The Canberra Shimmy Mob team braved cold temperatures and blustery winds to join over 2000 performers all over the world dancing the same choreography, in the same t-shirts, on the same day - World Bellydance Day. This year there were 169 teams, all raising awareness and funds for local organisations and charities who support women and children in crisis.
This year, the Canberra Team are supporting their local Chapter of B.A.C.A (Bikers Against Child Abuse). B.A.C.A. are a well-recognised international organisation who support victims of abuse with a mission to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live.
The Canberra Team was made up of 17 dancers of varying ages and experience, from five different Canberra-based schools and troupes.
“Joining Shimmy Mob and working with dancers from different schools and troupes across Canberra has been so much fun”, says Canberra Team Leader Samina Amar from Ghawazee Moon Bellydance.
Shimmy Mob participants learn the choreography online through videos, with the Canberra Team getting together in the month leading up to World Bellydance Day for rehearsals and team-learning at Samina's home studio, Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Canberra Dance Theatre. All these venues generously donated rehearsal time for this great cause.
“Canberra has a great bellydance community. We support one another’s events and love coming together to put on showcases at festivals. What is special about Shimmy Mob is that it has given us the opportunity to dance together,” says Canberra Team Leader Assistant Fran from Bellyup Bellydance. She has been helping out with extra rehearsals and getting the team in shape. In addition, her school’s Autumn Hafla, a Shimmy Mob sister-event, generously added their proceeds to the Shimmy Mob donations to BACA.
A significant amount of fundraising happened through the World Bellydance Day Raffle. With prizes including summer workshop passes, terms of classes, re-vamped Barbie dolls, dance practice cards, decorated cookies, massage vouchers, tickets to events, gardening consultations, adorable crocheted items and coin scarves. "We are incredibly grateful for the amazing response from those within our community and outside it who have donated so generously."
The organising team which also includes Brooke from Quake bellydance and organiser of The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever in Canberra, are now looking forward to the next big community event on the bellydance calendar, the Canberra Casbah, which will further the fundraising efforts of both Shimmy Mob and Wuthering Heights.