Bashirah June 2020 Newsletter

“If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.”

Shane Koyczan

Hello everyone,

The past two months have made for very strange times when life as we know it came to a halt in mid-March.  The reactions to sheltering in place during what we are calling the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis have ranged from tackling major projects, deep cleaning of houses and yards, working out, juggling parenting and jobs, spending time in quiet relaxation, focusing on new hobbies, baking and so on.  With all this activity, or non-activity as the case may be, many have also acknowledged unexpected and surprising emotional ups and downs at the uncertainty of what the future holds.  Despite the upheaval we have and are facing, I hope this finds you and your families safe, healthy, and managing as best you can.


In our dance world the biggest changes have been the cessation of face to face classes and the cancellation of recitals, haflas, workshops, shows and festivals.  It is a huge disappointment that we've had to cancel planned travel to a Kelowna workshop, as well as forgo our annual June student recital and Greek Fest performances. 


At Bashirah studios, we finished the last two weeks of the Winter session with four free online classes.  For April and May, a modified and discounted class schedule has been provided for those wishing to keep dancing and studying.


Studio renters also cancelled their classes in March so credit is being held, and rental slots are being reserved, for when we can reopen our doors. 


As of May 19, we are in Phase 2 of BC's Restart Plan.  According to the guidelines we fall under the Recreation and Sports businesses that are now allowed to open.  However, at this time, is it not realistic for Bashirah studio to be able to maintain social distancing for more than three or four people.  The current plan is for our doors to re-open with our full roster of classes at the beginning of September.  But we will continue to assess as we see how things go.


At present the studio is being kept clean and sanitized so it will be available for rental as of June 1 for any students who wish some space for solo practice.  I have also started accommodating one-on-one classes for students who wish to have private lessons or feedback on technique and/or choreography. 


In the meantime, let's continue to gather at a distance to move, to create, to heal, to connect to joy.  The June online class schedule is available.  Click on the link below for the dates/times and be sure to register by May 29 to hold your spot!

Having participated in many live streaming classes, I am acutely aware of what makes for a good experience on the part of the student.  After some quick work, and testing for quality audio and video, learning belly dance remains as challenging and fun as usual, for everyone involved.  Rather than focusing on choreography, we are using these classes as an opportunity to hone skills and acquire some new ones.
While gathering for face to face classes is the way to go, online has been the next best thing to keep us moving and maintain our little Bashirah dance community. It has meant so much to check in with each other every week.   

In early March, not long before many businesses closed and we were asked to start social distancing, we enjoyed a fabulous weekend with Egyptian instructor/performer Nada El Masriya.  She gave wonderfully emotive oriental and sha'abi performances at the Friday evening show that were a precursor to the styles we studied on Saturday and Sunday.  With high energy that did not flag the entire weekend, Nada not only taught us some choreography but she went into depth about the character, attitude, costuming and movement nuances that differentiate oriental, sha'abi and Eskandarani performances.  If you have the chance to study with Nada, it is not to be missed!
Online Streaming Classes
Keep in touch!
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Bashirah Middle Eastern Dance Company · 137 Skinner Street · Victoria, BC V9A 6X4 · Canada

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