Starting Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School 2018 Season TODAY!

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We´re about to start 2018 Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School Season and I couldn´t be happier.

I´ve declared 2018 as the Official Year of Happiness. That´s a a commitment to myself, my students, audiences and event organizers I´ll work with, this year.

Being a dream maker – turning wishes into materialized realities – isn´t easy. We have to expose ourselves to sacrifices, hard & continuous work, multiple obstacles, the risk of failure and, the scariest, success. What I´ve learned along the way is that Happiness is essential – Happiness is Success.

If we fulfill our dreams and enjoy the perks of success but we´re not happy, what´s the point? That is why Happiness is at the core of this year´s program for my school, for the books I´m currently working on, for my world travels and every step I´ll take in, and outside, my work.

lotus_10205_lgFeel welcome to join our first live, & recorded, online class of 2018 – Egyptian Dance ABC & Creative Awakening – Level 3. Essential classes for Egyptian Dance lovers of all levels.

Follow the link for more information: http://www.powhow.com/packages/joana-saahirahs-dance-studio/egyptian-dance-abc-creative-awakening-level-3

lotus_10205_lg.gifFollow the link to check other courses happening, this January, at our school:

https://joanasaahirahworld.com/2017/12/31/january-news-at-joana-saahirah-online-dance-school/

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Samia Gamal, a icon from the Egyptian Dance Golden Age

A little inspiration for the road – glimpses of my show at the Dahab Festival.

Pure freedom. Pure Happiness.

 

Decide

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The (crazy) author. Be happy or die trying. Just sayin´…

No better way to start 2018 than declaring it the Official Happiness Year.

To celebrate it with you, I´m lifting the veil of the book I´m currently working on.

The subject is Happiness and I´m in love with it. I hope you´ll fall in love with it, too, once the book is out there. For now, here´s an excerpt from a chapter I´m calling “DECIDE”.

EnJOY!

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More than a set of circumstances that can, and will, change, happiness is a decision.

Decide to be happy today.

And tomorrow.  

And tomorrow.

And tomorrow.

And tomorrow.

And tomorrow.

And tomorrow.

And tomorrow.

No, this is not a typing mistake. Yes, the words “and tomorrow” were intentionally repeated to exhaust you.

Because to choose happiness, the same way you may choose to brush your teeth, on a daily basis, is work and it can be exhausting. The other option – allowing life, or ourselves, to put us down – is less appetizing.

This is an integral part of Happiness as a default mode – creating a Happy Garden we can bounce back to after every painful moment. I would say it is not possible to create, and maintain, that garden without a daily decision that sounds something like this:

Today, independently of external circumstances, I will be happy.

Grab yourself to a cloud in the sky; hold a picture´s hand, hug a book; capture a smile from a stranger and keep it in your hands; get oxygen from a ray of light – the faintest, if that is all you have at your disposal – ; delight yourself with the silence.

Use what you have. Appreciate it. Save yourself. Now. Always now.

Today, independently of external circumstances, I will be happy.

Nothing sounds better, or more rebellious, than that statement.

Rest assured: most of us can be happy if we are enjoying a pleasant time in our life; if there is no disease, no major economic afflictions, no fear for our life. Many of us cannot. There are plenty of examples of people who have “everything” to be happy and, still, feel miserable.

If I am healthy, I have my basic needs met, I love and I am loved, and I am fulfilling my dreams, there is a strong chance of being happy. But circumstances change – what happens when the shit hits the fan?

Being happy when everything is cool is for sissies. Being happy when things go wrong, it´s for the brave hearts, the cool cats who won´t give up; the warriors who´d rather die with a smile than live as a victim. 

The real deal lies is DECIDING to be happy when things go up and when they go down;  when life is as distant from our “ideal” as earth is from Neptune.

Choosing to be happy when the ones we love betray us or we betray them; when we lose our faith, health, job, wealth, horizon, purpose; when we feel as low as they come; lost, below zero; finished.

Choosing to be happy when we struggle to find reasons for being happy is The Great Adventure.

If we look for something, we find it.

If we look for sorrow, there will be plenty of sorrow waiting for us on every corner.

If we look for happiness, there will be loads of it at our feet.

I´m not saying we should be happy dorks, living in self-denial, pretending everything is ok when it is not; unable to see the areas of our life that need improvement. We can see those areas, search for improvement strategies – what can I do to change my situation? – while choosing to be happy. Not when things are back to “acceptable” but now. Right – damn – now.

We can avoid the trap of waiting for the perfect moment when we can, finally, relax and enjoy the ride. The ride is always here, in this moment – never tomorrow, whatever you presume tomorrow will bring.

It´s a decision, I´m telling you. Happiness is not a random state we fall in, and out, but a perspective we choose to feed, daily, with discipline, stubbornness, awareness and a fierce survival instinct. That is what it boils down to: survival.

Long sustained unhappiness can kill us. Happiness creates life, opens doors, it shows a way where there was none.

Even if we fail at it, and we will, once in a while, deciding “Today I will be happy and appreciate whatever comes my way” is possible.

“Utopia lies at the horizon.

When I draw nearer by two steps,

it retreats two steps.

If I proceed ten steps forward, it

swiftly slips ten steps ahead.

No matter how far I go, I can never reach it.

What, then, is the purpose of utopia?

It is to cause us to advance.”

Eduardo Galeano

To read more, you will have to wait for the book. Coming soon!

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Art by Asako Eguchi

 

Joana Saahirah´s Fall/Winter World Agenda

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Grateful for the opportunities to share the best of Egyptian Dance, and all the Wisdom it brings, with the world. Since I´ve left Egypt, after 8 years of an intense, successful & extremely challenging career & life, I´ve been travelling the globe, non stop, teaching, performing, judging and lecturing at the best Oriental Dance events.

I can only thank the organizers, students, audiences and supporters who keep sharing my Vision* For you, as well as for myself, I´ll always do better than my best.

Here are some of the countries that will receive Joana Saahirah & The Secrets of Egyptian Dance (both in expansion) during this Fall/Winter:

*Brasil (16,17,18th September)

*Slovenia (22,23,24th September)

*Czech Republic (13,14,15th October)

*4th USA (Delaware, Atlanta, Portland) TOUR:

Delaware – 3,4,5th November

Atlanta – 10,11,12th November

Portland, Oregon – 17,18,19th November

*Quebec, Canada: 24,25,26th November

*Galway, Ireland: 2,3rd December

More informations on event organizers and programs via email (dancemagica@gmail.com)

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And makes IT happen 🙂 ❤ 

 

Going down the Rabbit Hole

The start of the Journey.JPGPreparing for a book writing marathon feels like preparing for a scary, though exciting, sky or water diving – you jump into the unknown, embrace the vertigo, and smile, somewhat awckwardly, at the uncertainty. You don´t know where, or if, you´re going to land after you take the leap.

You light up candles & incense, organize a romantic dinner and invite the Inspiration Muses to join, keeping your fingers crossed, hoping they´ll close an agreement with you: we´re going to show up when you show up. That´s what you´ll wish they´ll say between the main dish and the dessert yet they remain silent, chewing their food (you´re a good cook!).

Although you´re the perfect host, the Muses play hard to get. By the end of the evening, they´ll say farewell without the promise to show up.

-Will I jump alone? Will I screw this one up? Will I be able to write a good enough book? Will I? Will I? Will I? – You ask yourself while washing the dishes. – Oh, damn it.

You only know when you do it. No safety net, no guarantees – just emptiness and a purpose strong enough to pull you through word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page.

You stock up with groceries, have the house clean and operational, finish the eternally unfinished TO DO list (or simply prioritize, throwing it into the I´LL DEAL WITH IT LATER box), warn everybody of your upcoming absence, buy a package of cigarettes –  even if you´re not a smoker when you´re on “regular self mode” -;  take a deep, fearful breath, and start doing it.

It feels like I´ve been falling down the rabbit hole, Alice in Wonderland all over again, and I´ve finally landed at the bottom of the earth. I´m not ready to open the tiny door which will (eventually) take me to the Magical Creation Channel, one which is required to “write a good book” but I know I´ll never feel ready. I open the door, anyway, praying not for a challenge-free adventure but for a blessed, fruitful one. One that makes me grow along the way and, hopefully, inspire others to do the same once the literary baby is out.

The Muses show up because I show up.

the-end

Or The Beginning

Om Kolthoum treat + upcoming Online Training

This is beyond everything and every singer who has ever exhaled a word in the world. The One ❤ 
Om Kolthoum & Tarab Intensive Training by Joana Saahirah Online Dance School
Stay tuned! Om Kolthoum & Tarab Intensive Online Training soon
at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School
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Befriending Evil

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“To be, or not to be, that is the question” moment at Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Ireland

I´ve returned from a month of non stop travelling. Happy, and peaceful, at home – paradise – which is blooming with Spring. Hands overflowing. With work, deadlines, pressures, responsabilities and interrogation points but also full of love, possibilities, amazing projects that will come to fruition; short-fast paced-marathons and long, slow & consistent, under the earth, marathons. Thrilled and tired.

Everything carries its contrary – good carries evil, light carries darkness, joy carries sadness.

Recognizing I have plenty on my hands doesn´t mean I´m complaining. I shape my life the way I want, and can, and I take on different projects – writing, teaching, performing, choreographing, lecturing -, simultaneously, because I want to. And I need to.

To add spices to an already seasoned plate – seasoned like Indian, or Balinese, food – , I come to terms, once more, with the harm envy, low competition and evilness can cause.

I try to keep them away by surrounding myself with energy, thoughts, attitudes and people which move towards the sun. Still I´m alive, between creatures of kindness and others of deep ignorance. More often than not, creatures are filled with kindness and ignorance – all served at the same table.

Light often atracts darkness, I´ve discovered that in the worst possible ways.

Unless we retreat to a monastery, at the top of the Himalayan mountains, I don´t think we can be totally impermeable to the shit madness of the world. Still we can move on, grow, use the rocks and turn them into diamonds. I´ve been in the alchemy business for a long time: transforming matter of low quality into matter of high quality. Nothing new, to me, in this department.

In Bali, Indonesia, they recognize evil as a useful, important life force. That fascinates me.

The fact that evil, as good, has a place in the world and should be thanked for. Not something we should erase, or fight against, but accept and transform.

I´m finally coming to terms with this reality. And, yes, I´m turning the devil into a friend. In no time, he´ll be eating from my hand.

´Wanna bet?

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Saiidi & Peasant (Fellahin) Madness in Poland

Teaching is empowering, inspiring, educating beyond steps & moves and, most of all, giving. If you´re not able, and willing, to give it all you´ve got  to your students – knowledge, strength, experience, insight, faith -, you shouldn´t teach. Period.

Having said it, or repeated it, I´ll leave you with this mean Saiidi choreography with a taste of Peasant (Fellahin) spices in it. Sequence taught in Poland, at Orient Addicts Festival.

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Joana Saahirah bringing The Magic to Ireland

Sharing the dance and the love with Ireland, for the 4th time.

The Secrets of Egyptian Dance & Baladi Extravaganza in Tullamore – 4th March – and Dublin – 5th March.

Getting into the real* Magic of Egyptian Dance. An amazing emotional ride on the way to The Mystical Land of Fairies and Elves ❤

Follow the link for more informations: https://www.facebook.com/events/242486282857558/

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Behind the glamour & the glitter

melad_joThe real story of a professional Oriental Dancer in Egypt – behind the glamour and the illusions so many insist on perpetuating.

We cannot love, and really know, Egyptian Dance if we refuse to see it from every angle. There are dark corners in this house – there´s also a huge, bright windown from which, I assure you, we can look directly at the sky.

Follow the link to access the full interview: http://orientallimelight.blogspot.pt/2012/05/oriental-dance-behind-glitz-glamour.html

The (happy) Black Sheep

For the road: “What´s your Message to all the Oriental Dancers in the World?”

Interview by Candice Frankland (thanks, dear Candice, for the amazing work!)

It seems impossible to avoid looking back at how far you´ve come, and on your own terms, once you´re thinking about new foundations.

Looking back in the sense of appreciating the road, and yourself for building that road, and not in the nostalgic sense of “it was so much better in the past”. For me, the present is always better than the past. My decisions, and nobody else´s, brought me here, where I am now, and I praise myself for making heartfelt decisions. Some call me brave; others, like my mum, say I´m stubborn.

You only do what you please, Joana! – She tells me, half annoyed, half proud.

Well, yeah. I do as I please. Should I do as you – neighbors, friends, strangers – please?

Isn´t it my life, and nobody else´s, we´re talking about?

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Following the crowds – what everybody else´s doing – may be easier but it´s not me. It has never been. I like to go where nobody goes and walk my own way; to be who I am and to achieve what others call “impossible”. Paved roads are of no interest to me.

When you live from your own sense of integrity – what you want; what makes sense for you -, the past is nothing but a reason to celebrate, take stake and momentum for higher flights.

Honesty doesn´t always pay off in this dishonest world of ours. But INTEGRITY never fails to compensate, at least from a personal point of view.

Taking a deep breath, scanning the heart to know where it wants to go next; having the courage to leap, once more (always), into The Unknown, my next Adventure.

That* is The Dance.