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Belly dancers shimmy to aid victims of abuse

The Shimmy Mob is a worldwide phenomenon where dancers perform to help victims of abuse
The Shimmy Mob is made up of Cowichan’s fun-loving and energetic belly dancers. (Submitted)

The world’s largest international belly dance event, Shimmy Mob, celebrates World Belly Dance Day Saturday, May 13 and the Cowichan Valley’s belly dancing community will be part of the action.

They’ll be shakin’ to raise awareness and funds for shelters for victims of abuse.

According to Valley Shimmy Mob team leader Chris Thompson, it’s a case of “United we dance, using the same song and the same choreography, wearing the same t-shirt, sharing the same goals, on the same day all over the world.”

In 2017 there are 2,165 dancers from 172 cities in 10 countries taking part.

“This is the fifth year for the Cowichan Valley team and together our team has raised in excess of $7,000 for the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society and Somenos House. Almost all of us know someone or have been victims of abuse, so this is a very important cause to support,” Thompson said.

“On May 13, we will be dancing our way around downtown Duncan, performing and asking for donations to this most worthwhile cause.”

So, where can you find them?

Their schedule is: 9 a.m.: Coffee on the Moon; 9:30 a.m.: Duncan Farmers Market; 10:15 a.m.: Soulful Memories; 11 a.m.: The Garage; 11:20 a.m.: Spinning Ninny; noon: Downtown Market.

“We will also be popping into the Cowichan Intercultural Society’s Dance Marathon at 2:30 to provide our support and have some fun with them,” Thompson said.

Other events the group is hosting are a garage sale on May 6 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Spinning Ninny in Duncan, a hot dog sale at Country Grocer in Lake Cowichan on May 27 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Shimmy and Silk - An Adventure in Bellydance Performance and Fashion at the Duncan Showroom on June 1 at 7 p.m.

Tickets to this show are $20 and can be purchased at Soulful Memories, Duncan Showroom, Spinning Ninny and from team members.

Find the group on Facebook at ‘Cowichan Valley Shimmy Mob’.