Tewksbury dancer shimmies for a good cause
Tewksbury's Samantha Selig, who is passionate about Middle Eastern dance, especially belly dance, believes in the dance as an art form and a way to give back to the community.
With friend Rachel Gabriel of Lunenburg, she is teaming up to produce their third annual Shimmies for a Cure, an annual fundraiser to benefit the Pan Mass Challenge — a bike trek fundraiser for the Dana Farber Institute and the Jimmy Fund for cancer treatment and research.
“Rachel signed up to ride the Pan Mass Challenge and needed a way to make money,” Selig said.
Because both love belly dancing — Gabriel is part of a troupe, Moirae, that specializes in a fusion style known as tribal — the pair "decided a belly dance fundraiser would be perfect,” Selig said.
The third annual Shimmies for A Cure will feature specialized workshops — now sold out — for students of various forms of Middle Eastern dance, as well as an evening showcase, or hafla — the Arabic word for “party” — for the general community featuring Middle Eastern dance performers from throughout the area.
Selig also is co-founder with her mother, Louisa, of Sassy Sparkles — an eye makeup vendor specializing in Eye Kandy, a brand of glamorous eye makeup. Sassy Sparkles specializes in catering to the Middle Eastern dance community.
Selig is hoping this year’s showcase will exceed last year’s attendance of 200.
Shimmies for A Cure raised $2,600 in its first year and nearly $4,700 in its second. So far, ticket sales for this year’s event have raised $2,500.
“And the event hasn’t even begun,” Selig said. She added that is gratified by the support, especially from other dancers. “It’s really great to be part of such a wonderful community and we’re fortunate that even in tough economic times people are still donating to charities like this.”