Style Profile: Fab & 40+ Edition – Stacey Hellas

Name: Stacey Hellas
Occupation: Writer
Age:…is a state of mind.
Lifestyle: Dancing geek, writer and cat mom who loves action films, murder mysteries and always knows where her towel is.

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Wynette Dress from Toronto fashion label Mandala Design. Necklace handmade by Christophe Poly.

Tell us about your belly dancing! It sounds like so much fun! How did you get into it?

Challenging question! I can’t recall the last time I needed an alarm to wake up in the morning thanks to my cats, Whiskey and Guinness.

I work downtown as a marketing writer for a small software company that’s growing by leaps and bounds, so my days are chock full of writing, editing, proofing, interviews and brainstorming meetings.

Then three nights a week I’m off to dance! I’m a bellydancer and have been at it for about 13 years.

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Tentation Tunic by Quebec line Rien Ne Se Perd.  Earrings from Niagara based desinger Jon Klar.  (Available in-store only)

My mom started me in ballet at the age of three, so dance has always been a huge part of my life.

I stumbled into bellydance quite by accident and was hooked after my first class. Over the years I’ve studied classical Egyptian, American cabaret, various folk styles and tribal fusion.

I have been in a few different troupes and also do solo work.

The awesome thing about bellydance is anyone can do it. No, seriously!

It doesn’t matter what shape you are or if you’ve ever danced before. You are never too old, it’s low impact, and it’s a very open and welcoming community to all women – even men bellydance!

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Sancie Shift Dress from Toronto fashion label Mandala DesignNecklace, handmade in Toronto from Torched Studio

Currently, I take technique classes twice a week at The Dark Side Studio with Audra Simmons and Heather Labonté.

The style is modern tribal fusion and the classes are super fun! Both Heather and Audra are great teachers; infinitely patient and supportive of all their students.

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Once a week I rehearse with my brand-new troupe, Snake Bite. We are the offshoot of The Serpentina North Ensemble, under the direction of Orkideh, and our style is what’s known as tribal group improv.

It’s a vocabulary of movements and cues, so, unlike traditional troupes where you learn choreography, each performance is improvised.

Dancers take turns leading the group and giving cues so the others know what move is coming next. We’ve been working together for a few months now, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before we’re ready for our inaugural performance!

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Double Layer Top from Montreal based fashion label Melow; Cuff from Jon Klar; Volupte Skirt by Montreal label  Rien Ne Se Perd.

What in your life is really important to you?

Being free to do my own thing and express myself artistically. My home and my husband are my centre and my dance community provides the support to really let me be me.

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Dress: More Than a Wrap Dress by It Fitz Me; Necklace: Christophe Poly (in store only)

What would you like to be remembered for?

My stunning wit, amazing grace and, of course, fabulous talent.

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Wynette Dress from Toronto fashion label Mandala Design. Necklace handmade by Christophe Poly.

What role does fashion play in your life?

I’m pretty low maintenance; I’d rather sleep an extra 10 minutes then get up and put on makeup.

I tend to dress to my mood so my style is what I’d call casual eclectic, which means I wear whatever strikes my fancy that day.

Since my office has a casual dress code I don’t have to dress like a grown-up, which is great since it’s never been proven to me that I write better if I’m in a suit and heels.

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Tentation Tunic by Quebec line Rien Ne Se Perd.  Earrings from Niagara based desinger Jon Klar.  (Available in-store only)

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?

Everything is so different! I love wearing unique pieces both in clothing and jewelry and I can always find something truly unique that looks great.

I also love being able to support our fantastic range of Canadian designers who create such an awesome range of styles.

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Sancie Shift Dress from Toronto fashion label Mandala DesignNecklace, handmade in Toronto from Torched Studio

 

What do you have that you want to promote? 

Bellydance (big shock)! I currently don’t have any shows of my own or with my troupe scheduled, but, you can check us out and learn more about tribal group improv, upcoming performances and workshops at the Serpentina North Ensemble website and the Serpentina North Ensemble Facebook page.

If you’re interested in learning bellydance, check out The Dark Side Studio. The studio is also home to the Lavish Dance Company and they have a full length show coming up in May. Details are on The Dark Side Studio Facebook page.

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Dress: More Than a Wrap Dress by It Fitz Me; Necklace: Christophe Poly (in store only)

I’d also like to give a shout out to the Dragonfly Bellydance studio where Snake Bite rehearses. Dragonfly offers a mix of traditional and fusion styles and they also have a full-length show coming up in the fall. You can find more on their website and Facebook page.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

Doing this profile was a big step out of my comfort zone. I may be a performer but I HATE having my picture taken (I think I look like a distressed muppet) so I was really nervous doing this shoot. Thanks to Laura Jean and her team for making it a fun afternoon!

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Double Layer Top from Montreal based fashion label Melow; Cuff from Jon Klar; Volupte Skirt by Montreal label  Rien Ne Se Perd.

 

 

 

 

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