September 24th, 2018

Bellydance Spectacular coming to the big stage

By Chris Brown on March 8, 2018.

Submitted Photo
Krista Vandermeulen, left, and Lindsay Perry are the minds behind A Bellydance Spectacular, a full evening show on the Esplanade main stage on March 16.


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Hatter Lindsay Perry recalls that when she and her business and dance partner Krista Vandermeulen got to perform on a Las Vegas stage it was an unforgettable moment and one of the highest points of Perry’s life. The pair hope to bring those same feelings to some of their dancers at Tone Fitness and Dance with A Bellydance Spectacular on March 16.

“It really was the pinnacle of our dance careers,” Perry said this week. “For our dancers this could be that for them, this could be their big moment, they know that, they feel that and are definitely excited about it.”

Close to 30 local women have been training with and learning from Perry and Vandermeulen for about six months. The group has come together as one, with a Facebook forum providing them with opportunities for questions, help, advice and suggestions.

Perry said two things will set A Bellydance Spectacular apart from any other performances in which the dancers have participated. One is that this will be an entire evening dedicated bellydance, instead of just a small part of a bigger event like Spectrum.

The second one is what will really bring it home for the dancers, said Perry. The show will take place on the Esplanade main stage.

“It’s really quite impressive and unique and different,” she said of the feeling of dancing on a bigger stage. “It was something that wanted to share both with the dancers that we instruct and the community we perform in.”

The show will include 14 original choreographies by Perry and Vandermeulen, who’ve also worked on the costumes and props. Perry the whole process has given a new sense to the word “overwhelming” but that’s it’s a challenge the pair has enjoyed.

“It’s been months and months of learning and planning and organizing and teaching and sewing and beading and all of those things,” she said. “It’s been a great learning curve and quite enjoyable to do it with my partner. More than anything its been satisfying. Now we see the pinnacle is just on the horizon and we’re grateful for the opportunity and execute it, to finally bring it to the finish line.”

When Perry and Vandermeulen began bellydancing in Medicine Hat 15 years ago it was a little shocking to some in the community. It’s come a long way since then, Perry said, but some still think a woman showing her belly is taboo and see bellydance as sexually suggestive. She said the art was developed by a woman for women as a way to prepare them for childbirth.

“In the western culture it’s changed quite a bit from what it used to be,” Perry said. “For us, Krista and I, it’s good in one way because it’s a lot showier (here), in the Middle East it’s not so glittery all the time and that’s what we like a lot about it. The style we do is not suggestive at all, it’s over the top performance and drama.”

Perry said ticket sales have been going well and the reception in the community has been positive, leaving her, Vandermeulen and the dancers excited for a night to remember beginning at 8 p.m.

Tickets, $25 plus service charge and GST, are available at http://www.tixx.ca, by calling 403-502-8777 or in person at the Esplanade box office or the Medicine Hat Mall customer service desk.

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