West Bradford transformed for belly dance fund-raiser

Alex Hodges showing her henna decorated hand at theHafla Belly Dance Party
Alex Hodges showing her henna decorated hand at theHafla Belly Dance Party

The sights and sounds of Morocco came to West Bradford when the community hall was transformed into a tented village to stage an exotic Hafla Belly Dance party

The night was a celebration of tribal dancing led by Dea Robson, whose Rossendale-based tribe of women, Az Kabile, performed dances mixing belly dancing, Spanish, burlesque and tribal.

They were joined by dancers from all over the area who follow Haflas wherever they are staged, including a tribe from Manchester who performed a moody and menacing set.

There was enthusiastic support from the 80 strong audience who were encouraged to join in with Dea teaching the moves.

One corner of the hall was a bustling Souk selling decorated costumes and intricate jewellery and many of the guests had their hands decorated by a Henna artist.

Food was a delicious array of lamb and chicken tagines, couscous, baked aubergines and spicy potatoes with puddings donated by Michael Heathcote from the Duke of York in Grindleton.

The event was staged to raise funds for Grindleton Pavilion Project and organised by Mandy Brennan, who was inspired after having lessons from Dea. She said: “It is such a fun way to spend an evening! Not many people had heard of a Hafla and did not really know what to expect, but I think everyone had a great time and I want to thank them for their support.

“We raised £900 towards the pavilion, which is a fantastic amount and when it is built we would hope to hold events like this there.”

A series of fund-raising events are being planned throughout the summer and recipes for some of the Hafla food will be included in a Pavilion Cook Book being published in the autumn.