Lately I´ve been wondering (with a warm kind of delight): am I a Dance Teacher or a Shrink?
I´ve noticed – while sharing my (very*) particular way of teaching with dancers from all corners of the world – that people join a class, workshop, seminar for all kinds of reasons, both conscious and unconscious. More than a few times, they project on you – The Dancer & the Teacher – dreams, frustrations and ambitions they don´t even dare to confess to themselves. If I believed my job is resumed to teaching dance and culture, I´d be screwed by now. Like it not not, a competent Oriental Dance Teacher must be a psychologist in some way or another. No other dance style moves in such deep, troubled, definitive waters like Egyptian Oriental Dance (when properly taught – not talking about the “shake your booty aerobics kind of hootchie koochie”).
You can run but you can´t hide, honey!
Would I prefer to limit my teaching to a simple, linear communication of steps, movements, data, knowledge of a craft? Nah. Boring. I actually prefer being up to the challenge most students are not aware of: guiding them towards themselves – the best version of themselves. There´s pride on the task of mopping off the dust of all the projections people throw on me while I´m dancing or teaching them to dance (remember: they´re unaware of it, most of the times).
Would I prefer to back off when I meet struggling egos trying to find an easy applause/approval? Nah. I like the fight (it CAN be a fight) and I thrive to be an agent of GROWTH, dance wise and personal wise (naturally interwined).
Would I prefer to keep my “teaching universe” inside of the commercial box (1,2,3,4 – turn; now repeat and don´t forget to smile. Yeeeeeyyyyyhhhhh!) and underestimate people´s minds, hearts, bodies and souls? Nah. I know better than that and I absolutely need to teach interesting human beings who inspire me as much as I aim to inspire them.
A shrink – I tell you that. (Please write that on your little notepad, sister.) That should be stated in my curriculum: not just a dancer, a choreographer, a teacher, an author, an actress (who has temporarily put aside that side of her being) but, above all, a shrink: a mirror: a bridge that connects darkness with light and helps sleeping people to simply (not that simple) wake up.