Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- Jingle Pot Road. Nanaimo July 18, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:19 am
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Jingle Pot Road.

You make me want to belly dance

along your length,

as you meander back and forth

across the highway–

a serpentine of signposts–

Shimmy! Jingle! Pop! Road.



I actually performed this piece, bellydancing to the words, at When Words Collide in Calgary, August 2017.  I definitely need to improve my choreography and have the piece properly memorized to do the concept justice, but it does add a fun touch to a poetry presentation! 🙂 

Web post about how Jingle Pot Road got its name.



Jamila Mai at the Roots and Blues August 23, 2011

Some members of Jamila Mai performing at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Jamila Mai Belly Dance of Salmon Arm offers classes for beginners and intermediate belly dancers of  all ages.  Classes run in three sessions a year: generally Sept to Dec, Jan to Mar, Mar to May at the Downtown Activity Centre (former Salmon Arm Elementary).

For details, contact Rachael  at two-five-zero-eight-three-three-nineteen-fifteen or email her at


wiggle, jiggle and giggle… June 12, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:59 pm
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Today a group of us went to Kelowna to watch a performance of belly dancers.  A group from Kelowna performed in the first half, and in the second half the headliners from Get Bent Active Arts Society in Penticton performed their Bollywood Hollywood. Their show was upbeat, energetic and commanding.  I have never seen such fast costume changes in my long theatrical life!  (In the finale, they revisited every number in the costume with about 2 seconds transition).  Beaming smiles, excellent skills, and narrative choreography added to audience enjoyment.  Of particular  notice was the kewpie doll grin of Marianne (her solo begins at 2:19 in the video).  She has matured even more in skills and still conveys absolute joy and good humour to the audience.  It was an delightful  afternoon and so I thought I’d give you the opportunity to participate in our fun by sharing this youtube video of the tour group from a previous tour:



For more information about classes or to support Get Bent’s work with youth  in the community, please see their website at  We are hoping that we’ll be able to participate in a workshop with them or go see another performance again.  It was a show that exceeded our expectations.


Layer a shimmy onto your life May 24, 2010

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:52 am
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In belly dance, as you advance in skills, it becomes time to start layering. It’s not enough that your hands are zilling a rhythm while your arms are making a pattern, your chest is moving in one pattern, your hips are moving in a different pattern, and your legs are traveling you around your dance area, perhaps with a few kicks thrown in for emphasis. No. To all that you must add a shimmy.

You’d think that there would be quite enough movement without needing anything else, wouldn’t you? Truthfully, if you were watching a dancer who was using terrific technique, you’d be unable to take your eyes off her if she was doing all that. However, if another dancer came in, doing all the same moves but layering the shimmy on top, you would notice the difference. You’d see that all the other great moves, complicated though they are, were intensified and polished with the addition of that shimmy.  Those vibrating hips would make you smile, lean in closer, and sigh with delight.

Although a shimmy can be an exhausting move, it is possible with discipline to train it to go on auto-pilot. When a shimmy is on auto-pilot the whole dance changes, because it can go everywhere.   It adds a vivacity and intensity to your dancing when a shimmy is  layered on top.

Life is just the same.

No matter how much we’re doing in our day, if we layer on a little shimmy, everything is improved. A little extra physical activity, a little pep, a little sparkle that captures some extra enthusiasm makes all the difference in our own day, but can also improve the day for others we meet.  If we shake things up by adding a little extra effort, eventually that’s our norm, like a shimmy on auto-pilot, and everything we touch becomes more vibrant because of it.

So go ahead. Layer a shimmy on everything in your life and see what happens!


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