Christy's background in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, in the theatre and film/tv industries as an actor, and her two decades of study and experience performing and teaching middle eastern dance have resulted in the excellent teacher and creative performer she is today.
In Calgary, she has worked for theatre companies including Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, Theatre Junction, Lunchbox Theatre, Ground Zero Theatre, The Shakespeare Co.
Her film credits include parts in Fargo the TV Series, Hell On Wheels, the feature film Last Rites of Ransom Pride, TV’s Flirting with Forty and Angel’s Fall with Heather Locklear, Daughter of the Bride, Dreamers, September Dawn, Shanghai Noon, Stiffed and Last Call for which she received the 2001 Ampia award for Best Actress. In 2007, Christy produced her first film, a dance short entitled “Erosion”, which received an Ampia nomination for best music video, and best costume. View it here
Christy began taking belly dance classes back in her University days, when an acting teacher assigned the class the task of learning a new skill to add to their resume. Christy has studied Oriental dance since 1998, when she began exploring the art form with Linda Hannah-Meyer. The dance soon became another of her passions and she began performing for restaurants, charitable events, theatre openings and spent a number of years bringing vibrancy to downtown Calgary, as a belly dancing busker. Christy continued professional development with Lebanese dancer Hind Haymour, whose effervescence and authentic style have influenced the dancer Christy is today.
Always a student of dance, Christy has had the opportunity to take workshops with dancers such as Aziza, Hadia, Mira Betz, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Tamra-Henna, Aradia, Sahra Saeeda, Cassandra, Yousry Sharif, Faten Salama and Dina of Egypt. Christy’s repertoire of movement has also been complemented by continued studies in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Funk, African, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Salsa, Tango and Yoga.
In addition, Christy has studied with musicians Mary Ellen Donald, Issam Houshan, Malcolm Lim, and Tim Rayborn. Christy is learning to play the doumbec, and of course rocks her finger cymbals!
In 2007, Christy discovered the Salimpour School of Dance. Through years of dedication and intense training, creative projects, workshops and testing, she has earned her Level 3 Certification in Suhaila Salimpour format (2014) and her Level 3 certification in Jamila Salimpour format (2015).
Christy’s background includes several years of working as a personal trainer. She has a good working knowledge of anatomy and is continually investigating the physiology of movement as it relates to this dance. Her background as a professional actor for stage and screen have afforded her an in depth perspective on authenticity in performance, deepening emotional life and building character. This translates into the exceptional and unique instruction she is able to offer her students in developing these areas of their dance performance.
Christy has produced many belly dance based theatrical productions over the years including the unforgettable Mucking Farvelous (2008) which she co-produced with Indigo Arts. In 2013, Christy and Eighth Wonder hosted a performance by the Islambouli band featuring musicians from Lebanon and Syria.
Eighth Wonder was formed in 2006, with the studio opening in the fall of 2007. The studio is located on a tranquil acreage in the countryside just beyond Calgary's south end, near Spruce Meadows.
Christy is grateful to be part of a cohesive and supportive belly dance community, and is honoured to work alongside a wealth of amazing colleagues around the province, the country and the world.