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Barrie belly dancers shake their hips for local shelter

BellyDance dinner showcase scheduled for Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. at Bloom Bistro in south-end Barrie

Dancers will be getting their shake, shimmy and roll on this weekend for a good cause.

Nicole Welsh, owner of Cairo’s Jewels BellyDance and the Barrie Shimmymob team leader, has been hosting belly dance events to help raise money and awareness to help stop domestic abuse for the last decade. She's excited to be back again this year to showcase the artform.

“Most of the dancing that you will see at the showcase is based on Egyptian belly dancing so it has genres within itself — from folkloric to oriental and all different stylizations. The other thing we are hosting is Shimmymob,” Welsh said.

This year’s BellyDance dinner showcase is scheduled for Saturday, June 3 at 7 p.m. at Bloom Bistro in Barrie.

Shimmymob is the world's largest BellyDance event of its kind that performs annually on world BellyDance day in May alongside teams all over the world, Welsh explained.

“We are excited to have them dance as part of the showcase,” she said, adding team members range from six years old to their mid-60s.

Each participating dancer was asked to choose a piece that empowered them in some way, added Welsh, noting the showcase is a family-friendly event with proceeds from the showcase go directly to the Women & Children’s Shelter of Barrie.

“I think it’s really important to give back, especially with domestic abuse on the rise, I just really wanted to be able to help in some small way. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to leave with your children and feel so isolated and alone,” Welsh said.

She hopes to sell out the event, which would mean they’d be able to raise $1,500 for the local shelter.

“Belly dance itself is empowering as you’re not only connecting to yourself and the people around you, (but) when you share the dance the audience becomes your community as well," Welsh said. "Everyone comes to Bellydance for different reasons, but the majority of women that stay with Bellydance have a vested interest not only in only enjoying the dance, growing themselves, but being there in the dance with community that is created.

"We truly lift one another up.”