Endeavour Hills is the place to learn how to bellydance!

Tucked away under the YMCA Leisure Centre (and next to the Library and Shopping Centre) is the Endeavour Hills Neighbourhood Centre at 10 Raymond MacMahon Boulevard. This Centre has been running since 1980 and is a part of the City of Casey Council Community Centres. They are a great place for the local community to meet, get support in English, computers, and crafts, as well as provide a huge variety of classes, one of which is belly dance! Charni has been running bellydance classes from the Endeavour Hills Neighbourhood centre since 2008 through Happy Hips Belly Dance, with hundreds of women (and a few men!) having had the chance to explore this fun way of moving. With students coming from all areas such as Dandenong, Noble Park, Hallam, Narre Warren, Berwick, Belgrave, Springvale and even Cranbourne and Pakenham to experience the fun and welcoming environment that Charni provides. It is exciting and sometimes a little scary to start something new, so be kind to yourself, be brave and do what you’ve always wanted to do – bellydance. Leave life at the door, come in and have a shimmy, you deserve some “me time”.

Click this link to show you where the Endeavour Hills Neighbourhood Centre is located.

Happy Hips Bellydance students performing a veil dance at the Dandenong Show November 2016

Happy Hips Bellydance students performing a veil dance at the Dandenong Show November 2016

Giving Back: Girl’s Night In

Last Friday I had the privilege to take part in a “Girl’s Night In” to raise money for Breast Cancer, as organised by the wonderful Marj. I donated part of my fee in order to raise more funds and Marj and her friends together raised over $1000 congratulations Marj!! It wasn’t all serious, though! Marj had arranged a night of games, belly dance (by yours truly), prizes, a raffle and champagne! Squee!

Here is what Marj had to say:
“Thankyou Charni for supporting my Girl’s Night In. It was great fun and everyone enjoyed all the hip shaking, although we all found muscles we didn’t know we had the next couple of days”

Here is a photo of us all “pinked up” and hip scarfed! Thanks for the fun girls!

Marj arranged a fantastic Girl's Night in with Charni from Happy Hips Belly Dance

Marj arranged a fantastic Girl’s Night in with Charni from Happy Hips Belly Dance

The Joy of Giving Back

One of the fun aspects of teaching students at Happy Hips Belly Dance is the chance for us to have a reason to perform together. We find ourselves practicing as a “troupe” and have a goal we are all aiming for. While there are festival and community events we perform at, one of our favourite (and least nerve racking!) performances is when we provide entertainment at a local nursing home. By donating our time and dance, we feel good at that we are bringing something a bit different to the schedule of entertainment, as well as giving us performance practice.

I am so proud of the Happy Hips Troupe for giving back to the community and doing a great job at the same time!

Here is a link to one of the dances we did recently – it was actually the debut of a new dance we had learnt with a new style and new prop! Go girls!

What skills or abilities have you got to give back to your community? Then go do it! It feels great!

Elysium Classes Online is here!

My very good friend and collegue Ma’isah of Raqs Gothique, has just launched her very exciting www.elysiumclassesonline.com and I wanted to share the news!!

What is Elysium? Well, it’s gothic and dark fusion belly dance in a tribal style format. If that does not make sense check out this video of her online eClasses and you will see how fluid, graceful and flowing the style is. Just gorgeous!

School Holidays are over Sigh/Yay!

One of the topics that came up in my Mum’s Group yesterday, was whether we were happy that school was starting for term 3 (and my regular belly dance classes at www.happyhipsbellydance.com) and we were really in two minds.

School HolidaysAre we happy when the kids go back to school, or miss them and the freedom of a lighter timetable?

On the plus side for school starting means we can get back into routine, regular activities (and bellydance classes Yay!) a bit more time to get things done, and fewer children underfoot (and fighting with each other), plus organising activities duriing the holidays to keep them happy and occupied on the rainy days of winter is not so easy!

On the down side, we don’t see as much of our older children, we have to get up earlier (and Yay for a bit of a sleep in!) have to make lunches that the kids will eat AND is nutritious, and we have to get them up, dressed, fed and to school on time, plus ferry them back nd forth and to after school activities.

So I guess we will have to take the plus and the minus and enjoy each one as it comes!

Thanks go to my kids Jamie and Ellie – who had lots of fun during the school holidays!

You asked for it! Charni performs!

I have just uploaded a video of me performing last weekend, so you can stop nagging me! Seriously, the main videos I have on YouTube have been to benefit students with choreographies, so as requested, here is one of some highlights of me performing.

It was a fun gig, for a birthday celebration at the beautiful Glendower Kartoffel House in Upper Beaconsfield, and one of the hosts kindly filmed it for me. She was standing behind me and the audience was in a u shape, so it’s not the best angle, however, any professional dancer worth her mettle knows how to accommodate!

So enjoy! The audience and I did!

Happy World Belly Dance Day 2012!

Last night I had the privilege of being a part of World Belly Dance Day

Charni was a part of World Belly Dance Day 2012 celebrations in Melbourne

celebrations for OMEDA in Melbourne at YDance in Thornbury. Every year around the world fundraisers are held for different charities using belly dance. We raised funds for Red Cross. The total amount raised for the night is $694, which is even better then last year!

It was a great night with many dancers donating their performance in aid of the charity as well as stall holders who had a variety of good to tempt as well as massages! I was MC and the Music Technician, I did try to be the photographer as well, but the sound booth was too far so I found somebody else to capture the night!

Thanks to all of those dancers and organisers who helped make it happen!

Belly Dance and Polynesian Dance

Polynesian dancers can shake their hips like a belly dancer!

I was at the Wachter Reserve Family Day Out today (in a Mum capacity not as a performer this time!) and had the privilege to watch the Cook Islands Royal Polynesian Dance Team perform. As I watched it, it got me thinking about how Belly Dance has similarities with many other cultural dances. They way these ladies moved their hips was very impressive, and their skirts really enhanced their moves. Great job!

As an aside, but worth a mention, also at the Festival was a very impressive band “Code One” made up of Victorian police officers. Their pint-sized female lead singer, Lerena Novoa,  really packed a full-sized punch as she belted out songs that had the whole crowd clapping and cheering. Fantastic public relations for Victoria Police, as they are awesome!

Charni from Happy Hips Belly Dance was very impressed with the Code One Police Band of Police Victoria

Ellen learns to Belly Dance

While this is obviously more for amusement value, I admire Ellen for getting up on her own show to give belly dancing a go. She even puts on an outfit (which is over the top of her normal clothes giving it an “interesting” look!) The belly dance teacher is obviously constrained by what has to happen, and can’t really do or show very much, but it’s not really the point here.

Have a look and have some fun!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcGZCX2KC9o&list=PLFBE4E4E22078850E&index=1&feature=plpp_video

If you just smile…

Let the joy on the inside show on the outside

Let the joy on the inside show on the outside

“Always remember to smile to yourself. Smiling beautifies your face, but when you bring the smile inside your heart and mind, you beautify your whole being”.
Mae-Chee Sasanee

I found this quote and it reminded me of how I feel when I am bellydancing. I smile inside my heart and mind and it is reflected on my face. Do you feel that way about something in your life?
I hope so!

Thanks to my joyful model Jamie.