BELLYDANCING to beat breast cancer will top the bill when Oxford Middle Eastern Dance Society (OMEDS) hosts a unique one-woman show by breast cancer survivor Yvette Cowles tonight.
Dancers from OMEDS, which runs bellydancing classes at East Oxford Primary School, will also be performing as part of the charity show Sequins On My Balcony, at the O’Reilly Theatre, in Blackhalls Road, off St Giles, Oxford.
Instructor Rachael Borek, from OMEDS, said: “We know Yvette and had heard her show was brilliant, so we are really looking forward to the event.
“OMEDS has around 50 regular dancers and a few hundred people on our mailing list, but we hope as many people will come along to the show as possible.
“It will be in two halves, with OMEDS students and teachers performing bellydancing and Egyptian dance in the first half, and then Yvette’s show in the second half.
Members of Oxford Middle Eastern Dance Society will perform in the first half of the show
“And as well as raising money for some great charities, we hope it will attract more people to Middle Eastern dance.”
Sequins On My Balcony has been written and performed by Yvette Cowles, from Chiswick, in West London.
Ms Cowles, 49, said: “I am really looking forward to coming. I have got a lot of friends in Oxfordshire so it is great they can come and see my show.
“It is about breasts, bellydancing and what is really important in life, and what I have learnt living with cancer. Someone said to me it’s more uplifting than a Wonderbra.”
The light-hearted and touching show chronicles Ms Cowles’ love of bellydancing, alongside her experiences in fighting cancer.
First diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, at the age of 32, she gave up a high pressure job in publishing in London, to pursue her dream of becoming a bellydancing teacher.
Despite surgery and chemotherapy, her cancer returned more aggressively in 2006 and she underwent a mastectomy.
But in 2010 a mammogram revealed new cancer in Yvette’s right breast, which meant she needed another mastectomy and more chemotherapy.
That cancer has now spread to her bones. But she says bellydancing has enabled her to fight on.
All profits from the show will be shared between Maggie’s centre in Headington, Oxford, which provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, and Just Because, a charity set up by bellydancers, which funds breast cancer screening and care for women in Egypt.
Sequins On My Balcony starts at 7.30pm (doors open 6.45pm) tonight, with tickets priced at £12, (concessions £10) available from oxfordbellydanceclasses.org/ bellydance-events-in-oxford/sequins-on-my-balcony-comes-to-oxford