September 2021: Belly Dancing

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In September we were joined by Beverley who took us on a journey through the history of bellydance and traditional Middle Eastern dancing. She demonstrated a variety of fantastic dances and explained when each one would have historically been used.

One of the most impressive dances was the one that involved the ‘Shamadam’, am intricate head-dress that holds a number of candles. Beverley danced with ease whilst wearing this head dress and explained how this dance and head-dress is used to make an entrance to a wedding with the bride and groom.

She then showed us her beautiful outfits before we had our own go at some bellydancing moves. There was a lot of shimmying, jingling and laughter during this wonderful evening.

Thank you Beverley! If anyone is interested in taking lessons please see her flyer below.

August 2021: The Crazy Life of a Stuntman

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For our August meeting we were joined by Stuntman Sam Durrani who gave us an interesting insight into his life and how he became a UK stuntman.

Sam’s journey started when he was 3 years old when he followed his families’ footsteps and started gymnastics. He joined the gymnastics squad when he was 7 and really enjoyed the community feel of the group. When he was 14 he switched sports and started swimming competitively instead, something he had previously done on the side.

After not doing particularly well at school and not feeling enthused with either sport Sam had a bit of an epiphany during a summer in which he spent a lot of time watching Kung Fu action movies. The realisation had hit him that he wanted to be a stuntman.

Fast forward to the age of 22 after excelling during his College years Sam left his coaching job to follow his dream of becoming a stuntman. He spent his savings to by a video camera to film his showcasing stunt video to send to agencies. We had the pleasure of viewing tis video that started his stunt man career.

I little bit later he got a call from an agent wanting to sign him for a live stunt show in China 8 weeks later. From China he went to Belfast to work in a theatre doing stunts alongside Aston Merrigold who was playing the lead character – Peter Pan.

He then decided to take the leap to complete his training and exams to join the stunt register – this took him 4 years to complete. Once on the stunt register jobs for movies and films came in quickly. You can see his website below for information on the films he has been in and clips of his best stunts.

http://www.samdurranistunts.co.uk/videos

July 2021: Picnic on the Stray

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July was our first face to face meeting since March 2020!!! The sun was shining and we had a fabulous picnic and catch up on the Stray. We chatted, we ate, we drank, we laughed – just what we all needed!

We will be back on Zoom for the August meeting, but then keep an eye on Facebook and your emails for meeting plans from September and onwards.