It’s that time of the year again for our annual student showcase. This year we celebrate life and anti voilence against women. Tanha – Joy of Life a fundraiser for Bet Sheekoom.

This year our ladies wanted to raise funds and awareness for a charity that makes a real difference in the lifes of women who have had to flee bad situations or recover from rape or abuse. What seemed like a reletatively easy charity to find, was filled with pit falls and misteps, finally I decided enough was enough and reached out to an ex-student who works at Hearts for Alternatives (and our charity in 2015) and asked for her help.

Sue gave me a list of reputable safe houses we could contact, with her favourite on the top. After meeting Shelley at Bet Sheekoom, Jessica and I were sold, finally we had found our charity.

So what does Bet Sheekoom do, you may be wondering, why is this such a perfect match for us this year?

  • They offer women and children a safe alternative space to stay as they get back on their feet.
  • Mothers get life skills training that they can use to re-establish themselves.
  • Women get counseling to help them cope with ravages of abuse.

There has been a big movement this year with regards to body shaming, abuse and helping women own their own sexuality. Each of us has our own very personal story, for those of us lucky enough to have strong support systems, we are able to rise above that circumstance and forge ahead. For far too many women that is not possible and they struggle daily to maintain some kind of life.


To help us celebrate and raise funds for this very worthy charity, we are joined by sister studio’s from across the Eastern Cape.

Our very own Queen of Belly dance as crowned by the Goddess Divine Festival earlier this year – Levona (Fariha Belly Dance Studio) hailing from George in the Western Cape. Levona has been practicing the art of belly dance since 2006, and has competed in competitions across the country, her love and passion for this art form is clearly seen when she performs.

The amazing Gillian (Gigi Belly Dance Studio) based in Grahamstown, has also been dancing since 2008. She trained as an Egyptian Oriental Dancer, but later found her true passion in American Tribal Style. Her latest acclomplishment is being chosen as part of the cast for the 2020 run of Perfume which can be seen at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival next year.

One of our regular favourites is Josie (Desert Divas) from East London, Josie has a passion for sharing the art form with other likeminded ladies and says that students become friends as the share their love of dance. She gives of her time to teach children with down syndrome to dance and says that the smiles are priceless.

A stelwarth memeber of our dance community is Twan (Fellas Dance Acedemy) together with her daughter Twane, work in Port Alfred. They teach a variety of dance styles and are registered with the S.A.D.T.A, from aerial arts and acting to modern and belly dance, for all ages, shapes and sizes.

Our newest dance sister hails from Bathhurst Lindi (LindiRaqs) has been following her passion for belly dance for many years. She recently completed her level 7 student levels with SADTA and traveled to Egypt where she got the wonderful opportunity to learn with masters of dance.

Tickets are R100 and all profits go to our charity, as always this doesn’t happen without help. Once again thank you Rock (Party Adventures PE) for lighting and sound and the Savoy Theatre for hosting us.

The show happens on 2nd November doors open 6:30 pm, join us for an evening of dance and celebration of life!

Contact us to book your tickets.

Melanie Wallis

Melanie started dancing and performing for Janka’s Oriental Dance Studio in 2006.  Under the mentorship of Janka Kliment, Melanie began her training to become an Oriental Dance teacher in 2008 and completed it under Asja Samia in 2011.  Melanie is also a certified health and fitness instructor.   Following Janka’s return to Slovakia in 2013, Melanie and Jessica chose to carry forward the vision of their friend and mentor.  They purchased the studio and continue to teach the art and beauty of the dance to all aspiring belly dancers.