Joana Saahirah workshop: AUDACITY (in Oriental Dance & Life)

No need to hurry,

No need to sparkle.

No need to be

anybody but oneself.

From A ROOM OF ONE´S OWN,

Virginia Woolf

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“Moi memme”, performing in Russia*

Worse than copy machines who acknowledge the source of their clonage (the people they try to copy) are the copy machines who claim to be originals (although they´re clearly following somebody else´s footprints as if they had no feet of their own).

Promoting what I love and believe in and ignoring – simply ignoring – what I dislike has been a very conscious decision:

“Be (or do) what you wish to see in the world” – I think it was Ghandi who said so (and who I am to disagree with Mr. Ghandi?)

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Taken from my favourite magazine: Oprah magazine*

Therefore, I teach Oriental Dance in a way that is totally out of the commercial, superficial, aerobics oriented market I see all over the world.

 The AUDACITY to be oneself while studying seriously and aiming to be the best one can be is the CORE of the whole operation and this is not a mere personal choice: I´ve learnt, in 8 years of life and career in Egypt, that Oriental Dance is all about discovering who you are and expressing it (while healing yourself and others along the way).

Movements are very cool; great choreographies and exercises which train body, mind, heart and soul are fabulous; cultural context and data that will educate dancers on an academic dimension are essencial yet these are not enough. Not for me, at least. I aim to OPEN doors on people´s lives (starting with their ears – by LISTENING; moving forward with their hearts – the MAGICAL FILTER – and going up and down their bodies – which are, like it or not, a privileged channel to their souls).

If Oriental Dance was only about moving in fabulous ways, I wouldn´t be interested to the point of having done what I´ve done – so far – in my life/career. It wouldn´t be worth the efforts, sacrifices, battles, permanent swimming against the tides of mediocrity, prejudice and ignorance (in Egypt and beyond).

DARE to discover and DANCE WHO YOU ARE and I´ll crown you (as a teacher). No need to follow my steps or be my “marketing doll”; my biggest accomplishment as a teacher is to educate dancers (human beings) who KNOW their craft and build themselves up from that knowledge. I don´t want to see “me” in you while you dance: I want to see YOU (in you) while you dance.

I know this is another battle – hoping it´ll be a white, fair, loving, smooth, positive, uplifting one (for all of us, me included).

Heading to USA in a few days and taking much more than dance in my luggage. Be prepared for the RIDE of a life time!

*********************

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