On Stage

Hafla Hoedown

Putting the ‘belly’ in Bellingham

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It’s been almost 17 years since Maggie Rose discovered that a modern dance class she’d signed up for was, instead, a bellydance class. Instead of asking for a refund, she decided to stick around and see what it was all about.

“I was completely mesmerized by the strong, confident community of women I saw in that class,” Rose says of her decision to stay. “The only bellydancer I had ever seen in person before was a solo dancer at a Moroccan restaurant. At the time, I had no idea you could actually take bellydance classes. I was hooked!”

And, although she didn’t give up on other types of making movement—she’s since taken modern dance classes, as well as West African dance, Bollywood, tap, hula, swing, ballet and many more—bellydancing has remained a steadfast passion.

In addition to performing solo and as a member of several troupes over the years—including being a current member of the Portico Dance Company—Rose also teaches a variety of bellydancing classes, and continues to seek out additional training opportunities to further her own education. 

But she’s not the only one. At a “Silk Road” Hafla happening Sat., March 22 at Presence Studio, members of the Portico Dance Company will be joined by the Mahala Dancers, the Tribal Kind (from Seattle), soloists, a variety of student ensembles, and others to share their bellydancing talents. Those who are intrigued by what they see can find out more about upcoming classes, and discover just how thriving Bellingham’s bellydance community is. 

“We’ve been putting the ‘belly’ in Bellingham since the mid-’70s, when bellydance trailblazer Shelley Muzzy formed one of the first touring troupes, Bou-Saada,” Rose says. “These days, there are probably close to 100 people taking bellydance classes here at any given time.

“My favorite thing about our dance community is the camaraderie and support, not only from each other but also from the studios in which we all teach and host workshops and haflas: Presence Studio, La Vida, Bellingham Dance Company, Bell Tower Studios, Flow Motion. They create space for us to keep dancing.”

At the hafla—basically a “bellydance party” where advanced dancers perform new choreography and new students perform for the first time—attendees can feel free to ask questions about upcoming classes, styles of bellydancing and find out why costumes are so important to the art form. They can also simply enjoy the show.

“I love that even if you are performing choreography, anything can happen because it’s a live performance,” Rose says. “I also love connecting with the audience. All performers gain energy from an engaged audience!”

SVCR Live Music
More On Stage...
Forever Plaid
Adoration and the afterlife

James Dean died in a tragic automobile accident in 1955, but the actor has never been forgotten. The same goes for actresses Grace Kelly and Jayne Mansfield—both of whom were in deadly car wrecks when they were at the either at the height of their fame, or were so well-known their names…

more »
The Pig War
Mannequins on the move

Playwright Steve Lyons understands full well that war is not a laughing matter.

That said, when he set out to write Mrs. Bave Presents the Pig War, he soon realized that the chain of events that nearly led to a violent border dispute—but instead saw diplomacy and peace reign…

more »
Improv Insights
Finding the momentum

Oona Cava is the type of person you’d want to have on hand at the scene of an accident.

That’s because in addition to being wicked smart, the longtime improviser and instructor is calm in a crisis, a quick thinker and nimble in both spirit and form. (As a fellow Upfront Theatre alum, I…

more »
Events
Today
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Dog Day Afternoon

3:30pm|South Whatcom Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Try Something New

6:30pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Back to School Night

6:30pm|Lynden Library

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

2020 Solutions Sept 2017
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Peaceful Poetry Workshop and Contest

4:30pm|Village Books

Women's Rock Climbing Basics

6:00pm|REI

Exploring Vegan Flavors

6:30pm|Whatcom Humane Society

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Autumn Soups for the Body and Soul

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Seattle Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Bellingham Farmer’s Market BOB_2017
Thursday
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Lynden Farmers Market

12:00pm|Front Street

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Together for Peace

6:00pm|Majestic

Stream Tour

6:00pm|Whatcom Creek

Trash Talk

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Chuckanut Radio Hour with Nancy Pearl

7:00pm|Village Books

Travel Talk

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Authentic Illusionist Jay Ownehouse

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

BOB_2017 Trove Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 2020 Solutions Sept 2017 MBT Janis Joplin Bellingham Farmer’s Market