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Belly dancing and four other things to join online this week

Virtual tours, painting, and Tai Chi are on the roster this week
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Lola Kennedy has been belly dancing since 2006. Photo supplied

If your New Year’s resolution this year was to try to be more active, it’s not too late to get started. Lola Kennedy from Jade Wellness in Sault Ontario and Northern Life Yoga in Sault Michigan is offering a virtual belly dance class this Thursday at 6 p.m. 

Cost for the class is $15 and will be taught via Zoom. Participants can register online

Kennedy began belly dancing in 2006 with the performance group, The Zaghereets. She began teaching belly dance in 2013 in Canada and the United States after returning home from a musical theatre program in New York City, where she was able to further her dance studies. She is also a 200-hour certified yoga instructor.

“Belly dance is for everybody. It boosts our self-esteem, improves posture, it’s strengthening, and it is a body and heart connecting movement,” Kennedy said. “The hip, pelvic, and core isolations assist a woman's body through every stage of her life cycle especially before, during, and post-pregnancy. There are also many men who are incredibly skilled belly dancers.”

“The small, isolated movements really help our bodies release on a physical and emotional level. We ‘keep our issues in our tissues', meaning subconsciously or unconsciously holding emotions and thoughts in specific areas of our bodies. The shimmy in belly dance gives our bodies the opportunity to release any form of trapped tension in our legs, hips, and bellies. Through this movement we are able to connect to our innate joy by getting out of our heads and into our bodies,” she said. 

For Kennedy, belly dance has changed her life. 

“I am a woman with a bit more tissue on my body and never fully felt ‘right’ in my own skin due to our western societal framework and how ingrained it is within society that a thin body is a worthy body. When I first found belly dance, I felt like I was coming back home to myself,” she said. “It gave me the pathway to self-acceptance and child-like joy all while having a lot of fun.”

For the class, it is recommended to use a hip or coin scarf. If you do not have one, you can use any scarf, fabric, or long-sleeved shirt, to wrap around your hips. The added weight around your hips adds to the awareness of your body and movement. 

Lola Kennedy can be reached through Facebook or Instagram @lola_shannon. All belly dance classes will be taught via Zoom. Her next workshops run from March 23 to April 27 on Tuesdays at 8:15 p.m. 

Despite the province slowly reopening and the Algoma region sitting in the yellow zone, Saultites are still encouraged to continue following COVID-19 guidelines and stay home as much as possible. In fact, many of us are staying inside and online now more than ever.

So each week, SooToday will share some of the virtual events taking place to help you make the most of these unprecedented times and have fun safely at home.

If you or someone you know is planning a local virtual event (concert, class, celebration, etc.), send the details to news@sootoday.com.

Other events taking place this week include:

A Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China

March 18

Virtually visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World and explore the Great Wall of China with this free virtual tour. The tour will take place online and will be held on March 18 at 7 p.m. EST. 

Guides will take you back in time to explore the history of the Wall, and take you on a virtual walk on the Wall. There will also be stops at the Ming Tombs to learn its history and legacy in the celebration of mausoleums built by the emperors of that dynasty.

Whale Tail - Paint Night on Zoom

March 20

Paint along with Chris from Artist’s Palette Durham Region on Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m. and learn how to paint a whale tail in the ocean with a colourful sky in the background. This free paint class will be held virtually via Zoom and will feature step-by-step instruction. You will need a 16x20 canvas, acrylic paints consisting of primary colours and black and white, and brushes of different sizes.

Sunday Tai Chi Sessions with Master Waysun Liao

March 21

Join students from around the world and learn the most authentic, powerful Tai chi principles and practice tips from a real Taoist master, Master Waysun Liao. He offers free Tai Chi and Tao instruction online via Zoom every Sunday at 12 p.m. His next virtual class will be held on March 21. Everyone is invited to join.

Reaching New Heights with Alan Mallory 

March 23

Alan Mallory, an international speaker, author, and performance coach, will be hosting a virtual presentation featuring photos and video clips from his expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. This online event will be presented by Soo Mill and The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, and will be held on Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. 

Mallory set a world record on Mount Everest along with three members of his immediate family. It was a two-month expedition through exciting yet terrifying conditions. Their journey demanded perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity. Mallory is known for delivering exciting presentations to help individuals, team members and organizations reach new heights in the way we think and the actions we take in order to achieve breakthrough performance.

Mallory holds a degree in Engineering from Queen’s University and a Masters in Psychology from Adler University, and has worked internationally with large organizations as a professional engineer and project manager. 

Have an event coming up? Add it to our Community Calendar here.

Did we miss something? E-mail us at news@sootoday.com.