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The Hafla for Haiti was a lot of fun and best of all has raised, so far, £845 for Children in Need’s work in Haiti! Well done to Irene Hogg for organising it, Revolution Bar for hosting it and all the performers and audience members for coming along!

There was bellydance of all different types – Raqs Sharqi, Modern Egyptian, Classic Egyptian, Tribal and Tribal Fusion. There was also burlesque (two strip-tease artists), a poledancer, a flamenco dancer, a salsa couple and a couple of comedy bellydance/burlesque acts. It was really great to have such variety.

Here’s a clip from the night of Elspeth’s stick dance (very sassy!)

Also, it seems we’re not the only place to have this idea. Chattanooga – my home away from home – had a benefit night called ‘To Haiti With Love’ on Saturday. Like the Edinburgh event this had a broad variety of performers including musicians, poets and bellydancers with the lovely Mirabai troupe performing. Go bellydancers!

In other news… We’re having a hafla for Lorna of Cairo! Put the date in your diary – Thursday 18th March, 7-10pm, Teviot Underground at Bristo Square. Tickets are £8 in advance or £10 on the door. You can buy tickets in advance from myself, Elspeth or Caroline (of Bellydancingdivas).

In addition to the more local talent, Lorna will be dancing for us. Lorna is a local girl who moved to Cairo several years ago and now makes her living as a bellydancer over there. Here’s a short clip of one of her recent performances:

I’m looking forward to seeing loads of you at this, and if you’re interested in performing give me (or Elspeth or Caroline) a shout.

Given the responses I received to the idea I floated of putting together an online calendar of events for the bellydance community in Edinburgh, I’ve gone ahead with it. You’ll see a shiny new link at the top of this blog called “Edinburgh Bellydance Calendar“. If you click on it the link takes you to the calendar, which is hosted on my own website.

I currently have classes, workshops, etc run by myselfHabiba Dance, Edinburgh University, Hilary Thacker and Caroline Evans.  If you would like your event(s) included please send me the details.

Also, if you want to embed this calendar on your site as well please let me know and I’ll send you the little bit of html you need to do so.  As it’s a Google calendar I’m using you don’t need to do any maintenance on this, it’ll all be maintained by me updating the Google calendar.

When I started looking for bellydance classes in Edinburgh years ago I found it difficult to get accurate, up-to-date information about what classes where on, when & where they were and how much they cost. I remember that I found it quite frustrating trying to “break in”. Several years later I’m now on mailing lists, connected to bellydance friends on facebook and, in general, know the scene a bit better – so now I find out things a bit more easily. That said there have still been things going on I haven’t heard about until either right before the event or sometimes afterwards.

So to this end I’ve been playing around with creating an online calendar to list ALL the bellydance events, workshops, classes, hafla’s etc that are going on and planned for in and around Edinburgh. I’m thinking of embedding it here, on my website and anywhere else that would be willing to have it.

It’s a resource I would have been very grateful for when I was first starting out, and so I believe that it would add value to the bellydance community locally – both the current community and those thinking of, or trying to, join it.

But… I don’t want to tread on any toes. So I’m wondering… is this a cunning plan? I’d really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

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