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Cincinnati YWCA

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    The world’s largest gathering of belly dancers is taking place on May 14, with a local performance on Fountain Square. Read on for more on the fundraiser that helps shelter victims of abuse around the world by putting a little shimmy in their step.

    The Shimmy Mob celebrates World Belly Dance Day while raising funds for shelters helping abuse victims.
    The Shimmy Mob celebrates World Belly Dance Day while raising funds for shelters helping abuse victims.

    Whether you love supporting a good cause, or you just love shakin’ your groove thang, you’ll want to mark your calendars to catch The Shimmy Mob on Fountain Square May 14. The Shimmy Mob, a “flash mob” type event, celebrates World Belly Dance Day to raise awareness and funds for local shelters that offer assistance to victims of abuse.

    From 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the dance, which is the largest of its kind by the number of geographical territory covered, will be aiming to give back to the community as proceeds generated from the event will be donated to shelters in Cincinnati and other participating communities.

    “United, we dance using the same song and the same choreography, wearing the same T-shirt, sharing the same goals, on the same day all over the world,” says Linda Sandidge, team captain of The Shimmy Mob’s Cincinnati team. “Year after year, we we aim to break the world record [for the world’s largest international belly dance event], and we do!”

    You don’t need any experience to participate in this social event. “We invite all dancers at all levels to participate,” says Sandidge. “It’s super fun and easy to learn, the choreography tutorials provide step-by-step breakdowns in the online videos.”

    The Shimmy Mob was first started by Sabeya, also known as Francesca Anastasi, who is an international dance instructor. She launched the Mob as a way to give back to the community with fundraising efforts, while simultaneously celebrating the success of those efforts with a global choreographed dance.

    This year, Sandidge will be serving as the team captain for Cincinnati, she says, because it’s a cause that she is extremely passionate about.

    “I personally know of many families that have experienced some form of domestic violence,” she says. “Stories are reported in the media on a daily basis. The stories are heart wrenching, and I wanted to make a difference by bringing awareness and supporting our local charity, the YWCA.”

    The Shimmy Mob will be on Fountain Square May 14 at 3:00 p.m.
    The Shimmy Mob will be on Fountain Square May 14 at 3:00 p.m.

    Each year a new choreographer is selected to do the The Shimmy Mob’s dance. This year’s choreographer is Cat Bruce from Florida. Bruce has served as The Shimmy Mob Orlando’s team leader for the last 5 years.

    If you can’t make it to Fountain Square at 3 p.m., Sandidge says that the Mob will be transported to the Tri County Mall to perform the dance again at 5 p.m.

    Both events are free to the public. In addition to the dance, there is going to be a fundraiser at The Redmoor on April 3. Located at 3187 Linwood Avenue in Cincinnati, tickets for the event are $20, which does not include a meal or drink, and the YWCA will serve as the guest speaker. The band Uncle Buck will also be performing. All proceeds from the events will go to the YWCA shelter.

    To learn more about Shimmy Mob 2016, visit www.shimmymob.com. You can also follow the official Shimmy Mob Facebook page.

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