Help, support, inspiration and that extra push pulling us towards the extra mile come from the most unexpected places; I´ve publicly thanked my enemies (haters just because, envy troops, guys (not men: just guys) who thought they could buy me in exchange for stardom, ex-boyfriends who opposed – often aggressively – to my dance work) because they were essential elements in this game for two (50% of my dream on my hands and 50% on Life´s hands – there we go, dancing together).
Pissing me off is a bad idea but only for the person who pisses me off. For me it´s PERFECT. Once I´m pissed off at jerks (especially the ones who say YOU CAN´T), I tend to work harder, more focused and having excellence in consideration with a might that I didn´t know existed before they put me off (or on) track.
Here´s how it once happened:
Scene: me and a famous manager (of the biggest hotel chain in the Middle East) sitting at his posh office, talking about a potential audience that would start my career with a golden (maybe rotten) key.
Place: Cairo, Egypt.
He sips a bit of his tea; checks me out as if he was Don Juan – oh, those Don Juan wannabe´s! – and launches a spectacular work of oratory:
-We´re the biggest hotel – blah, blah, blah – in Egypt and dancing here would make you a star – blah, blah, blah, blugh… All you have to do is cooperate. Pim: pam: pimp! – He mumbles, surrounded by family portraits showing off his perfectly polished Russian wife and kids.
-Sure. – Me, being me.
Long lecture about how the “bellydance business” works in Egypt and how I have to adapt in order to succeed.
Some more blah, blah, blah aiming at proving the following:
Women are properties & DANCERS (another word for prostitutes), in particular. If you want a man to give you an opportunity in this dirty business, you have to offer something in return. Something like your body, your self-respect, your dignity, your head held up high & your soul. Not much, considering that you will soon be called a “star”, whatever that means.
Plus: your dance is shit and YOU, little-sexy-dumb woman, are shit. Every woman has a price and I´ll buy you. Got it?
– Mr. Gouda: not every woman has a price and my dance has nothing to do with prostitution – I answer, already pissed off and knowing enough about the craft to admit that, sadly, the way my dance has been used for centuries by many “dancers” has indeed a connection with prostitution.
-You´re wrong: that´s a dirty dance and you´ll soon discover it. Aside from that,I repeat: every woman has a price – some are more expensive than others, that´s all.
-I´ll prove you´re wrong. – I didn´t say it in these words, exactly. There was much water running under this bridge but the TRUTH beneath the whole episode was the following: that guy had pissed me off so damn much that all my rage, power, sense of injustice, strength and passion were immediatly focused on a single goal: BRINGING BACK THE SOUL OF ORIENTAL DANCE TO THE WORLD; showing it IS an art form that celebrates LIFE – women and men – with dignity, intelligence and beyond.
I told him to stuck his bloody hotel up his ass – in these exact words. I proved him – and many others – wrong. I´m still doing it.
Here´s a warning: be careful which “rakkasah” (a word that means “dancer”, a pejorative term in Egypt and a word used when you wish to offend someone) you decide to piss off. She may be the dangerous kind: the one who knows she´s not for sale, neither is her divine dance. She may even be crazier than you and play your game like a pro who knows how to make bread out of dirty sand. Watch out for the dumb ones!