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Bollywood dance show goes on, despite Vernon performing arts centre’s flood issues

Karima Essa’s Body Positivity Bollywood Dance Show to take place at alternate location Jan. 29
Karima Essa’s Body Positive Bollywood Dance Show is coming to Vernon’s Priest Valley Gym Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023. (Submitted photo)

Despite a disruptive flood at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre that’s closed the curtains on the theatre’s main stage since last month, the show is on for an upcoming performance at a different location.

The Performing Arts Centre presents Karima Essa’s Body Positive Bollywood Dance Show, taing place on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. It’s the third performance in the 2022-23 Spotlight Season’s kids series.

Due to the flood, the performance will take place at the Priest Valley Gym in the Greater Vernon Recreation Centre.

Since age four, Essa has been gracing stages in dance competitions, events and most recently on OMNI TV’s Bollywood Star reality show. When she hit puberty at age 11, her body unwittingly became a blank canvas on which prople could project their admiration or judgement. She grew up thinking she needed to be a size zero, however, she has since grown to love her new, beautiful body.

The Body Positive Bollywood Dance Show is an interactive performance that infuses music, breathing and ideologies from ancient scholars from the Middle East and South Asia. Students of all shapes and sizes are inspired by the performance to accept and love themselves inside and out, on and off the dance floor.

Essa first entertained audiences at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre last March duringthe inaugural North Okanagan Children’s Festival.

“She had the whole audience on their feet and beaming with joy, kids and parents alike,” said VDPAC artistic director Erin Kennedy. “We are thrilled to have Karima back for another accessible and inclusive workshop-style show.”

A three-time Canadian National Dance champion, Essa is Vancouver’s own Bollywood star. A charismatic and passionate performer, choreographer and instructor, she has used her Bollywood talent to entertain diverse audiences at festivals, theatres and in schools across Canada.

In 2014, her love for Bollywood took her to the screens in Mumbai, India, as a two-time finalist on Bollywood Star.

Since first showcasing her Bollywood Star School show in 2018, Essa has performed this show in more than 150 schools across B.C. Her new focus is on celebrating the fact that all bodies can dance by sharing the body positivity movement through Bollywood Dance.

Essa is also completing her education assistance certification and is interested in exploring how dance can help improve socio-emotional skills in children who have autism.

The show in Vernon runs 45 minutes with no intermission and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased by calling 250-549-7469.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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