About 30 belly dancers decked in elaborate costumes from the Middle East Dance Academy (Meda) enchanted their audience with undulating hip and belly movements at the Pink Hafla Belly Dance and Dinner Concert recently. The event was held at the Coronade Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
The event raised over RM10,000 for Pride Foundation, a charity dedicated to breast cancer. Pride is the acronym for “Pink Ribbon Deeds”.
“We want to give something back to the community. And as belly dancing is mainly viewed as a woman’s dance art and breast cancer mainly a woman’s disease, it is an apt pairing,” said Nancy Baskshy, principal of Meda.
“We aimed to raise RM10,000 but have already passed the RM10,000 mark because one of our guests, Datin Paduka Faridah Abdullah donated the full RM10,000.”
Baskshy also said that her students did not attend the function for free. “They paid for the dinner because they wanted to support a worthy cause.”
Tickets were sold at RM150, RM200 and RM200 which included free belly dance classes, breast screening and detox treatment. All the 120 seats at the concert were snapped up.
“We have raised funds for charity a few times before. One was for diabled kids where we raised RM40,000, and another which we raised RM35,000 but this is our first fund-raising for Pride Foundation.”
Hafla means merriment in Arabic and the evening saw fabulous dancing with the belly dancers gyrating to lively Arabian music while guests applauded enthusiastically.
Breast cancer survivor, Rene Aziz talked about her breast cancer experience and how she survived the illness. The crowd gave her a thunderous applause for her strength, determination and courage.
Coronade Hotel’s general manager Sazrul Fadzil said: “We sponsored the venue and charged minimum cost for food. We also assisted Pride in selling dinner tables. We have been actively involved in various activies with Pride since March this year.
Not just women
Added Saiful: “A lot of people think breast cancer only affect women but one percent of men are also at risk of developing breast cancer. We wanted to create breast cancer awareness so we started a year long initiative with Pride.
A group of Help University College students put their leadership and life skills into practice by helping out with the registration of guests, among other duties.
At the end of the show, guests were invited to dance with the belly dancers who got most guests up (though some were shy).
Nurhaiza Hamid and her three sisters bought tickets for the concert. She said, “As women ourselves, we fully support breast cancer awareness because according to reports, if detected early, 98 per cent of women will survive the disease.”
Thanking the Middle East Dance Academy and Coronade Hotel who willingly helped support the charity cause, Richard Lim, general manager of Pride Foundation said: “We are especially grateful to be the beneficiary of this initiative.”
”Belly dancing encourages women to feel good about themselves, regardless of their size or body type and that is also the message we try to spread to breast cancer survivors – that there is life after breast cancer and you should feel good about yourselves and live life to the fullest.”