While the Toronto edition of the Halloween Bazaar of the Bizarre has come and gone, you can catch this unique artisan fair again in Hamilton tomorrow.

Serpentina North Ensemble will be doing two sets over the day and have cooked up some special costumes for the occasion.  Come by our merch booth and say hi! We have some new shirts printed up with our troupe image, designed by Marion Greene. You can check out more of her designs too, she’s also vending at the bazaar.




Starting tomorrow, I will be teaching weekly at Karma Teachers Toronto. Each Thursday you can catch me there, teaching the evening class at 5:30pm. You can expect hatha and some vinyasa with a focus always on mindfulness, meditation and embodied movement.

All classes at Karma Teachers are by donation (free & PWYC). All of us teaching at Karma Teachers do so in the name of selfless service/karma yoga and we run on donations for those who can afford to donate. No one is turned away for lack of funds.

Come as you are. You don’t need to be flexible, you don’t need to be happy, you don’t need fancy gear. YOU, — in all your complexity, all your life experience — are welcome at Karma Teachers.



equinoxThe energy of equinox infuses everything right now. Dance, life, work. It’s all intense. Losing myself in the process is a beautiful thing. When the ego/identity dissolves in favour of a creative process, that’s when I know I’m in the flow, as they say. By the way, creativity isn’t limited to dance, its in every interaction with others, every message we tell ourselves and every way we learn to survive an adapt in a tumultuous world. What good is grace in dance if you lose your shit the minute things go awry in your personal life. What good is rhythm in a choreography if you don’t move with the rhythms of life each day, through the years?

I used to really struggle to dance on days I didn’t feel energetic and motivated, but for the past few years, the beauty of dance discipline has shown itself to me. In the same way I don’t need to be happy to meditate or motivated to do yoga. When you get out of your own way, the process happens. Cultivating a sense of discipline, repetition, acceptance and equanimity can help this process along.

The fall session has begun for the super beginner Intro to Bellydance classes, every Wednesday night. Summoning all the newbies, to come out and learn some fundamental movements that can be applied to all styles and on the dancefloor! Absolutely no dance experience necessary, this is for all of you who come out to shows or see videos and wonder if your hips can ever move like that. Yes, they can! I’ll show you how! Drop-ins welcome and all genders welcome in my classes.

In Serpentina news, we have a busy fall season coming up, and tomorrow we make the drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition. This is our troupes second year performing and we look forward to this unique event.


Serpentina North Ensemble welcomes some new dancers to Snakebite, our new student troupe. We look forward to working with these dancers on growing the improvisational tribal style bellydance community here in Toronto. Orkideh of Serpentina North Ensemble will be teaching a workshop Oct 1st in Scarborough. Hey East-enders, you asked for it and  that green haired dame heard the call.


There’s more, this is a hard working crew! Troupe member Kelly has recently become the first certified teacher of Tribal Grooves –a fitness program developed by Paulette of Gypsy Caravan, that is based on the group improv bellydance.  For people who want to experience the moves but don’t want to worry about sequences or choreography. Stay tuned for some upcoming classes.

On our YouTube channel is a new series of videos on tribal bellydance…here’s the first: What is Tribal Bellydance?









6 WEEKS OF BELLYDANCE for beginners! Sept 7 – Oct 12

Introductory bellydance with Sandy Watters, designed for the absolute beginner. You asked for it west side, and I’m delivering the goods! No dance experience necessary.

Over this six week session, we will cover some fundamental bellydance movements of hips, chest and arms. These foundational movements are used in all styles of bellydance, we’re starting with basics!

Downtown west side location: 360 Dufferin st, Suite 101

Wed evenings Sept 7 – Oct 12
6 weeks $108 + HST
Drop in rate $20 + HST
SAVE per class when you sign up for the entire session!
Payment: cash or etransfer (watters.sandy@gmail.com)



This August heatwave encompasses every movement, makes sure I slow down, insists I drink buckets of water.The summertime vibe is in full effect, this city is live with art and music. Free stuff, waterfront stuff, dance floor stuff, all the stuff…!

Spring and summer have been more about practice than than performance. Lifetimes of stuff to learn and practice.

Reaching back a couple months, I completed the Lavender Intensive at the Darkside


Thanks Audra!

Studio, a week of intensive study is always an inspiring challenge to body and mind. Not only was the week packed with content, but the feedback from Audra was from throughout the week as well as the testing day, was so detailed and informative, I just can’t recommend this enough for any belly dancer with a particular interest in or practice of tribal fusion for defining and refining technique and musicality. I’m a long way off from having the material from the intensive down but I have a ton of material to work with. These few months later, I am revisiting the course content, as I carve out more space in my life for studio time for solo goals and projects.


In June, I attended a day of workshops with the Magyar beauty Katalyn Schafer of Hungary, hosted by Toronto’s own Ya Amar. This woman is a powerhouse, of the most elegant variety.  The choreography she taught us (modern bellydance and some jazz fusion) were truly challenging between the floor work freezes, spins and strong extended legs. I was invigorated by the big movements, taking up a lot of space in every direction…we all agreed she must come back, we want more!

13434895_1053594268063786_558766656059412198_n            image

I am on the tail end of the Bellydance Summer School course offered by Zahira at Dragonfly. A ten week long course on belly dance history, I have looked forward to this each and every week: learning of the Cengis and Kocek, Salome, Badia Masabni, the Golden Age of belly dance to Bal Anat and Reda troupe. So much to take in, tracing this history and  how this art form shimmied its way to North America. What we have learned in this class from Zahira –whose extensive knowledge on the subject is rather mind-blowing, I might add –is fascinating, enriching and essential to those of us studying any style of belly dance. Dancers, keep your fingers crossed that Dragonfly runs this class again one day!



Our altar

Jimmy 2003-2016

Most of my posts are about dance and movement. Behind all movement and art, there is inspiration. Jimmy the dog was part of my life inspiration. A lesson in unconditional love for the past twelve years –this lesson lasts a lifetime and is ever unfolding. Its been over a month since he passed from this world and up until his very last moment he taught us strength, dedication and equanimity.

On June 10th he left us, and it was a few days before I could bring myself to post something. I  finally did:

Rest in Peace, Jimmy the dog. Twelve years ago we rescued this low rider of a dog and what a journey it’s been with him in our family. He went by many names: Jimmy, Jimbyman, Yimmy, Jimmyjam, Mr Man, Finchyman, Fulek (‘ears’ in Hungarian), Jimmychanga, and later in life Zen Master Wing. He once was the alpha of a 4 dog pack, brother to lady dog Mila(grosa) and always sweet talked us into sharing a little taste of his favourite things (apples, doubles and samosas!). He was a love-bringer and a professional funky mandog.

I started writing this post just after my trip, but April turned to May and so here it is now. Enjoy!


The first leg of my west coast adventure has come and gone in a beautiful whirlwind. The troupe arrived in Portland and hit some vintage shops, Powell’s bookstore, vegan sundae’s at Maple Parlour, and jewelry-ogling at Robot Piercing. We took a private session with one of our dance mom’s Paulette of Gypsy Caravan, to refine some of the combos we had been working with and learn some new orbits for formation changes. We had a show at the middle eastern restaurant Huda’s, where we danced to live music by a band called Arabesque. An intimate two level venue was packed with people and we barely had room to spin in front of the band. But the music was great and we were well received within the lineup of local dancers.


Cues & Tattoos had an excellent lineup of teachers, as  they do every year. I took two workshops with Mardi Love, one zylls-based, a12928118_10156866415065455_3589473420074058839_nnd the other on super slow sinewy movement. This was the second chance I’ve had to take classes with her –the first being a few years back in Montreal. I saw her perform live in San Francisco maybe 7 years ago and I was mes.mer.ized. More so than the usual trance inducing qualities of bellydance, Ms. Love was a dance muse like nothing I’d ever seen. She is a great teacher and a beautiful sunny person to learn from!





The other instructor I was really looking forward to and who delivered the goods was Elizabeth Strong –also a performer I saw live in San Fran that same show (she performed in a duet with Mira Betz). Her knowledge, skill, technique, presence is a lot of what I work toward in my dance and I had waited a long time to learn something directly from her. I did her Upper Egypt Survey workshop, and we learned a short choreography that 12998525_10156866414995455_2926868386425572998_ncombined moves from various regional dances and technique from her teacher Katarina Burda (who Zoe Jakes also learned from and acknowledged in her workshop). Using finger cymbals as the percussive instruments they are in this choreography was so much fun. As I later told my troupe mates, that workshop was one of two over the weekend that made me sweat through to my underwear –something I of course welcome in a workshop. I mean I came to work hard, right?

The other sweat session happened during the last workshop of the weekend. After drilling, performing, walking all the places for days, I attended Zoe Jakes ‘Balkan Party.’ And that it was! Three hours of learning and running a short Balkan choreography on carpet and without mirrors. The upbeat energy of the music and choreo kept us moving and we ended with a nice cool down and a talk on knowing your dance lineage.


Happily tired & sweaty, some troupe mates and I with Zoe Jakes






After our performance at the Serpents Muse, see VIDEO section for footage.

The whole troupe went to the Luciterra workshop where we learned some of their unique signature combos. I had previously taken a workshop in Toronto with Laura Jane of Luciterra and was super into it and excited to learn more. Their energy, creativity and synergy onstage (at the performer showcase), really took the festival by storm and as I headed to Vancouver from Seattle I was hoping to squeeze in another class. In the end I wasn’t able to, but have some really interesting material to work with!

There are many more stories from this trip, but the last one that has nothing to do with the festival, but  must be told is this: I wanted a photo with the Monorail Man at the entrance of the monorail in Seattle Centre where the festival was held. So I asked Elana to get a photo, like the robot was looming over me, the damsel in distress…So as I’m posing and directing how I want the photo, the robot lets out this super loud terrifying buzz. In flight mode, I leap over the red velvet ropes away from the robot predator. And thanks to Elana’s quick photographic reflexes,  its all  captured. Later I found out the robot buzzes like that –loud –when the next monorail is approaching. No comfort in that knowledge.


Posed (minus the Faygo spill — must have been juggalos on the loose)



Getting the hell outta dodge.