Meet our Diva Lee-ann Borez Nash

My dance journey began when my husband who use to work with Crystal at Deloitte Forensic Division came home from work one day and told me about this nice woman you have to meet and she does belly dancing ,you will like her and the dancing too he said. And only a year later I decided to go try it out and i went to my first class, well needless to say i have never looked back! 

I was hooked from my very first belly roll, hip drop, shimmy and so many other Bellydance moves, I was inspired by it all!  I couldn't stop talking about all the things ive learnt in class...sharing it with whoever wanted to listen.  I didn't expect this! Dancing after having two babies?? Gosh I thought this was it there goes the body and that's how it's supposed to be!!...but no!! Dancing with the "crazy" beautiful Hip Fusion belly dancers changed it all !!!  Being a mother, wife and working full day is very demanding, but after a long day, I rush home to get my bling on and get to dance with the most amazing group of woman! I loose myself in the music,the laughter,the sweat,glitter,candles and inscents!

Dancing for me has also helped me not just to overcome daily challenges but the most life changing challenge, one which I will share with you today and that is accepting and understanding my 8 year old severely autistic son Jude❤  It has been a very challenging road for him, for his older brother Liam and especially for us as parents and sharing my story is part of my healing...I hope that my story inspires so many other parents, family and friends who are blessed to have someone in their lives who is on the autism spectrum... Don't ever give up,never stop smiling,stay positive!  but also find something for you so you can find the strength you need to cope and keep on going and loving your precious gift cause dancing has been that for me!

And to all you amazing ladies i get to dance with all the time you are all my sisters, love my divas in dance!!

Thank you Crystal Simpson for inspiring me to be more than I could ever imagine...

 Love you all!!!

Meet our Diva Reeva Van Niekerk

Where to start, feels like I’ve been dancing my entire life, which in all honesty I did lol. I started dancing when I was three years old with little fat legs that looked like I had bands around them! Can you just imagine? I’ve done all sorts of different dance styles from Ballet to Tap to being a Drum Majorette to dancing for my church (which I still do) and finally, Belly dancing.

I started dancing with Crystal in 2008 when she was still teaching at another school and I remember my first class, I was this shy, timid person walking in behind my mommy (yes because we all know mommies make things better) and this was going to be our Mother Daughter bonding time which was great, due to unforeseen circumstances, my mom had to stop dancing and I continued where I guess you could say I blossomed. I’d never felt more alive, more feminine, more me in my entire life and it’s all because of a hip drop here and a shimmy there. I know we all say it, but we all mean it, belly dancing made me love me for who I am not what I’m going to be or how I’m going to look. Made me see that it’s ok to accept my curves and (and lack thereof cough cough), it’s ok to joke and be merry and happy and be flamboyant because we are all fabulous.

It was all good and well but my soul became restless, so I went on sabbatical from dancing, probably the longest two years of my life and in that time, disaster struck, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer and my world came crashing down, I was in a pretty dark place to say the least, and I missed my family, I missed my divas so exactly a week before my birthday I came back to class (couldn’t think of a better birthday present to myself), the pure joy on your faces when you saw me changed my world, I could carry on, I could continue fighting (and man what a fight it was) but with your love and support I felt like I could do anything. After two operations and radiation I can now say proudly that by the Grace of God cancer free!!!! I am honoured and blessed and happy and yes, dare I say it, sparkly because of my love for this dance and my love for all of you!

Belly dancing not only changed my life, but it saved it too and for that I will always be grateful, so guess what y’all stuck with me for life!!

Much Love, Reeva the Diva

Meet our Diva Morgain Rautenbach

To me, belly dancing is one of the most empowering dances a woman can participate in. The art of the dance taps into our natural femininity and gracefulness. It teaches our hips to curve and swerve to eastern beats and our tummies to vibrate and undulate with elegance and liquid-like movements.

My belly dancing journey began when I was introduced to the dance at a tender age of 13, when my parents signed me up for classes at local community centre. I remember my first class, walking timidly into the hall, wearing all the wrong clothes and being noticeably the youngest, but as the music started, my soul began to dance. The drum beats filled the hall, while the rhythm played to the beat of my heart. Even though I had no idea how to mimic what the instructor was demonstrating, I fell in love with the feeling that belly dancing offered. After a few months, I left the classes due to financial constraints. Despite not being a part of a belly dance school, I continued to practice the movements on my own.  A couple years had passed. After matriculating, I got a job and was able to afford to join belly dancing again, this time at an established belly dance school. During this period, I was diagnosed with a chronic condition and was instructed to not partake in any strenuous activity until told otherwise. This had resulted in me discontinuing classes, again.

I had been free of the illness for nearly 6 months and found the strength to join class, for the third time. I researched for a different belly dance school that was based nearer to where I lived, when I stumbled upon Hip Fusion Belly Dance School. TA DAA! I couldn’t believe my luck. I phoned Crystal to enquire about classes and explained my condition to her. I never knew this lady from a bar of soap but she managed to make me feel completely at ease.

 I joined Hip Fusion Belly Dance School in November of 2013 and I cannot comprehend how much I have developed as a dancer and the amount of confidence I have gained thus far. Nearly 1 year later and I have already performed in front of thousands of people. Often, I’d watch Crystal demonstrating the moves and I’d think to myself, "You want my hips to do what??" After almost a year of practice, I know that it's only a matter of time until I can achieve those intricate movements. And although I still struggle with shimming in a circle while putting on my “I got this” face, I know that with practice and Crystal’s patience, I can train my muscles to do wonderful things that I never thought were possible.

Since I joined this group of amazingly talented moms, wives, daughters, students and professionals, I’ve realised that the dance opens a women’s soul so much that her natural beauty radiates for the world to see. Joining Hip Fusion has made me believe that sisterhood is the best thing a woman can have. I'm so grateful for each and every woman I have met through Hip Fusion, especially Crystal. Being able to share my journey with my fellow Diva’s, and being part of their journey, is one of the most cherished experiences of my life.

Thank You Hip Fusion

Meet our Diva Roxann Botman

My path crossing with Hip Fusion was quite serendipitous. Regardless of how it happened, one year ago – my life changed.

My love for dance is nothing new; I just stopped dreaming about dancing and put myself in a dance school. Belly-dancing allows you to love your body as it is, through movements that are sensual and strong. It is clear to see the effect of Hip Fusion’s Belly dancing when crowds react to our performances. Besides the effect it has on an audience after dancing next to beautifully strong women - and going for it 100%, because you know the diva next to you is doing the same - you find yourself on high that cannot be bought.

But Hip Fusion is not just any belly-dance school; there is something special, intangible indescribable that keeps me coming back for more (all the way from Stellenbosch).  Crystal is an unselfish, passionate leader who goes the extra mile to make all the dancers feel special and appreciated. She has created this extraordinary place where all kinds of women come together and allow themselves to feel sexy, confident and part of something special. 

Every diva part of Hip Fusion will have the opinion that belly-dancing in Hip Fusion gives you a great sense of self-confidence. It has become extremely clear to me that women need to begin to create their own perception of beauty. It is about time that we look in the mirror and be less harsh of the person staring back, but rather grateful for the curvy, flat or voluptuous bodies we have. We do not need to “let ourselves go”, but rather let ourselves be. Not only love the body we’re in, but also respect it enough to demand that others do the same.   

I am no longer so critical of myself. I shook off the care for what others think of me. Belly-dancing with Hip Fusion has also helped improve the balance in my relationship with my girlfriend. Dancing in a group of women who accepts and welcomes all of me without any judgement has also added to my sense of self-assurance.  I have become more of a whole person since my journey with Hip Fusion started.  I am sure this path of growth and self-discovery is far from over, but I know it’s a path I do not see myself wavering from. 

For those readers who have not joined Hip Fusion yet, do not take it lightly when you see or hear the phrase “changing lives, one hip at a time”. Hip Fusion will really change your quality of life for the better. It definitely improved mine. Do not hesitate; bring out the diva shimmying inside of you

Meet our Diva Carla Bailey

Biking and belly dancing

I have been biking for almost 17 years now and two years ago my mantra was "work hard, play hard"....during the week I wore a lab coat and swopped it on weekends for a leather jacket yet I always had this overwhelming feeling of something was missing from my my life. So two years ago my husband bought me a months lesson in belly dancing as a mothers day gift. I went to my first lesson very reluctantly ( if I think back it was not disappoint my hubby more as he went to all this trouble for my gift)- I knew nobody, had never danced before, had absolutely no co-ordination and had a huge hang up about exposing my body to other ladies.........well it took only one lesson to change my perception. The warmth of the ladies, the smiles, the continuous encouragement and above all the wonderful teachings of our principal, Crystal, who is this amazing person who truly changes a life, one hip at a time! I have not looked back since my first lesson. I am no longer that wall flower, I am more confident, I now embrace my female form, love my curves and my body more and I truly value myself.  I am still a wife, mother of one, hard core biker and a neurophysiologist but thanks to belly dancing I am so much more - WOMAN

Renecia Scheepers

If you find yourself struggling with infertility… don’t give up. 

People can be insensitive, they will put you on the spot… you will live through it whatever the outcome.

Now I was already at the end of my rope…feeling very depressed.  I was in a dark space to put it mildly, with dark rain clouds following my every move it seemed. This was a long journey.  5 years of attending”infertility clinic”… and the Doctors telling me that the only way that they would start me on fertility treatment is if I lost the required amount of weight, which they assured me was going to be 5 times harder to lose than the average person because of a hormonal imbalance resulting in Polycystic Ovaries, the number one cause of infertility in woman of reproductive age. What this meant was that the chances of my ovaries producing a good egg was almost zero. Note “almost zero”… for me …All I could think of was that there “is” still a chance. 

My breaking point came when I was meant to lose 10 kilo’s in 6 months… Doctors orders, and when I returned to the Infertility Clinic, not only had I not lost the 10 kilo’s required to get me onto the treatment program…  I had gained another 9kilo’s on top of that….and that was it…  I fell to the ground. This was one of the hardest realities… it hit me hard, made me numb.  I couldn’t feel anything…other than….  I remember feeling a strange vibration in my body while sitting there in that consultation room, perhaps it was the effect of me fighting back tears of sadness… tears of anger, frustration, bitterness and disappointment.  I felt so ashamed, and this is when I decided that action steps were going to be the only solution….And so began my journey of self-discovery…  (I’m sure everyone remembers)… whatever I learnt along the way, I passed on the torch.  Doing the radio work kept me going. Each week I would invite a guest to come in and educate myself and the listeners on topics relating to healing of the self, offering options for personal action steps. As I was saying… I remember being mocked and ridiculed for taking actions steps… controversial action steps… but action steps non-the-less.  When I started opening myself up to the possibility of self healing … things started happening… you might say that I started attracting into my life, people and things that would aid as a guide. 

At the end of my sharing is an excerpt of what one can expect from The Breakthrough Experience. I recommend this to everyone.I took another step and Raw Green Food was introduced to me by Sister Johanna… a guide sent by God in my opinion.  I attended The Breakthrough Experience by Dr. John Demartini a world renowned human behavioral specialist and international authority on maximizing human potential. This was the very first step to my recovery.  Here I learnt how to make the most out of my life.

Bellydance was introduced to me by a colleague whom I had not seen in a while…  She went on annual leave, and then I went on Annual leave and we missed each other, so there was that gap of almost 2 months and when I got back to work I was quit shocked to see Micky looking so good, healthy and happy.  I craved that for myself after all the years of feeling inadequate. 5 years… that’s 60 months of feeling like a broken woman.  This needed to be changed.

Well…  Micky invited me to join in on the first class for the year which happened to be that Saturday, but before I agreed, I did the necessary research and discovered some very interesting information. I found that not only is Belly dance one of the most ancient dances dating back to bible times where Queen Sheeba of Egypt danced with her fellow goddesses, performed it during celebrations and childbirth rituals, but that the dance promotes fertility and helps massage our female reproductive organs.  In other words… there was a chance for me to reawaken my reproductive organs in a very positive way. So I went that very Saturday… and I immediate fell in love with this dance and what it meant for the female species.  It just felt right.  I noticed that over the next 2 months how the weight began to come off.  I noticed how I was beginning to feel love for myself again in a way that I had forgotten how. Bellydance was like an old friend whom I have not seen in years and then came a knock on my door one day …it was her…  we hugged and cried tears of joy and embraced and reacquainted, and laughed and exchanged…  me, myself and I…  the old person who seemed to have died, came alive. My reunion. I learned to look at myself in the mirror again and feel love instead of shame.

It was a real challenge but I promised myself that if I kept to it, that I will have grown tremendously.  I followed instruction by my Teacher, Crystal, whom I don’t even know how to thank for being such an inspiration to me and so many other woman. She knew just how to treat me, to help me crack out of the thick shell that surrounded me. I’m certain that many of the women in class know exactly what I’m talking about.  Crystal has a very special connection with all of us as a whole group but especially with each of us as individuals. Crystal’s spirit is contagious.  She carries an energy that is hard to ignore.  The way that she communicates with her eyes makes one feel truly present, often times it feels like she’s not only looking at you, but looking into the heart of you. She need not say a single word to know what mood you’re in and this I’ve noticed is when she seems to resonate and bring you out of the darkness and into the light. I believe that she’s an instrument of The Most High chosen to offer healing in certain areas of your life… but you must want to be healed.

I have a long way to go still, I’m still a bit on the “shy” side, but I realized that one of the best things I could ever have done was to start dancing.  It not only helped me to lose the weight I was struggling to lose, but it helped me re-build my confidence – turned me into a different person.  Another truth I find is that all challenges come with rewards.  I needed to take action…to get reaction. And so in 2008, I lost 12 kilo’s, 2 kilo’s more than the required amount and at my next infertility/ endocrine appointment, instead of feeling down and out, I made the big announcement “I’m Pregnant” and all the Doctors and Nurses cheered for me, everyone gave praise to God, for they knew of the road I’d traveled.  

I learned to balance my perceptions, learnt to let go and live, I learned to eat correctly and I learned the dance that would enhance my chance of fertility and it’s all been successful… and now I will learn the dance of Labour in preparation for the birth of my most wanted baby. I get Goosebumps just saying “my baby”.  Flesh of my flesh.  Thank the Lord. 

With all my love; Renecia

Meet our Diva Wendy Loxton Paulsen

My dance story started one Women's Day event at the RAF. To be honest, I was at the LOWEST point of my life. My marriage was falling apart, my kids were struggling with the way things were at home, i was recovering from a fractured coccyx and work, .......was well work. Life was passing me by very slowly, or very fast depending from which way you were looking at it. I hated who I have become, this weak, spineless, sad assed woman that was just allowing life to be happening.

 Then on this day in October,  a few years ago, we had our Women's Day event. I was not inspired despite the fact that this day was set apart for the ladies at the Fund. Then Crystal appeared in her belly dancing outfit, confident, radiant, and doing things with her body that had me standing and watching in awe. Needless to say that when she called up volunteers to come and dance I was one of the First Ladies to go up to the front. My soul started vibrating and singing a song that has been long forgotten within me. I wanted more. From that moment I realized I have forgotten who I am and what my purpose on this earth was for it was for living life. That turned out to be a great womans day and the start of my new life as because of the interest Crystal started teaching classes at our offices and because once a week was not enough i joined the classes in Parow at that time and the rest is history.  All I can say, I found myself, I found that long lost and forgotten Wendy that I have allowed to disappear into the background of stuff happening in life. Through dancing I grew back my spine, but most importantly. I learned to love myself. I gained back my lost confidence, I was better able to love my children, and others, because love to others can only be freely given if you have learned how to truly appreciate and love yourself.

 I tried leaving tried for a short while not to dance, I cannot, it is physically, mentally and emotionally impossible once you have started to stop. Your soul goes quiet and it starts dying slowly and painfully, so I cannot, will not stop dancing, and no matter how bad my days has been or how tired I am or just not in the mood for it, once I am there and the music plays through my soul.....well the rest is history. Sweat on the dance floor, and contentment, excitement, self love. Those are the greatest benefits of finding something you love doing, and keep on doing it despite what others tell you and yes I travel from kraaifontein every week sometimes twice a week but for the love of dance and my divas

 It is difficult to sometimes explain to others what it is about belly dancing that has that effect on women, I come to class and I sometimes just look at the faces of the Divas, and I can see a reflection of myself there. No matter who we are outside of those class walls, when we are there together we are one, we can feel it, taste it, dance it. It is something that runs through all of us, it is a feeling of community. We do it for the love of dance.

 I am a Diva, woman, dancer FIRST till the day I die, then I can be mother, wife, partner, RAF employee something we as women must never ever loose is the sense of self first.

Tessa Daniels

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to dance. I’ve always admired the dancers and the way they could just move their bodies in all directions. When I got a bit older I wanted to learn to jazz, but that required a partner who also had the same interest. So no luck there.  I then tried Hip Hop when I was in my early 30’s, but eish that was way too fast and too many moves to remember for my slow brain.  I then joined the Company I’m currently working for and one the ladies started doing belly dance. This was about 8yrs ago.  I went to watch a few of their  shows and totally fell inlove with the dance.  After every show I went to I used to say that I want to do that.  Then one day at one their shows I spotted a dancer whom I couldn’t keep my eyes off.  The way she executed all her moves left me in awe…….  Not too long after that show I started arranging my sister-in-law’s kitchen tea and I was speaking to my ex and saying I wonder if that lady dances for kitchen teas.  He then said that a friend of his wife teaches bellydancing and he’s almost sure she dances for that same school.  He then called his friend and low and behold it was the same woman, Crystal Simpson, that I had been watching in awe.  Needless to say she came to do the gig for us and after that day my cousin and I decided we are joining up with her class. That was 4yrs ago.  The class that we had joined up with was dancing for about 3months already, but we managed to pick up the moves quickly enough with Crystals help. Then we had our first show and that was Awesome. It was my first time on stage since primary school. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So with us needing to have costumes and me battling to find something  I liked, I decided to start making my own.  Who would have thought that I’d started my own little business making costumes.  It started with just  a little clip-on piece that I showed to Crystal and with the response i got from her that day I thought, wow I can do this.  I then started making and selling them.  And it’s just been growing and growing.  I’ve advanced to making Bra and Belt Sets and recently Toe-to Ankle and Finger bracelets. Who knows what would be next…  I Totally enjoy the beading.  It relaxes me and I can do it while watching ‘Greys Anatomy’.

 Moving back to the dancing part………..  Then, to cut a long story short, Crystal opened up her own school, Hip Fusion and there was no way that I wasn’t going to be a part of her school.  After all she was the reason I actually started dancing. And I thought I want to dance just like her when in big……  im still dreaming though…lol.  And that’s when the Fabulous journey with Hip Fusion started. Going to class every week had become a MUST. Crystal has really created a space where we can all just be ourselves. Have laughs together. Act crazy. A space which helps us forget all the problems and trouble that we have.  I can honestly say when im having a down day, from the time I put my foot into class till the time I leave there, my troubles are all forgotten.  And the problems even feel lighter by the time im driving back home.  I went through a rough patch about a year and half ago. And I don’t think I would have gotten through it without the Diva’s and Crystals support.  Just going to class and dancing and laughing made it sooooo much easier to get through all the hurt and pain I was feeling. You ladies have no idea how much I appreciate you being in my life and being that support group i/we can go to and just forget all our worries. U are my Crazy Lovely diva BFF.

And Crystal, the reason I come back week after week to YOUR classes is because of you.  I have and always will admire the way you dance and teach.  There is still so much for us to learn from you and you are so willing to teach us. I wasn’t very comfortable doing tribal a year ago, but with your encouragement and drilling…………sharper hips ladies…… …faster shimmy ……oh and my all time favourite…. BEND THOSE KNEES…..  I’ve become more comfortable and confident with my moves.  I feel I can do it now.   And you’ve made that possible for me/us.

You have a heart of Gold that not many ppl get to see because you do things so subtly and without expecting anything in return.  You’ve created opportunities for all of US. Gosh we are dancing in one of the Biggest events in CT on the 24th Mar - CT Carnival.  You made that possible because you have taught us and drilled us and made sure that we are Great dancers.

You have made Hip Fusion an OUR school and not a My school.  And we Love you for that

Natalie Williams

Diva, Natalie, started dancing with me in 2008.  She is not just a passionate dancer but have also been on an amazing journey through dance.....  This is what I have achieved by being introduced to Belly Dancing by you.  I have a new found love of my body and myself.  I always considered myself a strong person but was never really happy.  Belly dancing introduced me to the feminine side of me, a place that under all the fat rolls and lumps i never thought existed.  I love the dance but through the dance I achieved what I always wanted.  A nice body to go with this personality that I have.  It’s taken me 8 months of following a good nutritional plan and the most fun form of exercise. Yes the eating plan helps but it’s the exercise that really works the body.  Belly dancing is also my stress release and it has given me a new found confidence which makes facing life’s obstacles easier.  I realized that a positive attitude and love of myself is such a power tool. I live by two quotes:  “Nothing tastes as good as slim feels” and “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you”. The one thing that I can truly commend Hip Fusion on is that its not just a belly dance school.   It truly lives up to its name of community in dance.  The ladies are sisters.  The friendships are lifetime partnerships.  Its not just having fun and being amazed at what you have achieved, discovering muscles you never knew you had.  Its about just going to share and enjoy the other ladies company.  Its so much fun. And I pray that this community of belly dance divas only grows in strength, numbers, excitement, spirit and fun. So wanted share my before and after pics with you. You are an inspiration.

Luv Natalie



Meet our Diva Karen Henkeman-Birtles

I’ve always loved belly dancing. This graceful, exotic, sensual art of dance has always intrigued and fascinated me.  My problem was that I could not commit to it. The reasons not to start always outweighed the ones to start.

The beginning of 2012, I decided enough was enough; I needed to make “me” a priority. I was tired of making an entire list of New Year’s Resolutions, and never sticking to them, so I decided to make just one.  I planned to say yes to as many things as possible.  And I’m very proud to say, that I’m still sticking with this resolution.

I started in March 2012, and boy was that the right or wrong time to join, depending on how you looked at it. All I’m going to say is Cape Town Carnival 2012. Yip, I was thrown in at the deep end!  I had a two week crash course in belly dancing. It was an absolute pleasure to experience, and an honour to share “the road” with all the amazing Divas.

Belly-dancing has definitely changed my life. It still amazes me how this dance can transform you as an individual. I’ve become more aware of my sensuality, my body, and abilities. My confidence in myself has increased tremendously. Not only am I a working, mother, and wife, but I am a woman, gorgeous, sensual, sexy, and divalicious. We all have different facets to our lives, and different things that complete us and make us happy and whole. Dancing is one of them for me; it makes me happy and brings me joy. Dancing with Hip Fusion adds to the puzzle of my life.

Hip Fusion is not only a dance school. In this haven that Crystal has created, we are not judged by our physical appearance, our background, where we live, our education, our job title, or our salary. We are a group of amazing woman, sharing a vision. We share a bond of love, friendship, sisterhood and joy for dance. This is why I come back week after week.  It’s intoxicating. We get together once or twice or sometimes thrice a week, if our families allow it, and for that perfect hour, you can forget about all the stress in the world, deadlines, meetings, dirty dishes, and laundry, in my case renovationsJ, and become “all woman” again. It revitalises my mind, body and soul. “For the Love of Dance” is truly what this special dance school symbolises. We definitely change lives one hip at a time.

Crystal, our instructor is truly an amazing soul.  She is everything we could ask for in an instructor, a friend, confidant and therapist at times. She is patient, kind, loving, amazing, super-talented, unique, selfless, and extremely generous with her time, and resources. Her energy and enthusiasm for life and dance is contagious.

I want to thank Hip Fusion. I’ve have experience many “firsts” with the Divas, and am very thankful to each one of them, for all their support and guidance. Thank you for an amazing, memorable and life changing 2012 and 2013. Here’s to many more eventful years to come.

Sam Smith (Wife and Working Mother of 2): “I decided on belly-dancing as my form of exercise, but what I have since discovered is a sensuality within myself; a connection with this art form that allows freedom & expression through music & dance...I have come out of my shell somewhat (having been shy & introverted) and am blessed to have joined a school of women who share their lives, not just their time. I also look forward to catching up with the other ladies just as much as I look forward to learning new techniques :-)”

Rashidah (Wife, working Mother of 2): “Since i started classes i found that i am much more confident as i was very conscience about my somewhat overweight body but Hip Fusion changed all that. Now i am proud of my body i feel sensual and sexy feelings i thought i lost.  Joining the school made me feel part of a family and i love it!

Megan Richards (full time student): I thoroughly enjoy classes at Hip Fusion, it's my "me time" where there are no distractions. Through dance, I have learned to embrace my body and my confidence has increased so much. Something magical happens in class, it transpires into my body and I am able to move and express who I am. What I enjoy most about Hip Fusion is the group of women. It is refreshing to know that there are still women are support each other in dance and other areas of our lives. And of course, our instructor Crystal, always encourages us to push a little harder. Her passion for dance created Hip Fusion, a school like NO other!

Roxanne (Honor student and HR Manager): Dancing with Hip Fusion has helped me realise that women need to take ownership of their bodies and express themselves in a way that is for themselves and their sisters. It is a place I can go to where I can be different and still belong.

Jade Simpson (High School Student;  I dance for the love of it. When I dance I feel free like no one can stop me from doing what I love. I dance to show people that no matter what shape or size, tall or short you are, if you are dedicated and passionate about what you love, you will succeed. I dance because it’s me, it’s who I am and who I want to become; a dancer like my mother!!!  


Vanessa (working single mother) Music and dance feeds my soul and makes me feel good about myself.  When I’ve had a bad day and I come to class I leave with a lighter heart. The school has become a sisterhood and a place where you feel comfortable to share be it happy moments or sad.We all have lots of things going on in our lives so it’s nice to have a place you can come let your hair down dance and be all the woman/young lady/girl you can be. We all have an inner Diva. 


Sascha September I dance because I find solace and with every tune, every move and every minute, I find another feminine quality about myself that I can love! There is no other place I’d be or group I’d rather be part of, because Crystal has opened my eyes to a whole new world, a mystical, almost fantastical and yet naughty but yet feminine journey of self discovery and self pride!  

Amiena Christians “I love to belly dance as it takes me to my happy place every time I dance. There is something so exciting and exhilarating about dancing for Hip Fusion that I try never to miss class, as I feel that it is my reward for all the hard work of the week. It is always hard work (sometimes exhausting) in class, never a slow or worthless class, but always FANTASTIC. As I am a woman of sober habit, the following statement may sound strange coming from me: Whenever I spent an hour or two dancing with Crystal, it feels like I spent my hour in an Opium Den. That is how high I feel after a class of Belly Dancing with Hip Fusion and its Principal Queen Bee. 


Anthea Smidtsdorf Dancing is my way of feeling free  I close my eyes and move my limbs to the rhythm the feeling of floating flying the feeling of freedom this is what draws me this is the reason I keep coming back to dance once more!!!I can’t think of my life with no dance music or rhythm, to me it is freedom of one’s inner self that being the reason I keep coming back to dance  Anthea

Meet our Diva Ronéll  Overmeyer

Why I Dance, why Hip Fusion?

I started with Hip Fusion, five years ago… from the very 1st class. And have never looked back.

I have always danced, I love it… the music, the beats, the rhythm, the movement… but there is something about belly dancing that makes your whole body happy! Belly dance is like glitter: it not only colors your life, it makes you sparkle.

My journey with Hip Fusion is been one of growth, support, molding, acceptance of your self, confidence (still working on that one…), and amazing friendships. Hip Fusion had been there for the happiest and saddest times of my life in the past years and I am ever grateful for all you ladies in my life.

Since the moment I step into a class, no matter what is going on in my life, I always leave feeling a sense of being larger, more powerful, and more beautiful. Definitely sweaty and hurting (sexy pain!) for days to come... And it’s all worth it and I come back again. And again. Then, when you’re stepping onto a stage with all the Divas… all nerves and smiles and ‘bringing it’ and remembering why it’s your favorite feeling in the world.

The saying “A dance teacher helps their students find the song in their heart the beat in their feet and a passion for life.” is so fitting and so true and a gift that each and every one of us has been given by being part of Hip Fusion. I thank you for that Crystal.

I used to think I lived for belly dance, now I know it’s when I dance that I’m truly alive. So just dance to feel good. Dance to feel better. Dance to mend a broken heart. Whatever your reason. Just Dance! 

Meet our Diva Andrea Heideman-Bowers

An Accountant, a wife and a working Mom of 1, my belly dance journey began when a friend asked me to come along with her to a beginner’s belly dance class just over 6 years ago. I think she noticed that I needed a time out from being a new mom and needed to get out.

I was very excited and nervous and didn’t know what to expect. The minute I stepped in the door for my first class I fell in love. The smell of the incense, the candles, the coin belts and getting dressed up to come to class was awesome! It felt so magical.  I love to dance and this was my chance to dance every week. By the end of the first class I was hooked. I was mesmerized by the way she moved and so much wanted to dance like her. I love the way the classes are taught –the encouragement, the laughs, the funky routines.

 I have grown tremendously as a person and in my dancing. I have grown because I am so much more confident and I am able to dance with confidence and have really challenged myself and even performed with a sword. I have performed in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people on many different stages, thanks to our fabulous teacher for creating opportunities for us to do so. But no more shying away I am now confident enough to do so!

Coming to belly dance class has become an escape from the everyday mundane routines we so often get caught up in.

I have met some awesome ladies through the years of dancing at Hip Fusion Belly dance school. I can’t ever imagine not dancing. Thank you Crystal for being such a special and caring person like most of the Divas I dance with, you are an inspiration to me.

Jade Dean
Dancing is the only thing I am totally confident about sometimes over confident but in this industry I think you have to believe you are that good or no one else will.  My journey as a dancer was the hardest when I didn’t believe in my own potential. I held back for so long but now that I’ve been give so many great opportunities my love and passion for dance has grown tremendously. It’s taken me so long to become the dancer I am now and it was definitely long awaited.  I’ve been performing since I was 6years old but I don’t think I really understood or embraced dancing.  You can be told you are good but for me that wasn’t really true. Then you come to a studio like Hip Fusion and you find a place that allows you to be you. Class may start with a little pain and sweat and forgetting to breathe but it always ends with fun love and laughter you share with friends who are all part of your dancing family.  I’ve been put down and left to wither at other studios but here I found my home where I can be myself and excel to my best ability because I finally felt secure enough to let go of whatever was holding me back before. If it wasn’t for Crystal helping me grow and never really giving up on me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.  I have a great love for dance and everything that comes with it. I never thought I could do what I’m doing now. I never thought I would have any of the opportunities she has given me and continue to give me. I think I worked hard to get this far in dance and the journey I took to get here has changed my life in so many ways. I know I had it in myself all along but I have to say thank you to Crystal because I would never have been able to do all these things without her faith and encouragement. I’ve had a few teachers before but none of them could empower me like she has. I don’t think this is the reply she was asking for or expecting but I just feel that this is what I need to say. She really played a huge part in how my life has changed through dance. I think with my last solo performance I showed everyone what I’m capable of but more importantly I showed myself. After dancing like that and letting go and being so totally and completely in that moment I believe in myself more than I ever have. I’m still shy and nervous at times but I love to dance and I think dance loves me now too.  It took me way too long to actually reach this point and now I feel ready to take on anything.  I hope that one day I can also have such a great impact on another person’s life.  I’ve been taught so much and now I feel like that is all worth so much more than just a good performance. Especially where my mother and I are concerned I don’t think we could get any closer and many people don’t have that opportunity to share something as special as dance with their parents. So dancing is the biggest part of me and I’m going to keep dancing like Nigel Pierce is watching me through my radio.

Michelle Marshall

My journey with hip fusion started off as a bit of a silver lining for my life.. We live in a society where we are all meant to look a certain way/be a certain size and "fit in". In 2008 I'd just been through one of the worst relationships and felt like a complete wreck. A colleague of mine told me for months to try belly dancing with her and I finally plucked up the courage and went! Frantic from driving around plumstead looking for class, I finally made it!20 minutes late but better late then never! Dancing became my therapy,the best way to heal a broken heart... The past few years has changed me,moulded me and sculpted me into a version of myself I never thought/dreamt would I stand tall (literally and figuratively) in who I am! I'm no longer this shy,awkward,lost and broken person...Who would have thought that joining this school just to learn to shake it like shakira would have  tossed all of my puzzle pieces into the air just so that they could fall into place... I have learned to love me! I'm sexy from head to toe regardless of what the scale tells me!  I  believe we are all on a journey and no matter what diety you believe in,there was a reason i had to meet crystal...Im thankful to her patience and caring nature,for going that extra mile and not only teaching me to dance but teaching me to love unconditionally and bite my tongue when choosing battles. Through dance I've learnt to explore the beat residing in the fibre of my being and bring it to life!  I've gained a world of wisdom from the ladies who I've met and have formed friendships with the most inspirational women!We live in a society where we are all meant to look a certain way/be a certain size and "fit in".  The love,patience and this beautiful ancient art that crystal has taught me has allowed me to bring smiles to ladies who were in the same space as I was and seeing them smile..seeing that confidence kick in and joy is greater than any  material gift or earthly possession. Looking back to when i started,I don't feel any different...The eagerness to dance+learn more about my capabilites+push my boundaries+let go of all the stress and just diva out has not changed,its become my passion! Hip fusion isn't just a dance school...its a family!when we perform together you can see and feel how we feed off from each other!im in a company of women who support each other through thick and thin, women who love deeply and accept each other for who they are regardless of the day/week/month they've had! How I ended up on this path and in the company of such amazing women is a blessing and each day im so thankful for where I am :)

Lee-Anne Ricketts

I’m standing in front of the stage at the 2011 Community Chest Carnival, a friend was performing and I went to show my support. While waiting for his performance slot, a belly dance group came up onto stage.

A group of ladies all shapes and sizes started the most awesome dance form I have ever seen. The teacher, who was pregnant at the time, looked so amazing, moving her body and unborn baby to the rhythm of the music. Regular, yet very sexy, ladies dancing the most awesome choreography you would ever find in belly dancing. Seeing women let go of their inhibitions and having fun at the same time was what made me certain that …. “I WANT TO BE ONE OF THEM!” I joined Hip Fusion Belly Dance School in July 2011. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my whole life. Belly Dance as an art form has changed my life for the better. I have been very self-conscious about my “fuller figure” and that society would never accept me, a flaw that so many women possess in today’s world. But since I started this most sensual and body loving dance, I fell in love with myself again. Dancing and performing has become a part of my lifestyle, something I cannot live without. Dressing up in glitzy, sparkly costumes, transforming yourself with makeup and glitter, THAT is the best way to live your life. (especially cleaning up after and finding more glitter than dust on the floor) Being around the ladies of this very special studio is a great joy in my life. Going to class every week, seeing all the smiling faces and warm (most times sweaty) hugs has been something I look forward to each week. No matter how I feel… be it tired, exhausted, cramping from doing a 20 km big walk or “that time of the month cramps” I have learnt that dance is the BEST medicine and therapy. I always shout at myself “GET UP….GO TO CLASS… YOU WONT BE SORRY!!” I am a woman … I am a sexy woman, and as Beyonce says “I’m a GROWN woman, I can do whatever I want!”

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