What being an Oriental Dancer REALLY means.

10898155_955875277758266_4813333401046438703_nWhen we look ahead, we see as far as we can, at each moment. No matter how much we may wish to see beyond it, we can´t. There´s a time, a growing time, for each one of us. Some never get to leave the cave; some are already closer to the sky without noticing it.

The concept of DANCER – or what being an Oriental Dancer REALLY means – changes with time. The more I see ahead, the deeper I see inside of me and everything I do. Being a dancer was never an easy, glamorous road for me. I´ve grown up studying Classical Ballet from the age of 5 – no lazy bones allowed; hard, serious, self-disciplined work was always in the order of the day. Then I grew up; got into Acting Conservatoire and was thrown to the jungles, once again. Egyptian Dance arrived, throwing me into the abyss – where hell and heaven can be found. I launched my career in Egypt, all by myself and facing im-POSSIBLE scenarios; I´ve conquered my spot, built my name there. Fought. Achieved. Felt justly proud of myself, aside from feeling like the eternal student I am at heart. Then came the world. I´ve been travelling the whole world to perform, teach and lecture for the last 3 years – gathering so much knowledge, insight; the BIG picture. And the big picture is so much about inspiring other people to reach out for their best selves. Women, men, children, animals – whoever crosses our way.

Some things have changed. What hasn´t changed is the PASSION for the craft; the respect; the BIGGER PICTURE applied to Oriental Dance. Instead of working to serve my own ego, I work to serve ORIENTAL DANCE. The whole journey started that way; it remains that way. I know I´m a bridge that serves a higher purpose and it´s that purpose that defines my profession. It doesn´t define all of me, colourful me; it defines me as a dancer.

Being an Oriental Dancer is a huge list of things – some amazing and some terrible. I´ve heard comments of older, more experienced dancers who have gone through bitter experiences in their life, associating this profession with their tragedies. I cannot say there´s no association between Oriental Dance and Tragedy. There is and History proves it. Oriental Dancers have always been marginals. In Egypt and the whole Middle East, for sure. In the so called “civilized” countries as well, although under disguise.

Men are terrified of strong, bright, sensual women and that exactly what great Oriental Dancers usually are. Other women see us as threats; vampires who´ll eat their men. You see where this is going.

Should we complain? Come on…life´s too short. In times of sun, dance! In times of storm, dance harder. Nobody said this would be an easy ride. Be sure it can be FABULOUS- you just need to make it so.

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Image via Michele Pó. Title: Responsability.

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