Belly dancing helping homeless cats

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Dancers at Gulf Coast Belly Dance aren't just dancing to the beat of the music.  They're moving to the beat of their hearts.

The studio is organizing an effort to help homeless cats this holiday season.

"With the way the economy is, a lot of people are hurting, that means animals are hurting even more," says Alyssa Springs, Gulf Coast Belly Dance owner.

Springs, says it's an issue very close to her heart after taking in a stray cat.

"We took her in and fixed her up. A few months later we realized she had cancer, and we had to put her down. It really made me sad to think that she could have died outside without a family," says Springs.

Gulf Coast Belly Dance will show off its moves during a Holiday Halfa.  Hafla is Arabic for party... a party where all the proceeds go toward the pets.

The dancers hope to help stray and feral cats that end up in places like the Humane Society of South Mississippi.  The show will also benefit the Animal Protection and Education Association Incorporated or AEPA out of Vancleave.  It's an outdoor shelter in dire need of help right now.

The Hafla is something Humane Society director Jode Braxton-Hignight sees as a unique way to give back.

"When community members' passions tie in with our mission and they're willing to help us raise money for what they love or enjoy doing, it is always appreciated," says Braxton-Hignight.

People can also bring items or pay a dollar for raffle ticket prizes.  Some of the prizes include an overnight stay and dinner at the IP and spa certificates.

The Holiday Hafla is next Saturday, December 4th.  It kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Mississippi Dance Clubs Ballroom in Gulfport.

For tickets, call 228-224-4830 or you can visit Gulf Coast Bellydance to order tickets online. Though the site says ticket will no longer be sold, Springs says the deadline has been extended beyond Saturday, November 27th.

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