will be revealed as I feel it is the right time to do so!].  I am working on planning two events for this fall/winter, that have both offered up new challenges.  Even though both the Dancers’ Bazaar and the Ottawa Centre Class Party are events that I have organized for years now, and have been at the same locations for 5 years – Bazar, and 2 parties – OCCP, both threw little loops of fun at me this fall.

I know that things change, and we must learn to adapt in order to keep growing as people, but geez!  And if you subscribe to the power of mind over matter, am I creating these realities myself?  Was I bored?  Did I feel it was too easy?  If so, I need to get a grip on my reality and smack it around a bit!  

Fortunately, I do honestly believe that “the Universe always takes care of me” deep within my core being.  But. unfortunately, another of my core beliefs has been that you have to work to achieve things – if it comes too easily, you don’t “deserve” it.  Maybe I am creating my own reality, with it’s bumps and lumps, to keep me thinking that I am working hard enough to overcome these challenges in order to get what I deserve!

Again, if so, some smacking around is due!  Won’t that be FUN ?!?

I am looking forward to these events and whatever they bring to my life, along with the many projects I have in the works – for my own business line, for my clients, for my students.

I am blessed with a fabulous husband, a lot of really great friends – really great friends – and enthusiastic students who always remind me of the joy of learning!  And teachers who come in all shapes and sizes, who remind me of the way I want to be/act/exist, and those who remind me of how I do not want to be/act/exist.

Thanks to you all for the roles you play in this fun life of mine!

And thanks to me, for being the fruity character that i have become, with a lot of help along the way, and here’s hoping the Fun continues for a long time!

Tracey at Patty Boland's - New Year's eve 2007/2008
Tracey at Patty Boland

Observing the student’s journey…

I have been teaching since January of 1998  – 10 years at this point.  My own journey to this point has been full of learning.  

– learning how to explain a movement that I believe I found easy to do,

– learning how to create a choreography that works with the music and is still a challenging and achievable piece of art that an audience might enjoy watching,

-learning how to be encouraging, while pointing out ways to enhance and improve, without sounding cruel and insensitive.

These are lessons I continue to work on every time I go to class.  I had two main teachers myself “growing up” in belly dance.  Both had very different styles, and yet both had a relaxed attitude that allowed for personal growth and development.  I am still good friends with my first teacher, and my second teacher played a very large role in helping move on to a better life when I needed someone’s support.

Both teachers provided the opportunities to learn and grow in belly dance, through seeing them and others perform as well as being included in the larger community through their efforts.  I first saw a dancer similar to myself in carriage at a party held by my first teacher, opening my eyes to the beauty of belly dance on all body types.

I was an apprentice dancer for at least a year with my 2nd teacher, joining her at events and learning how to handle many varieties of performances. 

 My friends are predominantly belly dancers, and the few who are not have either tried it at least once, or come into my life through friendship with a belly dancer.  We are spirited folk!  And we love it – even when we take a break for personal reasons, feel the ebb and flow of the energy within the community, we are all powerful women who have found a home filled with jingly, sparkly things!

 I feel for the students as they are embracing something new and unknowable.  Will they be able to isolate their upper and lower half?  Will they have the strength in their body to hold a position while allowing a separate part of their body to do something crazy?  Why does one side work well and the other just make life difficult?  All of these things create texture and turmoil that induce either the spark of “I will, I will…” or the winds of “Nope, it’s not for me…”  And that’s how it should be.

As each new student signs up for class, they are taking the first step in a journey that may bring them into our world.  Or it may lead them to a place of deeper self appreciation, with the knowledge that while they may not choose belly dance as their path, they are closer to finding the path they wish to be on, as they are at least making attempts to get somewhere!

Some come into the world as dancers and find their place as artisans and creative souls who embellish the others.  They choose not to perform, but to enhance the experience of those dancers around them who are there to be decorated and amplified by something beautiful and glorious.  A dancer without a costume to enhance her style is still a dancer, but there is magic in the bra and belt.  In the swirl of the skirt.  In the sighing of the veil.  Jewelry and sparkle and adornments galore give spirit form. And someone who can relate will always provide the most significant contributions to the glorifying of the body to enhance the soul.

Ah, back to the student’s journey…

There is a joy in seeing a student work hard to achieve an isolation, a hip lift, a shoulder roll, a circle of the hips that is strong and yet sensuous.  It takes time.  It takes effort.  It takes spirit.

When a dancer reaches a new level of skill, she will revel in it, she will explore it, then she will languish in it for a while.  Her comfort achieved, she may relax in her efforts to seek improvement – for a while at least.  Then something will trigger that spark again.  A need to find a better way, a stronger move, a softer facial expression, something that will take her out and up will overwhelm and carry her through.

We are all students – always.  It’s a cliche, but sometimes we need to be reminded of them.  Seek your teachers, find the lessons they teach you openly as well as those lessons you can learn from their actions, choices and behaviors.  

And see the lessons that your students teach you as well. It’s all good…