Mod­ern Fam­ily

Un­der the guid­ance of in­struc­tor Leona Fin­layson, the women of Y Belly Dance per­for­mance troupe meet sev­eral times a week to study the grace and rhythms of the tra­di­tional dance form. Through their prac­tices at the Moberly Arts and Cul­tural Centre and num

Vancouver Magazine - - Contents - Do­minika Lirette AS TOLD TO Carlo Ricci PHOTO BY

Th­ese belly dancers know how to shake it.

1 “I was a sin­gle par­ent and I was look­ing for some­where to go to be with a group of peo­ple, be­cause I didn’t have a part­ner. It was a way I could dance, and I like danc­ing, so I thought I would join.”— Ann Stine, early child­hood and spe­cial needs ed­u­ca­tor 2 “For me, with my body type, it feels great to be able to feel free.”— An­gela Par­mar, school­teacher

3 “Af­ter I had kids and I’d got­ten a bit older and my body had changed, I felt that I needed to be com­fort­able with it again. The first time I did a per­for­mance with them it was ter­ri­fy­ing hav­ing to ex­pose my­self like that, but af­ter that it just got eas­ier and eas­ier.”— Mielle Grant, high school re­cep­tion­ist 4 “My favourite part of be­ing a teacher is get­ting to dance with my ladies and see­ing them blos­som as dancers and their friend­ships grow.”— Leona Fin­layson, belly dance teacher

5 “My favourite part is the com­pan­ion­ship of the ladies and per­form­ing. I love it.”— Kathie Black, o ice as­sis­tant

6 “I like fast spins be­cause you build up this mo­men­tum and this en­ergy and it’s a re­lease, al­most—es­pe­cially when you come out of it and the crowd cheers so much. I love the adrenalin rush of per­form­ing.”— Cristal Folka, re­cep­tion­ist

7 “In 1999, I vis­ited a friend in New York and she threw a party— there was a belly dancer. Then we went out to a restau­rant— there was a belly dancer. On the flight home, I picked up the in­flight mag­a­zine and there was an ar­ti­cle on belly danc­ing. So I said ‘Okay, uni­verse. I’m lis­ten­ing. I’ll try this.’”— Ge­orgina Daniels, man­ager of op­er­a­tional train­ing for the jus­tice sys­tem 8 “We had one piece where we needed a guy to dance around and [my hus­band] was ac­tu­ally in that show. He’s al­ways been a fan.” — Anh Nguyen, tech­ni­cal writer

9 “As a hobby, I had par­tic­i­pated in­tensely in the world of Schutzhund dog train­ing for 20-plus years, which I then left in or­der to care for my mother when she be­came terminally ill. When she passed away I went into a se­vere de­pres­sion. Many years later I thought back on what I used to do out­side of dog train­ing that had brought me joy, and belly danc­ing had al­ways been in the back of my mind.” — Chris­tine Walker, home­maker 10 “Leona has al­ways been very open about us wear­ing what we want to class and so I’m kind of used to com­ing to class in a lot of fun things.” — Ce­cily MacGre­gor-Gauntts, artist and film extra

11 “When I am on the stage per­form­ing, I see my­self as a dancer. It’s very di˜er­ent. Peo­ple look at fi­nan­cial plan­ners as a pro­fes­sional ca­reer, but this is my other side of en­joy­ing mu­sic, en­joy­ing my own world.”— Lu­cenda Lam, fi­nan­cial plan­ner

12 “My mom signed me up and said ‘you’re go­ing.’ That was 10 years ago. I stayed with it be­cause it made me feel that I was more than just a nerdy girl, that I was ac­tu­ally a woman.” — Karime Kuri, soft­ware an­a­lyst

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