Shaking it for a good cause at Shimmy Showdown

Johara Dance Troupe

Escape the burlesque trend and spend a night captivated by zaghats, bold colours and coin sashes.

On Wednesday, September 19thDixon Transition Society brings you a night of belly dancing in an effort to raise funds for their society, benefitting women and youth who have suffered from domestic violence. With an incredible line up of dancers, many of whom have been belly dancing for over a decade, prepare to be dazzled by isolations, gyrations and body rolls.

As a preview to the event why not learn a little about some of the performers.

Meet Tamara.

Photo credit: Brendan Lally

Tamara is a former competitive figure skater, and ballroom dancer with over 13 years experience in bellydance. She is an award-winning choreographer to the Raks Devas and much sought after instructor to all level of dancers. Her style is rooted deeply in traditional forms and movements to which she brings a modernist charisma and bold innovation. Audience members have said that to watch her dance is “like being in Egypt”.

Meet Aviva.

Aviva fell in love with bellydancing with her first shimmy close to five years ago. Since then she has thrown herself into every and any class and performance opportunity possible. She draws inspiration from both traditional and fusion styles of bellydancing and attributes her unique yet classic style to her training from local Vancouver dancers Rahel (her mentor) and Leona, and from international dancers Bozenka, Moria Chapelle, and Jim Boz. Aviva’s skill and passion for dance are reflected in each and every performance and she finds her greatest joy in sharing this passion with you!

I was curious as to why belly dancing was chosen for this fundraiser since it is viewed by some as a dance for the viewing pleasure of men, and seems rather conflicting with the society’s mission. To settle my inner conflict of whether it was degrading or empowering, I went directly to the source, asking Pany Aghili, the executive director of Dixon Transition Society.

“Originally the reason I chose bellydancing is because I am a student of the dance and the dance and the music give me such a pleasure and JOY. I found the dance empowering because it is a dance performed by women who refuse to be defined by how men view them. If we, women, were to stop doing things because we would not want to be viewed as inferior or arouse men, we may as well have our own Taliban regime.”

Sounds pretty convincing to me. And you can be sure it’s going to be a good show with the line up of talented dancers.

Tickets for the event are still available and can be bought in advance online for $25 or at the door for $30.

For more information on the Dixon Transition Society visit their website.

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3 thoughts on “Shaking it for a good cause at Shimmy Showdown

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