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  • Dancing Damsels Celebrated International Women's Day


    The International Womens Day has been celebrated the world over with events marking and celebrating the day since 1911. This year, the Dancing Damsels Inc., a registered non-profit dance promotions company, commemorated the day at the North York Memorial Community Hall, Toronto on March 8, 2014. The event celebrated and recognized the social, economic and political success of women in our community.

    Dancing Damsels invited a range of inspirational women who have changed and positively influenced lives of women and men alike. The event showcased women who have flourished in a variety of arenas, in settings that were until recent decades, male dominated.

    The Honorable Dr. Asha Seth, Canadas first Indo-Canadian female Senator inaugurated the event by the lighting the traditional Indian lamp followed by the Canadian National Anthem. In her address, Dr. Seth presented a Greeting from Premier Stephen Harper to members of Dancing Damsels Inc.

    The key note address, on the International Womens Day 2014 theme Inspiring Change, was given by Hedvig Christine Alexander, who has touched and changed lives of women in places as far as Afghanistan and Africa.

    The guest speakers, Academician Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, Poetess Priscila Uppal, Councillor Dr. Raymond Cho, ICCADI Founder Shashi Bhatia, Executive Director of WMRCC Esther Enyolus and President of OWLE Jo-Ann Savoie, enlivened and spurred the audience by sharing their experiences and their vision for women in times to come. Mayoral candidate Mr. John Tory further enlivened the organizers and audience with his surprise visit.

    Twelve women whose work is an inspiration and contribution were recognized and presented with the DD Achiever 2014 awards by the guest speakers. Rathika Sitsabaiesan M.P. (Politics), Uma Suresh in Community Services, Mala Pisharody (Arts),Mercy Elengikal (Community Leadership), Kanmani Dhanasekar (Business & Marketing), Jennifer Prasad (Volunteering), Jayanthi Balasubramaniam (Entrepreneurship), Minu Jose (Engineering), Reshmi Nair (Media & Communication), Nirmala Thomas (Literature), Meena Mulpury (Charity), and Maria Easow Jobson (Healthcare).

    This free event was attended by over 300 people. Delicious dinner and captivating entertainment delighted the audience. The Dancing Damsels true to their name had organized for dance companies from the Greater Toronto Area to perform and highlight the diversity and beauty of dance. Indian Classical dances were performed by noted Kathak dancers Parul Gupta and Joanna DSouza, students of NKK Academy and Nritya Kala Mandir. Bollywood numbers performed by Dhanwantry Kumari of Dancing Damsels, Born to Dance and The Trifecta thrilled the audience. Throwing a folk into the mix were dancers of Prima Dance School and members of the Marathi Bhashik Mangal. Bringing fitness through dance were Julieta Tabares of Zumbacan. GTAs popular Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company and Hannan Belly Egyptian Dance Academy enhanced the truly international flavour through their traditional folk and belly dancing.

    Dancing Damsels International Womens Day celebration 2014 was a celebration that was enjoyably inspiring and rendered it a day to be remembered for the speakers, awardees and audience alike.

    Report by: Kavitha Ariyath

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