‘Funny, peppy, emotional’: Brockville dance instructor brings night of Middle Eastern dance to Arts Hub

Photo provided by Karen Elizabeth.

One local independent dance instructor wants to share her love of Middle Eastern dance and music with the Brockville community.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. Aaliyah Dance will be hosting “Laylet Hob, A Night of Love,” which will immerse guests into the world of Raks Sharki (belly dancing). 

Karen Elizabeth has had a passion for Middle Eastern dance since she was a young girl, and now she is gearing up to showcase four crowd-favourite performers at the Brockville Arts Hub. This is the first time Elizabeth has hosted a show like this, and she sees it as an opportunity to highlight the talent of these professionals and give them an opportunity to promote their sets. She hopes these events will contribute towards a more culturally diverse and celebratory community within Brockville.

When asked about the title and Valentine’s Day theme of the show, Elizabeth explained “Laylet Hob is a very-well known classic piece of music in the Middle Eastern world, and the love theme also tied in well with the time of year.”

However, she reiterated that the show is not just about romantic love. It can be a celebration of friendship, self-love, family or even the love of dance itself. 

Karen Elizabeth is also the creator of Halfa, a series of fundraising shows now in its 11th year. This larger show raises money for victim services and victims of domestic violence, a cause which is near and dear to Elizabeth’s heart.

“I created the Halfa because I wanted to share Middle Eastern dance in this area and to support victims of violence,” she explained. “It started with eight of us getting together with a small audience and it’s just grown from there.” 

In between her fundraising efforts, Elizabeth decided she wanted to try something new and sees this latest show as a thank you to the amazing dancers she admires.

“I just love to watch these ladies dance. They give it their all and they’re so talented. It’s just a dance form that I love and I get to see my friends perform. This is extra special because they are the pros. These shows are funny, they’re peppy, they’re emotional, and so much more.”

“If you love dance, if you are looking to hire for an event, or if you are just curious, this is the night for you! ” says Elizabeth.

Karen Elizabeth hosts in-person classes in Brockville for beginner, intermediate, and experienced dancers, as well as private and zoom lessons. For more information, you can visit explorationthroughdance.com

Tickets for “Laylet Hob, A Night of Love” are $25 per person and can be purchased online at https://allevents.in/brockville/laylet-hob-a-night-of-love/200025975975559. Tickets will also be available at the door so long as the show is not sold out. The event will take place on Feb. 10 on the lower level of the Brockville Arts Hub in the St. John’s United Church at 32 Park Street.

Photo provided by Karen Elizabeth.

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