A CELEBRATION of all things bellydance is set to come alive at the Perth Waldorf School on September 27.
Sponsored by the City of Cockburn, the Free Spirit Fusion Festival is a madcap one-day event featuring dance workshops, a market bazaar and café serving an array of food, all leading up to a glittering stage show with local and interstate artists in the evening.
The evening performance features a range of styles including bellydance, Bollywood, tribal-style bellydance, industrial bellydance, Gothic bellydance and steampunk.
There are various free workshops for those who have never bellydanced before, as well as workshops in dance, photography, drumming and Arabic rhythms, stage makeup and self-confidence.
Local artists at the free market bazaar will be selling their wares including costumes, henna, jewellery, food and pampering products.
Free Spirit Dance Community chairperson Fiona Watts – more commonly known as “Princess Fee” – said bellydance gave more than just the physical benefits of cardio and core strengthening, although both have their place.
“It's more about connecting with other like-minded people, women and men alike, and having a lot of fun in a supportive and non-competitive atmosphere,” she said.
“We create the space for people to be themselves, as well as laugh and exercise – and the dress-ups help, too.
“Bellydance is a recipe for your whole life because you'll make friends, costumes, memories and be part of something fabulous.”
Taking her first bellydancing class at university in the 1990s, Princess Fee said all it took was one class and she was hooked.
“I began teaching for one of my teachers and have never looked back,” she said. “I have taken masterclasses in Egypt, I travel, I study and I can't imagine my week without my laughing students who I see blossom and grow in confidence, technical dance practice and experience.
“I love the friendships, supportive network of gorgeous people, shimmies [bellydance moves], costumes, travel, knowledge and the cultural exploration of ancient Egypt, Turkey and other regions of the Middle East.”
The Free Spirit Fusion Festival starts at 9am, September 27; the main performance starts 7pm. Some workshops are free, others have varying prices and tickets for the evening performance are $15 pre-sale or $20 at the door – for details and bookings, go to freespiritdancecommunity.yapsody.com.
The Perth Waldorf School is located at 14 Gwilliam Drive, Bibra Lake.
free spirit1: Clockwise from left: Julie Rankin, Min Adlide, Princess Fee, Lyn Annandale, Richelle Spencer and Marie Edwards are ready to celebrate all things bellydance at the Free Spirit Fusion Festival.
free spirit2: A range of bellydance styles will be on show at the Free Spirit Fusion Festival with Tracey Noble, Princess Fee, Leanne Shannon and Selina Colebourne (at back), Janet Peel, Richelle Spencer and Connie Bafile (at front) and Aiveen Amos (foreground).
free spirit3: Richelle Spencer shimmies up the dance floor, ready for the Free Spirit Fusion Festival on September 27.
Free sprit4: Princess Fee says bellydancing is about connecting with other like-minded people – something that will be on show at the Free Spirit Fusion Festival.
Free Spirit Dance Community
The Free Spirit Dance Community, based in Bibra Lake, Western Australia, is a vibrant, community-based group of bellydancers and musicians. Our aim is to provide a safe, supportive, nurturing and non-competitive environment for dancers and associated artists.
We believe in empowering women – the bringing together of spirits through music and dance. We would like women to become motivated and enthusiastic about exercise, which promotes positive self-esteem and body image. This, in turn, provides a wider support network and encourages new friendships through using community facilities.
P: 0415 881 370