Sweat, pride and catharsis.

In order to understand the dance one must be still. And in order to be still, one must dance. (Rumi)

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(Andre M. photography)

My favourite kind of sweat happens on a dance floor.  My second favourite kind of sweat is in a dance studio. Working on a choreography or drilling moves and combos in a workshop. Sweat  makes you feel like you’re really working on something, taking effort, pushing limits. On the late night dance floor, the experience is often more transcendent, cleansing and desperate. That point in the night where you no longer have a choice… a process has been put in motion and it simply must carry through for reasons not  entirely understood by the mind. But the body, yes.

The summer has been eventful, and the nice whether so savoured that I rarely want to sit at the computer long enough to write a post. Sugar Shakers performed at one of our favourite annual gigs: the Spadina Museum’s Great Gatsby Garden Party. We had a super enthusiastic crowd for our Charleston lesson, everyone dressed to the nine as usual.

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Toronto was the home to World Pride this past June and I was proud to perform once again with Serpentina at one of the local stages on the Sunday, as part of the annual ‘Bellydancers with Pride’ show. Here are the three of us who performed, donning our new harem pants. On the Thursday of Pride week, Serpentina was also a part of the Dorothy’s Walk west end pride celebration put on by Lakeshore LGBTQ, where we performed as part of a variety show. A few shots of us sweating our bindis off in the blazing hot sun.

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Recently I had the pleasure of being part of the audience for the Om Laila Steamy Summer Celebration at May Cafe. . With that special  blend of dance, zylls and arabic singing, like only Om Laila does it. Featuring a number of local dancers  and live music by Nomadica, the night couldn’t have ended better. A zaar, led by Roula. Oh man it had been a while but when the audience was invited to throw down, I kicked off my shoes and took off my rings (learned that lesson the hard way –so long delicate amber ring!) and got lost in the rhythm, hair shaking like life depended on it. Catharsis.

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Updates on my current projects coming really very soon…til then, here are some things about town this weekend. Not all related to shows, just some neat stuff for summer(ish) city living.

Serpentina North Ensemble with live electronic set by Jim Boz and guitar by Justin of Amy’s Arms. This Friday at Neutral!

Info here.

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Hip Hip Hooray Cabaret –a new monthly belly dance and world fusion event. First one is this Saturday. Details here.

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Tiki Lani Lanai (tiki gods heavenly patio). Hosted by Toronto Vintage Society. I know you love this kind of kitsch as much as I do!

Details here

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Brunch at Lipstick & Dynamite. The new go-to place, its kitschy/vintage decor, good people and a new  Sat/Sun brunch menu…perfect  for a relaxing afternoon after a night on the town. Oh and pinball. Vegan-friendly menu, yes!

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