Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Sense of Community

Another quiet patch for me at the moment. I'm not back in regular classes until January, and a series of diary clashes have meant I've also missed out on monthly intensives with my fusion teacher.

We did get out and perform at the after party for Infusion Emporium (Rachel MF Brice is teaching there next year. There may be bloodshed when the workshop places are released...) and for added excitement, we were officially dancing as a quintet!

Why? Well, turns out my troupemate, seen in the middle there, is expecting twins in March. Given she's expanding at frankly exponential rates, and I've lost two stone since we first performed the piece, it's a damn good job we went for stretchy velvet dresses!

Photo by the talented DarkSoulPhotography

Our last performance of the year was over in Coventry for Bellydance and Surprises. It was one of those rare haflas in that it felt very relaxed and informal, but there were some fantastic performers. Add to that a chance to catch up with lots of old friends, and it was a lovely way to almost round off the year.

I say almost, because the belly dance year here in the UK ended on a very different note for many, with the news that the bellydance teacher Shafeek Ibrahim was convicted on multiple counts of rape and sexual abuse of female dancers.

My heart goes out to the very brave and honourable women, including Charlotte Desorgher and Tara Lee Oakley, who brought this case to court and helped ensure justice was done. I cannot imagine what these women have experienced, and my heart goes out to them. I am so very full of pride for all my dance sisters, and I hope they can move on and find strength and hope now that this man is behind bars.


  1. It should be mentioned that neither Charlotte nor Tara were direct victims, just in case anyone not in the know is reading, so you are not breaking anyone's right to anonymity.