LUNA Belly Dance Blog

A Shimmy Mob Success!!

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On May 12, 2019 our dancers participated in Shimmy Mob, a worldwide belly dance flash mob. Our Saint John group participated with over 2000 other belly dancers from all over the globe from Moncton New Brunswick, to Australia, Europe, and South America and performed the same choreography for the same cause. We were dancing to raise funds for domestic violence, to break the silence, and end the stigma.

One of the best parts of Shimmy Mob is we are encouraged to fundraise for a local charity or organization of our choice and we chose The Tanya Shand Memorial Fund. Tanya Shand was murdered by her common law partner in front of their seven year old daughter in Rothesay, New Brunswick. The donations are used to help women escape violent situations providing anything from groceries to a plane ticket. We are very happy to say we raised $500 for this worthy and important cause.

We would like to thank Shimmy Mob and everyone who participated, donated, and came out to watch!

We will be participating again next year. It’s a beginner friendly event, and anyone can do it, so consider joining us!

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Top 10 Belly Dance Class Questions

beginner oh my soul
Beginner Class at Oh My Soul and Journey 25 Main Street West

It’s been an amazing late winter season with two motivated beginner classes and a hard working intermediate class who is rehearsing choreography to perform on May 4 at the Beltane Bash in Saint Martins and May 11 in uptown Saint John for Shimmy Mob, a global flashmob for belly dancers worldwide raising funds for local organizations that help domestic violence survivors.

We are open for a new session of dance, and there’s only a couple of sessions left this year. If you want to learn fun dance moves with others in a fun and positive environment, you have come to the right place! Here are some common questions:

Belly Dance FAQS

1. What do I wear?

Wear anything you like! This is gentle exercise so no need to dress is anything too technical. Most students wear yoga pants and a t-shirt/tank top but feel free to wear leggings or skirts. Wear a layer in case you get too hot or cold. (example: long sleeve shirt with tank top underneath)

Students usually wear socks, indoor shoes/dance slippers, or go barefoot.

2. Do I have to show my stomach?

Nope!

3. Do I need to bring anything to class?

Everything is provided including all coin belts, hip scarves, and veils! Just bring some water to stay hydrated.

4. Is there parking?

Yes, there is plenty of parking! At 139 Prince Edward Street you can park on the street, either above or underground at Prince Edward Square, or the small lot uphill down the street (it’s employee parking but near empty by 6pm)

25 Main Street West has street parking and also a large lot behind Scotiabank, which is empty on Saturday when the bank is closed!

5. “I can’t dance” will belly dance be too hard for me?

Anyone can dance! Belly dance is not easy, but the beginner curriculum is made easy for any one at any level. We start with basic planes of movement and add on throughout the session. Class sizes are kept around 10 students per class for individualized attention.

6. How many beginner sessions should I take before moving on?

A minimum of 3 is recommended, though some stay in the class longer, and some choose to remain at the beginner level indefinitely for recreation and exercise.

7. What happens if I miss a class?

Missed classes can be made up in any other class during the session. (Example: You miss beginner on Thursday so come to any beginner on Saturday or intermediate on Tuesday before the session is over)

8. Is belly dance only for young, skinny women?

No, it’s for everyone. In fact, our demographic is mainly 30+ I have students that range from 15-75 years old and all genders, nationalities, body types, and walks of life. As long as you want to learn you are welcome! This is a dance for “every body”.

9. Who teaches these classes?

Kaleena has been dancing for nearly 10 years. You can read her bio here! 

10. Where do I sign up?

Sign up by April 1 and save $10 by visiting the class info page. 

Looking forward to dancing with you!

 

New Classes and Shimmy Mob 2019 Saint John

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What an amazing holiday hafla! Thank you everyone! 

Thank you everyone for your role in the hafla, whether you were one of our beautiful dancers, attentive audience members, Kathy Young from Misfits Studio for her POUND demo, or a member of the Let’s Hummus Team for providing us with delicious Lebanese food. Needless to say, our first party was a stunning success and will pave the way for many more!

Now it’s time to talk about 2019 goals! New Class schedule is up!

And, we are doing Shimmy Mob again in 2019! 

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Shimmy Mob 2018 

If you want to make a difference in the community, raise awareness, and promote positive change in Saint John through an art form that will get you in shape and feeling beautiful, you can be a part of a global belly dance campaign to help women escape domestic violence situations.

Being involved in Shimmy Mob is easy. Shimmy Mob will have us flash mob style dancing with other belly dancers all over the world on Saturday May 11, 2019. We will raise awareness about domestic violence and raise funds for a local women and children’s shelter of our choice.

We will have a Shimmy Mob class in Febuary/March but the first step is to register in January before the price goes up! Once you register to be a part of the Saint John team, you can come to the Shimmy Mob class on Tuesdays at 6pm to learn the technique and dance with us. We perform the dance in public spaces in Saint John on Saturday May 11 and other groups all over the world will be doing the same thing!

Here’s how it works

      1. Register for Shimmy Mob  It’s $30 USD (36USD after January 15). This includes a T-Shirt for the day of the event and the choreography video so you can practice at home in between classes. Your team is SAINT JOHN so please select that option when you register. On the day of the event we will be carpooling to areas around Saint John to dance! It’s going to be a blast! (no worries if you do not drive, we have you covered!)

      2. Register for classes by the end of year for the early discount of $75 for 6 classes ($85 after January 1). If you’re a beginner keep refining your technique with Kaleena in beginner class and move on to the Tuesday class in February when we all start learning the dance for Shimmy Mob!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Shimmy Mob suitable for beginners?

Yes beginners to intermediate. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you sign up to Shimmy Mob and continue to attend the beginner class for technique in January/February and you will be welcome to move onto Tuesday night rehearsals in Febuary/March. You will have 4 months to learn the techniques and choreography, and we review basics at every level. I have been dancing for nearly ten years and did my first performance after 3 months. If you can commit to the classes and a bit of practice on your own you will be more than fine.

Can I attend this class if I’m not registered for Shimmy Mob?

Starting mid February the Tuesday class will be for Shimmy Mob registrants only but the beginner classes will always be open to anyone! I can only teach the choreography to students who are registered for Shimmy Mob. This is the event’s rules.  LUNA Belly Dance offers beginner class on Thursday evenings at 6pm and Saturday morning at 11am. 

Can you do Shimmy Mob without the classes?

Yes! The class is for the group experience and additional instruction, especially where the technique is concerned! Anyone can sign up for Shimmy Mob, practice the dance on their own and meet a group in a participating city.

Who is teaching this class?

Kaleena has been belly dancing since 2009 and dances professionally in nightclubs, restaurants and for public and private events. She was a teacher and the rehearsal assistant at Om Laila Studio in Toronto where her teacher Roula Said rounded her education with  Middle Eastern Music and Song. She learned percussion including finger cymbals (zils, sagat), the drum (darbuka, doumbek), rhythms of the Middle East and singing/song translation for Arabic Music. She was in a number performance groups and theatre for singing, percussion, and dance and has also performed hundreds of times as a soloist. Kaleena has trained with world renowned Master Instructors from Egypt and specialized in the Reda Style (theatrical folk dance company in Egypt) with Nada El Masriya at the Egyptian Dance Academy. She was part of EAST and the EDA Folklore troupe, which won 2nd runner up at Star Belly Dancer Canada. Kaleena is known for having soul in her dance, smooth elegance, and knowledge of music and song. She loves to improvise dance most but also enjoys creating and teaching choreography. Her classes are upbeat,  positive and welcoming to everyone regardless of levels or goals. LUNA Belly Dance strives to be an asset to the community and to encourage women to feel great mind, body, and soul.

LUNA Belly Dance Holiday Hafla

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LUNA Belly Dance is hosting our first holiday hafla as a student appreciation party. Friends and family can finally see what we have been up to in class!

Saturday December 15
Oh My Soul and Journey
25 Main Street West
6-8pm
$5

Everyone is welcome and kids 12 and under are free

We will be performing as a group, solos, as well as performances and demonstrations from other dancers and businesses.

The event will be catered by Let’s Hummus, so come out for some delicious food and see some beautiful dances!

Hope to see you there!

New Session, Purse Project, Rockin’ Raqs, and Workshops!

 

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Memories of summer with belly dancers in Saint John

This has been an amazing autumn of dance here in Saint John. There’s a new session beginning on Tuesday for intermediate, and Thursday for beginner! In Tuesday class, we are working on a choreography to the song Eshta Ya Amar, and learning technique to support the dance. It’s amazing to see the dancers who have gone from beginner last year to intermediate this year. It really shows that pushing through that learning curve in the beginning is well worth it!

When you start belly dancing, sometimes it feels more like a mental exercise than physical (unless we are doing shimmy drills!) but when you have solid technique and the moves find their home in your body, you can really amp it up safely and sweat!

You can still sign up for the beginner class! The sooner you start, the sooner you will be rockin’ these moves:Buy Now Button

Speaking of rockin’, I’ll be visiting Toronto to perform for the second year in a row at Rockin’ Raqs!  I’m excited to debut my fusion piece, and see my friends in the Toronto Belly Dance Community! I will also be bringing back some fancy coin belts and hip scarfs to sell!

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I can’t wait to share my new fusion dance with you all! 

In other good news, throughout this past session, students have been donating supplies for The Purse Project. We have enough donations now to fill 2-3 purses, so thank you everyone for thinking of the women who can use a helping hand in our community. We are still collecting this coming week so feel free to bring in an item for the purse that a woman in crisis would appreciate. This coming weekend I’ll being the purses to our drop off point at Oh My Soul and Journey at 25 Main Street West.

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Thank you for helping women in crisis through The Purse Project! 

Speaking of Oh My Soul and Journey I just taught a Beginner Crash Course workshop there yesterday and it was FANTASTIC! What a beautiful space. It’s a sanctuary for wellness in a positive, and good vibe environment! I have two more workshops in this series in November and December. In both of these workshops I’ll teach a short choreography so you can take a dance home to keep practicing your moves! I can’t wait to dance with everyone as we near the end of 2018!

And as always thank you for your business and friendships!

Roula Said Teaching Belly Dance Workshops in Moncton and Saint John August 18-19

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I have studied with a number of amazing instructors, but with Roula Said the most. I learned so much from her, but my main takeaway was REALLY getting to know the moves and make them my own. She improved how I expressed myself, and my message through my dance. She gave me the gift of musicality, in a profound way, and increased my overall artistic ability.  She really helped me to come out of my shell, and find my authentic self as dancer and an individual. You don’t need to study with her for years to receive these benefits. I gained so much from the first workshop I took with her in Toronto, which is how we met.

For me, dance is exercise and expression. I dance when I’m happy, sad, angry, bored, and when I’m out with other people. It has given me confidence, self-respect, and a positive community.

Amazing things happen when women get together and let go of everything else to dance! Whether you want to elevate  your art form, or you just want to learn some cool moves while getting in tune with your body, you should really come out to these workshops!  There’s a discount if you register by Monday August 6.

Visit Roula’s Studio Online, Om Laila for information about the workshop and events.

Feel free to contact me anytime!

 

 

 

We Are Performing this Saturday May 12

Belly Dance Showcase May 12 at 7pm in Moncton at Studio Sephira

The Tuesday class has been working on the Shimmy Mob choreography and we’re excited to perform it on Saturday May 12 in Moncton. After the daytime performances we will be performing the number again in the Studio Sephira Belly Dance Showcase and Kaleena will be performing a solo! There is also a number of special guests and performances! Show starts at 7:30pm and admission is $10.

Bring your loonies and toonies. This is a fundraiser and everything raised goes directly to Crossroads for Women in Moncton! Your participation positively impacts the community!!

This is Studio Sephira‘s 4th time participating in this event and our first. So come cheer us on and help us to support women in New Brunswick through a fun and positive fundraising event!

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Dance for a Good Cause…It’s a Shimmy Mob!

New Year, New Experiences

2016 the caterpillar

2017 the cocoon

2018 the butterfly

Are you ready for a new experience through an art form that will get you in shape and feeling beautiful, all while supporting a great cause?

On Tuesday January 16 at 6pm we are starting our Shimmy Mob class. Shimmy Mob will have us flash mob style dancing with other belly dancers in Moncton (and all over the world) on Saturday May 12 2018 to fundraise for women and children’s shelters. Each class we will focus on technique, combinations and all other class material but we will also include Shimmy Mob practice (you get the video to work on it all you want at home too!) By May we will all be ready to confidently rock the Shimmy Mob choreography. Practicing a dance and drilling technique will also offer health and fitness benefits. Belly dance makes you a goddess!

Here’s how it works

      1. Register for Shimmy Mob by the end of the year for the early bird discount. It’s $36.50 USD and includes a TShirt for the day of the event and the choreography video so you can practice at home in between classes. The price goes up in 2018. Your team is MONCTON so please select that option when you register. On the day of the event we will be carpooling to Moncton to dance with a bunch of other dancers! It’s going to be a blast! (no worries if you do not drive, we will find you a ride.

      2. Register for classes by the end of year for the early discount of $75 for 6 classes ($85 after the 31st). We start on Tuesday January 16 at 6pm.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this class suitable for beginners?

Yes beginners to intermediate. It is a mixed level class but complete beginners will have 4 months to learn the techniques and choreography, and we review basics at every level. I have been dancing for over eight years and did my first performance after 3 months. If you can commit to the classes and a bit of practice on your own you will be more than fine.

Can I attend this class if I’m not registered for Shimmy Mob?

Unfortunately not, as I can only teach the choreography to students that are already registered for Shimmy Mob. This is the event’s rules.  LUNA Belly Dance offers another beginner-intermediate class on Thursday evenings at 6pm.

Can you do Shimmy Mob without the classes?

Yes! The class is for the group experience and additional instruction, especially where the technique is concerned! Anyone can sign up for Shimmy Mob, practice the dance on their own and meet a group in a participating city.

Who is teaching this class?

Kaleena has been dancing since 2009 and dances professionally in nightclubs, restaurants and for public and private events. She was a teacher and the rehearsal assistant at Om Laila Studio in Toronto where her teacher Roula Said rounded her education with  Middle Eastern Music and Song. She learned percussion including finger cymbals (zils, sagat), the drum (darbuka, doumbek), rhythms of the Middle East and singing/song translation for Arabic Music. She was in a number performance groups and theatre for singing, percussion, and dance and has also performed hundreds of times as a soloist. Kaleena has trained with world renowned Master Instructors from Egypt and specialized in the Reda Style (theatrical folk dance company in Egypt) with Nada El Masriya at the Egyptian Dance Academy. Kaleena is known for having soul in her dance, smooth elegance, and knowledge of music and song. She loves to improvise dance most but also enjoys creating and teaching choreography. Her classes are upbeat,  positive and welcoming to everyone regardless of levels or goals.

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Shimmy Mob in Vancouver

 

Belly Dance Classes at 139 Prince Edward Street

 

 

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New Class at 139 Prince Edward Street, Saint John

It has felt like forever since our last dance class. I’m really happy to announce that we’re starting up with a single class at 139 Prince Edward Street in room 111. You will see the studio as soon as you walk through the door! Happily, it is very accessible.

We are in the new Social Enterprise Hub! A space built for change! We are delighted to be in a brand new building (built from the ground up in 2016!!)

Class is $80/6 weeks with hst included. $70 if you register by September 23. Paypal, Etransfer or credit card. I can also be reached over the phone 607-2257 or email to reserve your spot.

6 Classes $70 until September 23

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LUNA Belly Dance offers women an environment to build confidence, body awareness and to discover YOURSELF as an artist. I teach everyone to bring out their individuality, artistry (yes you have it!) and to feel beautiful. This is not an athletic class. It is about feeling freakin’ gorgeous! There’s no squats or intense exercise but you can still expect to have a great workout. Especially toning arms with veil!

This class is already filling up thanks to the wonderful students and friends that have been waiting for me to get back at it again! So please contact me asap to reserve your spot.

 

Fundraising Belly Dance Class for the Saint John SPCA Kitten Shower!

Spring has sprung and this means that there are a number of homeless kittens (and mama cats) that need care before they can find forever homes.

LUNA Belly Dance is hosting a fundraising class on Thursday June 1st, 6pm at our Uptown Saint John location at 162 Union Street, Second Floor. The class is free with a donation of: kitten food, bedding, monetary support or toys.

LUNA Belly Dance will be at the Saint John SPCA Kitten Shower event on Saturday June 3 between 11 and 2 to deliver all donations raised from our class.

We will also be providing information on how you can raise money for the SPCA for FREE (hint- it’s an app!) and everyone is encouraged to speak to the SPCA about foster and adoption (including any adult cat that needs a home!)

Feel free to comment your questions and please share to spread the word so we can help the kittens as much as possible.

LUNA Belly Dance Save the Kitties Shake your..HIPS! 

Kitten Shower at the Saint John SPCA 

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