I first became interested in bellydance in 2000 as another form of working out. Something maybe a little bit more fun and interesting than the usual gym routine. I have always been a dance lover and dabbled with ballet and modern dance at a young age. I had a friend who introduced me to this style of dance and I can’t thank her enough for opening me up to something that so fully changed my life. My first class was inspiring. When the session was over I was on for more without a second thought. I fell in love with the costumes, the movement, the sensuality and the power that the women performing were emanating. The confidence and mood that could be created by this dance was entrancing.
I have never been a skinny-minnie ballet type of body so when I found bellydance I felt like I really connected with my own personal femininity. Embracing who I was curves and all, I found a way to move my body through space that was fluid and graceful - Something that my usual clumsiness didn’t allow. Through Bellydance, I had finally found a way to connect with myself and am a firm believer that every woman should take a course or two in bellydance.
In 2005 I developed my company, Indigo Art’s, with the idea of creating an umbrella to embrace the art side of my life with the dance and movement part. I had a strong attraction and identified with the concept of Indigo Children. Upon naming my company after this concept I embraced the philosophy of the Indigo - a catalyst and in my case to help and facilitate people’s connection with their own creativity.
All my dance classes focus on balancing your body’s energy. I concentrate on body awareness, proper posture, balance, core strength, flexibility and creativity. All this is done in an environment where the intention is to have fun moving to music. I really think of bellydance as a wholistic thing - Working with the body and mind together as a whole.
I spent 5 years of my professional dancing career performing regularly in restaurants every weekend around Calgary and also dancing for events within the city. After the 5 years I became enticed with the idea of actually having weekends off and a little bit more time for my painting career, so I pulled myself out of the regular gigs of the restaurant tirade. Although I do miss it, it has allowed me to start to use dance as another form for expressing myself artistically. I no longer feel the restraints of sticking to one genera of music and have taken my bellydance vocabulary and combined it with other types of music - Thus a fusion dancer is born. I find I now am mostly excited about creating a mood and a story with my dance. I have a range of everything from your traditional bellydance oriental, to being inspired with vintage 1930’s and Art Nouveau visuals and then can slide right into the idea of theater inspired dance coming to life. I am inspired by many forms of music classical Middle Eastern music, electronic fusion music, bollywood and even indi rock.
I have studied under many teachers throughout my life and still take classes and workshops from dancers around me. After all, we never fully get to the point where we stop learning. Some of the teachers who gave me the biggest impressions are Linda Meyer (my very first dance teacher), Hadia (whom I was also a part of her dance troupe Aiewa while she was still teaching in Calgary), Zoe Jakes (a dear friend of mine and the person who introduced me to bellydance), Mira Betz (who is so, totally an amazing dancer) and Aziza (who is also amazing!). I honestly could write forever about all of the inspiring teachers I have had over the years. It’s hard to just stop at these wonderful women.
Dancing is something I will never be without. After all, music is the sound track to my life and there is no way I can sit still when there is a good beat to rock out too!
© 2012 Holly McWilliams, All Rights Reserved