Nineteen-year-old Celine Blais is trying for a spot on the show Revolution this weekend. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton belly dancer vying for $100,000 scholarship

Penticton belly dancer hoping to dispel stigma by competing for spot on Quebec TV show

A 19-year-old Penticton woman is hoping to showcase her moves and transform minds about belly dancing and its perceived sexual overtones by auditioning for a Quebec-based dance competition TV show.

Celine Blais, a dancer and instructor at Get Bent Yoga & Dance is in Gatineau, Que. this weekend hoping to wow a panel of judges with 90 seconds of her best Bollywood belly dancing. If she succeeds she will earn a spot on the show Revolution.

“A lot of people have a bad impression. They see skimpy outfits and in some places it’s really over sexualized. But it’s not all that. It can be a beautiful dance. It’s fun, accessible to everyone. It’s a legitimate dance style, just like ballet or any other type of dance. It’s not this idea that people have that it’s an exotic, provocative dance,” she said during an interview before teaching the Mini class at the studio.

The studio, which Blais has been a part of since she was eight years old, has classes for all ages starting as young as three.

The Mini class is for ages three to five.

“The kids come here and they just love it. It’s so fun. They get to dress up and learn moves and there’s lots of glitter. What’s not to love?” she said with a laugh.

“The worst thing is when the kids start getting older they come in and they say things about when they told someone at school they belly dance they got teased and made fun of, bullied, or the other kids ask, ‘are you a stripper?’ It’s not right that there’s this negative stigma around it. They’re just having fun and learning to dance.”

She explained belly dancing goes back centuries in Arabic culture and, although there’s many stories she’s been told, the root of dance style was women gathering and dancing in celebration.

Blais remembers seeing a Get Bent belly dance troupe perform at the Ironman street festival when she was eight years old. Her family had just moved to the city.

Although a dancer in that performance invited her to come up when they performed a community dance, she was too shy to join. Later that school year, she made a friend who was part of the studio and she decided to try it out.

“I think it was just the sense of community and family at this dance school,” she said of why the dance form became such an important part of her life.

Blais not only continued to progress through the dance program at the studio she became a student teacher in high school and is in the apprentice program now.

She is the instructor of several classes and also performs as part of the troupe.

“That’s the thing too. As a high school student I was dancing at events and making money at it. So, it’s one of those things that I always knew it could be a career. When you say to people you’re a dancer there’s two things that kind of happen. They’re kind of leery when you say it at first because they don’t think dance is a legitimate career and then when you say you’re a belly dancer they think it’s something it’s not.”

Blais is showcasing the moves of the Bollywood belly dance at the Quebec competition. The Bollywood style originated at Get Bent. She explained there are different nuances of belly dancing at every studio and every troupe around the world. She describes the Bollywood style as “based in the Arabic style but with Bollywood music and hair.”

“It’s very fun and uplifting, cheerful, full of energy.”

As part of the show Revolution dancers of all styles square off against each other in hopes of winning a grand prize of a $100,000 scholarship. If Blais makes it into further rounds of the show she will spend two months filming in Quebec this summer.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Belly dancer Celine Blais goes through the moves for her upcoming audition for a Quebec television dance competition. Mark Brett/Western News

(At left) Nineteen-year-old Celine Blais is trying for a spot on the show Revolution this weekend. (Above) Celine Blais applies make up prior to her performance. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

Smoke cancels Super League Penticton, organizers give pros a gift

Super League Penticton organizers decide to send all pro competitors to championship

Smoky skies means stay inside, according to Interior Health

The air quality in the Okanagan is considered a high risk

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Heavy smoke throughout the region thwarted efforts of BC Wildfire Saturday, as… Continue reading

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Work continues on Monashee Complex wildfires

Crews will be assisted by helicopters if flying conditions improve

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Most Read