changing lives through dance

#bellydanceforjoy

Can you imagine what it’s like to be in fear of your life from your partner? To be hit, burned, punched and told you’re ugly and worthless on a regular basis.

Can you even begin to imagine how it must be to have been sold into slavery as a child, brought to the UK as a domestic slave and never to have had a day off work in your life? Can you imagine never having had a moment of fun for yourself, to have only slept on the kitchen floor, and to be beaten if you raise your eyes when spoken to by your ‘owner’?

Maybe you can imagine the trauma of being told you have terminal cancer, and how it might feel to lose your breasts, your hair and your dignity as you’re poked and prodded and put into machines.

Now imagine you can help to give women who have suffered such trauma some fun in their lives – dancing to lively music, shaking their shoulders, swinging their hips and laughing as they shimmy and sway in the company of other women just like them.

Company of Dreams teaches free, weekly bellydance classes in women’s refuges, rape support groups, hospices and organisations supporting victims of slavery and trafficking. Our work is changing women’s lives, helping raise their self esteem and body confidence and giving them a little joy and fun to take their minds off what they’ve suffered.

From September 11th to 29th we’ll be participating in a global fundraising challenge run by Global Giving to raise funds for our unique and inspiring work.

Throughout September bellydancers around the UK will be doing shimmy challenges, auctioning costumes, having fun at haflas and even climbing Mount Snowdon in bellydance costume, to raise money for us!

Please help! You can either:

• support one of the events we’re organising on 17th September in London (more info below)

• pledge some money (more info below) and we’ll contact you nearer the time to tell you how to donate to the challenge

• give a donation directly on our GlobalGiving page from 11th September

• organise an event yourself

• sponsor one of the challenges (more info below)

And please do share this with your friends – we need the whole bellydance community to join us in making a real difference to the lives of women who have experienced trauma such as domestic violence, sexual violence, terminal cancer diagnosis, slavery and other such dreadful trauma.

#bellydanceforjoy

Bellydancers climb Mount Snowdon!

We’re thrilled to announce that bellydancers Saffron and Sophia will be climbing Mount Snowdon in bellydance outfits to raise money for our work! Once they are at the top they will do a real bellydance for joy and film it for the world to see. They will be joined on their adventure by several non-bellydancing friends, including Shaun the Sheep and Zorro. This is a serious challenge and we can’t thank them enough for what they are doing!

Please sponsor them! Click on the picture to go through to their Go Fund Me page and donate, to show your appreciation for their wonderful and demanding challenge. They really will appreciate your support.

“Taking bellydance classes is the best decision I’ve ever made.  I had major body and self-confidence issues that were impacting on my day-to-day life. Learning to bellydance has made me realise that womanly curves should be celebrated and it has boosted my self-confidence. It’s connected my mind with my body, in a positive way, for the first time.  The classes also helped me to cope with a recent bereavement, it gave me a focus and the ‘feel good’ factor of the classes, and bellydance itself, helped me through an extremely tough time.”

“After surgery for a double mastectomy I felt very angry with my body for letting me down and viewed it as ugly and disfigured. It’s easy to disassociate yourself from your body in those circumstances but bellydance helped me to reconnect with my body through the movements, which felt so good to do. This helped to restore my confidence and self esteem.”

“For me, bellydance taps into a part of me that is feminine, fluid and sensual. When I dance, I love my body and the way it moves and from that, I’ve gained in confidence about my body generally.”

“Bellydancing has tremendously helped me mentally, physically, medically, socially and every other way, shape and form you can think of.”

“It has helped so much with my confidence about my body shape, I now appreciate my womanly curves, it seems this is what they were made for, and I’m quite happy to show them off!”

“In some ways I feel as if my self esteem has improved so much that I feel guilty for allowing myself this happiness.”