2024 Events and dance classes

*** See also the Vancouver Island Belly Dancers Fb page for current notices of classes and events. https://www.facebook.com/groups/16858407337 

Saturday February 17   Nada El Masriya is coming to Nanaimo!

Saturday, Feb 17th, 2024, from 9:30 AM – 5:10 PM

German Cultural Centre, 71 Caledonia Ave., Nanaimo

4 workshops for $120 or $35 each. Workshop series on Egyptian dances and their histories – from Baladi, to Awalim & Ghawazee, to the Golden Era and of course one Lecture Workshop.

Registration at  https://crimsoncoastdance.com/  will soon be available, though not at the moment of this e-mailing. Check the website in the coming weeks!

Part of AFRICAN CONNECTIONS – CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH, curated with Tania Amaral and presented as part of Crimson Coast Dance Society.  

Spring events to look forward to

Saturday June 8 Dancers’ Bazaar Returns!   St. Andrews United Church, Nanaimo

It’s time to revive this popular once-annual event to celebrate our Island dance community!  A great opportunity to meet up with fellow dancers, meet teachers and students, while shopping for colourful costumes and accessories, attending mini-workshops, and watching short performances. As before, it will be a fundraiser for an Island non-profit supporting women affected by abuse. Further updates and requests for volunteers, vendors, and performers will be posted in the Vancouver Island Belly Dancers Fb group in early spring:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/16858407337 

If you’d like to assist in preparations for the event and haven’t already volunteered, please email Lynette before February at dancetarab@gmail.com 

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Vancouver Island Dance Teachers 

Nanaimo 

Lynette 

www.lynetteharper.ca       dancetarab@gmail.com  250-797-7953   

Mondays Feb.26 through March

7 pm Beginners’ “Belly dance” Essentials class  5 Mondays starting Feb.26

7:45 pm Renew/ReBoot for multilevel students and Intermediate/Advanced dancers, 4 Mondays through March. Energize your body and unleash your creativity while reconnecting with the eloquent music and dance of Turkey, Lebanon, and Egypt. Traditional and contemporary folkloric, baladi, and Oryantal styles.   

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Pynksy Shell aka Tania Amaral  

www.afro-fusionsharqidance.com/classes    pynksyshell@gmail.com 778-674-0091

Classes in Afro Fusion Sharqi Danceᵀᴹ & Egyptian Baladi / Adults & Seniors / Group & Private classes.

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Ramona  

ramona.passarello@gmail.com  250-616-3824  Available for private individual and private group lessons.

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Taissia  

778-269-0922   Goddess Dance classes include Bellydance (Egyptian style folk and cabaret), Indian Temple (Bollywood/Bangara), and Hawaiian (Hula). 

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Other Island communities, listed alphabetically:

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Cortes Island

Meinsje      250-895-1052  

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Courtenay/Comox/Cumberland/Denman Island/Union Bay

Cathy Stoyko    

Info/registration, call or message (250)218-0704 at the Abbey Studio in Cumberland.  

Tuesdays  “Shimmy, Shake and Groove Dance Workout”. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/202487346454876/user/100057823952735/

“Belly dance for beginners” will start in March  

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Emily Johnston – Forbidden Dance Company  

https://forbiddendancecompany.com  778-246-3639 

Classes Tuesdays 7-9, Fridays 6:30-7:30(performance troupe) at The House of Now, Courtenay. Raqs sharqi, classic Egyptian, Lebanese, Arabic sword, Isis wings, hand candles & performance troupe.

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Heather Hilberry  250-888-3123  call or text   

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Linda Doerksen  halima.dancer@gmail.com    250-703-0494   Contact regarding future classes in Courtenay. 

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Duncan/Cowichan Area

Karensa Camplair   saidisistersstudio.com   karensabellydance@gmail.com     250.715.7541   Facebook.com/SaidiSisters      

Classes available in studio and online: Belly Dance Basics, FCBDStyle® (Improvised Style), Sword, Fusion, and F.U.N. Belly Dance. 

At Sol Centre, 5380 Trans Canada Hwy, Duncan, BC 

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Qualicum Beach

Belly Laughs Navel Academy/Elaine De Rooy 

https://www.facebook.com/BellyLaughsNavelAcademy   bellylaughsnavelacademy@shaw.ca  250-752-3750 

Contemporary fusion in-studio classes Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced students.

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Saltspring Island

Sarah Allen  ssisarahlouise@gmail.com 

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Victoria 

Bashirah Middle Eastern Dance Studio, Victoria    

https://www.raksbobbie.com/classes/winter-2021-class-list.html    raksbobbie@shaw.ca   Extensive range of online and studio belly dance classes at Bashirah Middle Eastern Dance Studio, 137 Skinner St.

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Candace Aldridge   

https://harmonybellydance.com   A full fall schedule of live and online classes, featuring Bellydance for multiple levels, Yin Yoga, and more. 

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Mira –  Asmira Dance  

mirabellydancer@gmail.com

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Negma  

negmadance@gmail.com   https://www.negmadance.com Mixed levels belly dance classes, at Bashira Middle Eastern Dance Studio, 137 Skinner St.

Vancouver Island events, dancers & teachers WinterSpring 2024

Vancouver Island events, dancers & teachers WinterSpring 2024

(A nostalgic photo – Duncan Garage 2007) *** See also the Vancouver Island Belly Dancers Fb page for other notices of classes and events. https://www.facebook.com/groups/16858407337  Saturday February 17   Nada El Masriya is coming to Nanaimo! Saturday, Feb 17th, 2024, from 9:30 AM – 5:10 PM German Cultural Centre, 71 Caledonia Ave., Nanaimo 4 workshops for $120… Read more…

1001 Likes – April 2015

Lynette Harper visits an outstanding Facebook group for belly dancers.  Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, April 2015. Read more…

1001 Likes – August 2014

Lynette Harper begins a belly dancers’ Alphabet.  Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, August 2014.   Read more…

1001 Likes – July 2014

Lynette Harper rediscovers a DVD treasure. Reprinted with permission from the Middle Eastern Dance Association newsletter, Sahda, July 2014. Read more…

Fall Belly Dance Teachers Showcase & Bazaar 2014

Fall Belly Dance Teachers Showcase & Bazaar 2014

  MANY MANY THANKS to our wonderful dance community, for supporting the 2014 Teachers Showcase and Bazaar with such energy and enthusiasm! You raised almost $800 for Haven Society this year, and shared the joy of the dance with well over 100 participants, dancers, drummers, and Haven volunteers. Thank you all. ********************** FIVE half-hour dance workshops… Read more…

Belly Dance Fact & Fiction: References

Belly Dance Fact & Fiction: References

OPA Showcase Lecture/seminar, Victoria BC – presented by Lynette Harper Ph.D. November 2013 References – Books (*specific articles cited) Belly dance around the world: New communities, performance and identity. 2013. Caitlin E. McDonald & Barbara Sellers-Young, editors. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Company. * What is Baladi about al-Raqs al-Baladi? On the survival of belly dance in… Read more…

Fall 2013 workshops with Lynette

Fall 2013 workshops with Lynette

Belly dance! in downtown Nanaimo Basics   Thursdays  Sept. 26, Oct. 3 & 10   *  Moves, music & dances of Egypt, Lebanon & Turkey. For beginners & a refresher for more experienced dancers Art & artistry   Thursdays starting October 17    *   All experience levels welcome – contemporary dance from the Middle East and exciting fusions.… Read more…

More books for dancers

More books for dancers

Four essentials for a dancer’s bookshelf, published in the last two years:  Belly dance around the world: New communities, performance and identity – The belly dance reader – Global moves – and You asked Aunt Rocky: Answers & advice about Raqs Sharqi & Raqs Shaabi.  Each book offers powerful ideas, analysis, and inspirations – and they’re… Read more…

OPA Showcase 2013

OPA Showcase 2013

So glad that OPA is hosting this popular event again this year! Get more details on the Facebook page OPA Proudly Presents: The Vancouver Island Bellydance Showcase 2013 Saturday, November 23, 2013 • Royal Canadian Legion (411 Gorge Rd East) 10:00am ‘Spins and Turns’ with Shari Nakagawa (Victoria) Spinning is not just for ballerinas. Learn some… Read more…

Nanaimo’s Bellydance Bazaar another success!

Nanaimo’s Bellydance Bazaar another success!

THANK YOU to the bellydance community, donors, St. Paul’s Church and volunteers for all your work in 2013!!!  We raised more money than ever for Haven Society. If you have suggestions and ideas for next year, let us know at bellydancenanaimo@gmail.com   or on our Facebook site !   A fundraiser for Haven Society, hosted by Genya & Lynette… Read more…

Dance Vallarta 2013

Dance Vallarta 2013

Five days of dance and sun in the Yoga Vallarta studio of Puerto Vallarta, February 5 – 9 2013. Thanks to my co-instructor Debra Shields of Saidi Sisters, the beautiful dancers who attended, Alma our studio host, and the restaurants that welcomed our evening dance parties!   See our Facebook site Dance Vallarta 2013 for… Read more…

Fall classes with Lynette – 2012 – downtown Nanaimo

Fall classes with Lynette – 2012 – downtown Nanaimo

 Art of Middle Eastern Dance – Tuesdays  starting October 16 –  Explore the joy and artistry of Middle Eastern dance in weekly multilevel classes with a masterful instructor/performer. This fall Lynette will strengthen your technique and movement vocabulary, while deepening your understanding of traditional styles and contemporary approaches to Turkish, Arab and fusion dance. Develop confidence in… Read more…

BC Mainland dancers

BC Mainland dancers

Vancouver http://rahmahaddad.com/Rahma Haddad, Vancouver BC “A powerful dancer of grace, charm and soul” And my favourite cousin! – LH http://www.ammara.ca/ Ammara Studio BC “Home to one of the finest groups of Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African dance and drum professionals in the Lower Mainland.” Lava Studio Lava, Vancouver BC A dynamic performer, choreographer, instructor, musician, and director/choreographer of “Sisters… Read more…

Global dance connections

Canada www.hadia.com  Hadia, Canada  A performer, master instructor and choreographer, Hadia has achieved recognition and renown among her peers around the world. Om Laila  Roula Said, Toronto ON   Roula is an amazing multi-faceted artist who has dedicated her talents to Middle Eastern music and dance. One of Canada’s leading lights in the world of bellydance, Roula… Read more…

Penceresi yola karsi

Penceresi yola karsi

Her window faces the street”, presented in Belly for the Beast, Malaspina Theatre, Nanaimo BC. This structured improvisation explores the public and private feelings of a Turkish girl, set to the Turkish Roman music of Karsilama (with Selim Sesler & Brenda MacCrimmon). Read more…

Red Apple

Red Apple

Excerpt from Red Apple, presented in Errington, BC. This choreography was inspired by the resilience of Afghani village women.  The structured improvisation blends eastern and western traditions and contemporary dance styles to music by Ashkabad and Yuldiz Usmanova.   Read more…

Smokin’

Smokin’

“Light a cigarette and to hell with the world!” This choreography blends Roma dance improvisation with western contemporary dance and “gypsy” stereotypes. Inspired by the 3 Mustaphas 3 version of Anapse To Cigaro.   Read more…

Bekaa Valley Girls

Bekaa Valley Girls

Several excerpts from Bekaa Valley Girls, Lynette’s full-length collaborative creation with Rahma Haddad, presented in the Noon Dance Seriesat Vancouver’s Dance Centre, November 2009.   Duet with Rahma Haddad (part 1) This segment recalls when Lebanese cousins Lynette and Rahma first met.  Though raised in different parts of Canada, they shared a family history of… Read more…

Nanaimo dancers & teachers

Lynette  250-753-1659  laahper@gmail.com Genya  250-739-0589  genyasdancing@gmail.com Ramona  250-616-3824  Ramona@bellydancer.ca Giselle Jacob – Drum & percussion classes available  – see her Facebook page   Crimson Coast Dance Society  Artistic Director Holly Bright, Nanaimo, BC – Develops and supports contemporary dance creations, productions, performances and educational opportunities at both grass roots and professional levels in Central Vancouver Island. Read more…

Arab music understanding

Arab music understanding

Egyptian music appreciation and practice for bellydancers by George Dimitri Sawa A must-have for dancers, teachers, and students who wish to develop their understanding of Egyptian music!   The quality of the package is awesome – exceeding my already high expectations of  creator George Sawa, an Egyptian born historian, musicologist, qanun virtuoso, a true master… Read more…

Turkish dance workshops

Turkish dance workshops

Turkish Roma (gypsy) dance Celebrate the passionate and dynamic rhythms, movements, and spontaneity of Turkish Roman/Gypsy dance. Distinctive steps and sinuous movements will provide a base for exploring ornamentation, layering, and expression. Learn the meanings and role of gestures, experiment with a wide range of musical moods, and develop some powerful gypsy “attitude”.  Teaching level:… Read more…

Arab dance workshops

Arab dance workshops

TARAB – Arab music and spirit of the dance Explore the soul and vitality of Arab music as inspiration for dance improvisation and choreography. Teaching level: Multilevel; works well for mixed levels beginner through advanced. Read review. Length: 2 or 3 hours From Countryside to Cabaret: Egyptian Saidi and Raqs Sharqi styles Build your technique, movement vocabulary,… Read more…

Improvisation, skills and technique workshops

Improvisation, skills and technique workshops

Discover the joy of dancing in the moment. Develop your confidence and skills in movement, improvisation and creating choreography with techniques and exercises to expand your range of movement and expression in both traditional and currently popular dance styles. Sample topics, appropriate for multiple levels: Improvisation and Expression – Warm up with basic improvisation techniques,… Read more…

Dance is in their blood

Dance is in their blood

  Gilded Serpent June 2007          by Kevin Potvin A reluctant visitor to a multicultural arts show comes away with a new appreciation for how art entwines with ordinary life for ordinary people. . . . (click here to read article) Excerpt: That doesn’t mean I don’t understand dance at all –… Read more…

Lynette Harper Workshop Review

Lynette Harper Workshop Review

  OPA! News, Victoria Spring 2008 by BOBBIE BARRY Lynette is the quintessential teacher. After 30 years of teaching and performing this art form, she knows her stuff! My first meeting and experience of Lynette Harper as a teacher was back in July 2003.  At that point I had been studying Middle Eastern belly dance… Read more…

Queen of Wands

Queen of Wands

  Excerpt from MIRAJ at Victoria’s 2003 Fringe Festival, a full-length dance theatre production created and performed with Earthfire Dance Collective. In this segment, the Queen of Wands (Lynette) loses her crown and other trappings of power to her cat (Taissia), and discovers an inner strength. Read more…

Arab Women Arab Dance

Arab Women Arab Dance

Arab Women Arab Dance Opening of Arab Women Arab Dance, presenting life histories with dance. Featuring Lynette, Rahma Haddad, Salma Ferchichi, Rabab Ward, and Emily Basha. Produced by Vancouver’s Dance Centre. Excerpt from a Vancouver Dance Centre production, interweaving life history narratives with demonstrations by five Arab women. Read more…

Books for dancers

Books for dancers

READ THIS BOOK!!!! Belly dance: Orientalism Transnationalism and Harem Fantasy edited by Anthony Shay and Barbara Sellers-Young   For over a century, solo improvised dance, especially belly dance, has had enormous popularity, and by the 1970s and 1980s in the wake of the feminist movement, over a million women in the United States, and many… Read more…

Ladysmith & Cowichan area dancers & teachers

Ladysmith Debra Shields (formerly Pinchbeck) – full weekly schedule at www.saidisisters.ca Cowichan Area Yesca “Elegant Power” Belly dance classes, Lake Cowichan 250 749 7759 Lynene Allen    250-746-1077 email miragedanse@shaw.ca  website Shakti Bellydance   shakti.bdance@gmail.com  Bellydance for fun and fitness, plus new classes for youngsters and teens. Register with Island Savings Centre, 250.748.7529 Read more…

Damask Rose Revue 2

Damask Rose Revue 2

A fantastic show featuring guest artist Tamlyn Dallal! I am thrilled to be invited to perform with some of Vancouver’s finest: Al a Nar, Aviva & Megan, Carla, Laura, Leona, Lisa, Lynette (that’s me), Maki & students, Michelle, nina d., Tamara, Tha Fae, The Phoenix Dancers, and the magical musings of Rakkab Saturday July 7,… Read more…

Interview with Lynette Harper

Interview with Lynette Harper

Sahda,  June 2007 By NILA  What attracted you to bellydance, and made you stick to it? Dance is life! Returning home from a Middle East journey in 1976, I discovered the bellydance craze had hit Vancouver – and knew I’d become part of it. Sometimes I wonder if I would have stuck to Middle Eastern… Read more…

Belly for the Beast 2011

Belly for the Beast 2011

October 1, 2011 – Bellydancers take over the stage at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre!  See fine local bellydance in a proper theatrical venue – while supporting the SPCA. A dynamite show showcasing traditional, folkloric to modern fusions, with touches of flamenco, Romany, contemporary dance – and live music adds depth to several pieces. Applause to Pacifica for creating… Read more…

Traditions, Tribes and Fusions – Nanaimo workshops

Traditions, Tribes and Fusions –  Nanaimo workshops

May 15, 2011 Dance with Arab Rhythms – LIVE!!!! Guest drummer Robin Shackleton of Sylvan Temple joins Lynette for a dynamic and energizing multi-level workshop.  We’ve booked a large bright and NEW studio in downtown Nanaimo, to fill with drumming and dance!  Develop your dance vocabulary and music understanding, as we work creatively with beledi… Read more…

Silk Road comes to Errington

I look forward to dancing with Silk Road and other Island bellydancers – SATURDAY APRIL 14 – with Cathy  StoyStoyko, Taissia, Taiya, Kalina, and Kirsten!  Silk Road and Friends at the Errington Hall Music and Dance from Spain, the Middle East, China and Beyond April 14, 2011     8pm Tickets $20      Under 12… Read more…

Exploring Tarab with Lynette

Exploring Tarab with Lynette

  Spring 2007  OPA! News, Victoria      by Sidona On February 18th members of Women of Widad piled into a van to take the trip up to Nanaimo to attend a workshop with Lynette Harper.   We were excited and all felt that we needed a burst of dance energy after the long winter and… Read more…

Miraj was a sensory treat

Miraj was a sensory treat

  16 April 2003  Daily News, Nanaimo  –  Review by Lynn Welburn  Miraj (an Arabic word meaning ascent, the journey upwards) was the perfect title for the April 11 performance by Earthfire dance at the Malaspina University College theatre.  But mirage, commonly used to describe something you think is real and which then vanishes, leaving… Read more…

Bellydancing makes another comeback

Bellydancing makes another comeback

  April 9  2003 The Harbour City Star, Nanaimo      By Sandra Steilo  This week I joined in on a trend that has been around for hundreds of years but now is suddenly new and hot again. I took a beginner belly dancing class with Lynette Harper at the Community Service Building.  She got… Read more…

Shaking things up

Shaking things up

  14 November 1998  Harbour City Star, Nanaimo   By Goody Niosi The Spice Girls may have Girl Power, but Nanaimo’s own Earthfire has Woman Power; a force that’s gathering enthusiastic fans wherever they perform. Earthfire is a troupe of women who dance together with joy, energy and exuberance. And although they perform folk dances from… Read more…

Northern Spirit: Lynette Harper Curator (and Belly Dancer)

Northern Spirit: Lynette Harper Curator (and Belly Dancer)

  May/June 1988  Up Here Magazine    by Juliet Pin Imagine the combo of belly dancing and museum work! Lynette Harper has found the link. Born in Vancouver of Lebanese parents, belly dancing just seemed to come naturally. Her list of dance performances is impressive. From the Vancouver Sea Festival and Robson Square  Plaza to… Read more…