Opening 2019 with the climbing of NEW mountains

Joana Saahirah Ilhas Dornes

Opening 2019 with open arms and heart

Flying into 2019 with the Passion and the Love I´ve always carried in my heart, a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

Here´s what they rarely tell us: evolution takes work; growth can be painful; letting go of limiting beliefs, wounds, old ghosts can be a never-ending battle but, YES, we can do it. If we genuinely want to.

I´ve never sat in my comfort zone – whenever I reach the top of one mountain, I start looking for a new mountain to climb. It´s the climbing, not the arrival, that builds our character.

From Portugal, my homeland where I was safe and comfortable, to Egypt where I spent 8 years building my career and myself in the midst of unimaginable challenges and blessings; from Egypt to the whole World where I´ve been traveling as an invited artist to perform, teach, and lecture on Egyptian Dance, Music, and Culture; from the World to wherever I dream.

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Along the way, I´ve written an endless amount of articles for highly respected maganizes and newspapers; I´ve written and published my first book – The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” (follow link to get your own copy: http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/joana-saahirah/the-secrets-of-egypt-dance-life-beyond-2nd-edition/paperback/product-23143198.html?fbclid=IwAR2Jfl0G_J0QIVEQzejQdSkQ8PzO7v0GkKDNpIOy0-V7VjOmA36OzSVmFlA ); I´ve created a pioneering school – Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School -, I´m about to publish my second book – Behind the Curtain – and I´m already working on my third book.  A brand new, upgraded, platform for Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School will soon be released. Stay tuned at this blog or ask to join our dance community via email (send email to dancemagica@gmail.com)

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is is just a little sample of how much I´ve lived, dreamed and materialized and how much I´m doing in the present. I hope it inspires you to turn your Wish List* into a Dreams Accomplished List.

wink-happy-16Hint: I have no intention to stop growing and making IT happen.

In 2019, more than in any other year, I thrive for new mountains – the most unexplored, frightening, amazing mountains; the ones that will ultimately bring me closer to my truest self. I hope YOU´re brave enough to do the same.

Happy climbing, my friends!

 

In this video: Joana Saahirah BOMBASTIC Majance Performance in Quebec, Canada. Quebec was one of the cities included in Joana Saahirah´s USA & CANADA SOULful Tour.

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May Wisdom, Light, Love, and Beauty rule our new year.

NEW Book “Behind the Curtain” by Joana Saahirah is arriving!

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Photo: Joana Saahirah performing with Mazzikatea orchestra in Slovenia, captured by the lens of Breda Jurecko.
Event organized by Ksenija Visket

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Ah…the anticipation…<3

I can´t wait to have my new book – “Behind the Curtain” -, a collaboration with the Slovenian Photographer Breda Jurecko, out there in the world.

This was an unexpected baby, one I´m deeply proud of. As usual, it comes out of my soul – no compromises, no shutting down, no faking. 

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Stay tuned for the NEWS on the upcoming BOOK LAUNCHING!

 

Join our FABULOUS Dance Community, claim your FREE Ebook “Egyptian Dance Wonderland” TODAY & start growing with us.

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Join our Joana Saahirah ´s Online Dance School Mailing List for access to exclusive contents, news, inspirations, and gifts I only share with my Dance Peeps.

Plus: as soon as you join our Mailing List, you can request your FREE ebook “Egyptian Dance Wonderland”, an introduction to a Magical World of Culture, Self-Discovery & Empowerment by Joana Saahirah.

*Email us at dancemagica@gmail.com

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What our students say about our Online Course “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”

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We´ve wrapped the live classes of the Course that celebrated Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School 1st anniversary and, now, you can subscribe to the RECORDED COURSE, available at our school, and enjoy a Dance & Personal Journey that has the power to change YOU, YOUR DANCE, and YOUR LIFE.

WARNING: If you subscribe to “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”, there´s a serious risk of growth in every area of your existence.

 

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Check out the TESTIMONIALS some of our amazing students wrote about “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”.

 I´ll also add, with pride and gratitude, the classes in this course deserved a 5 stars rating from our all our students.

Just sayin´…
Thank you to the students who took the time, and the love, to share their feedback on the course. Much appreciated.

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“The best course ever! Joana taught us many valuable things, thank you Joana!”
Samira
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“Dear Joana Saahirah, I am speechless,
how an online Course can be that touching !
 
Energy flows, not taking care of any miles-distance.
 
Your structure is great, they way you announce the program of the lesson, how you guide us and how you let us free, it is such a good dose.
 
Thank you also for giving theoretical Input to get some knowledge of Egyptian dance history and culture..and all of the Bonus material!
 
Today, for me, was a clue lesson. We really dig deep in this journey :-). I thank you from and with all my heart for your honesty and the energy you put in it, in us, your faith, your trust, your love., your wisdom and your clearness.
 
May this pure love come back to you in more than 1000 different ways. Not every great dancer is meant to be a great teacher too, but some of them are…happy those who find them …thank you for sharing what your heart is burning for.”
 
Sepideh
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“Oh my God! We go deeper and deeper in Egyptian dance but also in our way of thinking!!! It’s completely crazy!! I think we never be the same! How can we?
 

I’m so proud to subscribe these classes! Amazing, wonderful… words aren’t big enough to describe this soulful Egyptian dance and life travel with such inspired and experimented teacher and with beautiful and kind dancers! it’s just magical. I have leaved the class with such satisfaction, recharged, full of positives projects, ready to bite the life tofull teeth! Hey world… HERE I AM!!!!!

Patricia Ponchie-Hannequin

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Again wonderful class, I am so lucky to take this course on live with other dance mates. The choreography is so beautiful and dramatic, I will review the classes this weekend and practice the movements, so that I can put my emotions into them and enjoy/grasp the essence of Egyptian Oriental Dance!”

Seiko

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“Thank you for discussing the difference between bringing raw emotions & exposing your private life, that was incredibly helpful for me — a paradigm shift I daresay. Wonderful class, as always. This is proving to be an epic series & I am grateful for all the thoughtfulness, work & passion you have put into it — it really shows.”

 

Justine Riekena

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“Once again, thank you for the inspiring classes. Emotions are a special chapter with me. I feel a LOT but it doesn’t always show. So I try working on that. It has to do a lot with the insecurity deep down I guess. And I’ll repeat myself, I love your classes. They resonate with me and in such a kind way.”

Lucie Kupalová

 

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“I received very useful and practical tips for improvisation, physically and mentally. I will allow myself to be more free and enjoy the moment, no more worries what others may think about me. The Choreography is very romantic and beautiful, I am in love with it!! Thank you again for the wonderful class!”

 

Seiko Endo

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“Terrific class, wish I could have been there live today. Today’s part of the choreography features movements that fall in among my favourites, so it felt very good. Now to sharpen & bring the clarity. I must admit that my favourite part of class was at the end when you clasped you hands & laughed demonically while saying, “tomorrow’s gonna kick your ***, so sweet, so sweet.” So very Joana. Of course you know I adore you & I cherish that you bring your true self to our classes, not a filtered public persona. 😉 Looking forward to tomorrow’s additions to Enta Omri (a song I love).”
 
Justine Riekena

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“I received very useful and practical tips for improvisation, physically and mentally. I will allow myself to be more free and enjoy the moment, no more worries what others may think about me. The Choreography is very romantic and beautiful, I am in love with it!! Thank you again for the wonderful class!”

 

Seiko Endo

 

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“Five stars and more! How to become a great dancer? This is the place to grow as an oriental dancer student, as a woman and as a human being! Thank you so much!”

Patricia Ponchie-Hannequin

 

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Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyFollow the link for more information on this Pioneering Course: https://joanasaahirahworld.com/2018/05/03/enta-omri-a-journey-of-soulful-egyptian-dance-self-love/

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No, I won´t apologize!

 

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Joana Saahirah with Mazzikatea Europe orchestra photographed by Breda Jurečko during a performance in Slovenia, organized by Ksenija Visket.

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No, I won´t apologize.

I won’t apologize for this body – strong, thriving, on fire.
I won’t apologize for this brain – open, curious, ever expanding.
I won’t apologize for this heart – deep, thirsty, fearful & brave.
I won’t apologize for this soul – present, noble, sensual & divine, materialized in everything I do.

No, I won’t apologize.

I won’t apologize for my existence, for taking space or having a voice.

No, I won’t apologize.

I won’t apologize for my freedom, my breath, and my right to lust.

No, I won’t apologize.

I won’t apologize for being alive, and in love, with myself, life, the dark mirrors you reflect upon me.
I won’t apologize for your involution, neither for my evolution.

You say I’m too much. Too provocative. Too intelligent. Too strong. Too sensual. Too creative. Too demanding. Too big.
Too much. Too much. Too much.

I say you’re too little. It’s you who has to grow up – don’t you dare asking the moon to shrink, don’t you dare asking the sun to stop shining.

No, I won’t apologize.”

Joana Saahirah

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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This text was written in the old Medina of Marrakech, Morocco, after a walk in the “souk”. Catcalling and that old familiar feeling of trespassing were present the whole time.

NEW Free Ebook “Introduction to Egyptian Dance Wonderland” by Joana Saahirah

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A fabulous NEW free ebookIntroduction to Egyptian Dance Wonderland by Joana Saahirah – is fresh out of the oven and ready to guide you into your dance, and self-discovery, path.

Discover how you can claim your free copy by emailing us at dancemagica@gmail.com

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“I can get no satisfaction!”

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“In 1943, De Mille was hired to choreograph the musical Oklahoma!, which became an overnight sensation and ran for a record-setting 2,212 performances. Feeling that critics and the public had long ignored work into which she had poured her heart and soul, De Mille found herself dispirited by the sense that something she considered “only fairly good” was suddenly hailed as a “flamboyant success.” Shortly after the premiere, she met Graham “in a Schrafft’s restaurant over a soda” for a conversation that put into perspective her gnawing grievance and offered what De Mille considered the greatest thing ever said to her. She recounts the exchange:

I confessed that I had a burning desire to be excellent, but no faith that I could be.

Martha said to me, very quietly: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent.”

“But,” I said, “when I see my work I take for granted what other people value in it. I see only its ineptitude, inorganic flaws, and crudities. I am not pleased or satisfied.”

“No artist is pleased.”

“But then there is no satisfaction?”

“No satisfaction whatever at any time,” she cried out passionately. “There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

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Cohabiting with dissatisfaction is an integral part of the creative life.

No area of artistic expression escapes the grip of the Eternal Search, a state of happy unrest that keep us humble, with both feet on the ground, and eager for more. More discovery, more awakenings, more growth.

We are never done with our creative work and, as far as I can see, that is a good thing. Not quite reaching what we feel we can reach is precisely what keeps us interested, learning, thriving, walking towards our dreams.

Having ideas is easy – it´s the materialization of those ideas that separates the mosquitos from the eagles (NOT a fancy comparison, I know, but you get my point).

We can only do our best, right now, with talent and flaws, light and dark spots; keeping, as Martha Graham says, “the channel open.”

Being dissatisfied with the results of our creative work does not, should not, mean we dislike what we do. It means we´re aware there is road ahead.

I often ask my students to film themselves while dancing. It may not be a good idea to become a slave to the mirror or  the video camera but it is a good idea to combine inner exploration, with no need for external/visual proof, with an external, perhaps colder, perspective of our work. Learning how to watch yourself dancing is important – evaluating the points where you´ve grown – victories conquered – and the points you need to improve – victories in the making.

Enjoy the journey, deliver your best work possible, using the tools, experience and awareness you possess now, and let dissatisfaction pull you forward.

We do not dance, or live, to be perfect. We dance, and life, to be whole.”

Excerpt from Egyptian Dance Booklet by Joana Saahirah, soon to be published.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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The 4 Stages of the Egyptian Dance Path

4th stage of the Egyptian Dance Path: Spiritual

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Your dance is as spiritual as you are.

(take that in for a few seconds; read it again)

If you´re not in contact with your invisible, energetic, spiritual dimension, you´ll feel challenged at this learning stage. If you don´t believe you´re more than a physical body, I´d doubt you´ll be able to dance from your soul.

This is probably the trickiest aspect of Egyptian Dance, one that teachers are often unable to articulate.

Spirituality is easily confused with religion, New Age mambo jambo, cheesy cults. It´s considered distant, exotic, unreacheable, weird, dangerous. We tend to fear what we cannot touch.

But, as I´ve mentioned, the spirit is who you are. You may identify with the physical body but that does not define you. Your soul does.

One of the most beautiful things I´ve observed, as a teacher, is how Egyptian Dance shows students the way to their soul. It takes them by the hand, smoothly, without them realizing it. It pulls them up naturally. Inevitably.

I use specific methods – pedagogy – to open up their physical, mental and emotional bodies but, if all the other stages are properly developed, the spiritual realm takes care of itself. It flows like water running from its source towards the sea. Nobody needs to push it, or show it the way – it knows how to get to its destination. That´s exactly how I´ve witnessed the arrival to this 4th, and higher, stage of the dance path.

We start from the ground, focused on our physical body; we move upwards, and forward, integrating the mental stage which will be followed by the emotional stage.

Sooner or later, if you keep going, you´ll be lead to the spiritual stage.

I´d go as far as telling you the first 3 stages require work, focus, proper guidance, discipline – you don´t go through them without effort or a professional, awakened, teacher.

The 4th stage is effortless – it´s a flower blooming under the sun; an ascension that feels like falling; a consequence of the work you´ve done from the ground. The 4th stage is the blooming of the flower after you´ve planted its seed and watered it. If you show up to fulfill your gardening job, the flower will bloom by itself.

It´s the most beautiful show on earth. Few things give me as much pleasure as watching my students bloom into this 4th stage of development – watching them return home, finding peace and solace in their own essence.

Once they reach this stage, they can never go back to superficiality or lies about themselves and the dance. Once they´re at the top of the Pyramid, they see the Big Picture from above. Their feet may remain on the ground but their dance belongs to the Universe – they become a Bridge between Heaven and Earth.

The question is: the top of the pyramid is a lonely place. Few ever get there.

Are you willing to climb, only to discover you´re up there by yourself?”

Excerpt from “The Egyptian Dance Booklet” by Joana Saahirah

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Education Versus Personal Exploration

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“Education is safe – you learn what others have already created, mastered, tested and approved of. If you decide to stick with what you´ve learned, and never go beyond it, you´ll become a correct, universally applauded mediocre copy machine. There is comfort, and certainty, in this choice.

But is that what you want? Can´t you see you are, and can do, so much more than that?

Self-exploration is risky, uncertain, mysterious – you´ll embark on adventures you cannot fully control; you´ll face your demons, limits and potential; you´ll test your waters and see how far you, not your teacher or an institution, can go. You will give birth to yourself without knowing how the baby will look like. What if the child is born with deformities? Or – oh my God; I cannot believe it; oh, so damn – ugly? Or just mediocre – a plain kid with no sparkle in his eyes? A regular Joe, perhaps.

Remember births can be painful and/or orgasmic. And the product of our creativity – may that be a human child or a dance piece – can disappoint our expectations. 

If given the choice, most of us will prefer to receive The Answer, or Magic Pill, from the hands of our teacher than to find it ourselves. I´ve had a few students who got mad at me because I told them they would have to use what I was teaching them and discover who they are in the process.

– Copying me won´t do the trick. You have to go into the desert by yourselves. – I told them.

They wanted to twist my neck. Who wouldn´t? A teacher who sends you off, alone though with tools in your travel bag, is not to be trusted. Is she/he?

(…) 

Explore, go within, try new things; use knowledge to empower you, not to limit you.

A good, professional, teacher will know how to guide you towards self-exploration. But, then again, YOU have to want to go there.

Curiosity cannot be taught – you awaken it in you or you don´t.

The courage to see what´s out there, inside of you, cannot be taught.

The perseverance, the discipline, the guts to find your own voice cannot be taught.

The willingness to face your limits and, what´s even scarier, your infinite potential, cannot be taught.

You, my beloved, have to get on the camel, pack your essentials, and leave for your cross of the desert.

I´ll meet you on the other side or, who knows?, in an oasis, because I, too, have my desert(s) to cross. We all do.

You´re alone on the road and you´re definitely not alone.”

Excerpt from The Egyptian Dance Booklet by Joana Saahirah (soon to be published)

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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“Going to school gives the illusion that knowledge is what makes an artist. It´s like knowing how to write English perfectly. It has very little relation to the art of writing.”

My Life and Times by Henry Miller

Believe you deserve to be happy

Art by Anna Kapustenko.jpg“The more I observe myself, and others, the more I find universal patterns, wounds and dreams. We are unique in many ways – we´re also astonishingly similar.

One of our common wounds is the sense of UNWORTHINESS. We believe we´re not worthy of happiness.

We don´t actually say it: I DO NOT DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. Nope. That would be easy to identify – we would notice the nonsense, the suicidal impulse and our ego would lose the battle.

We don´t say out loud – we just believe in it, and act accordingly, which is more than enough to screw us up.

Have you caught yourself feeling guilty when you´re happy? I have.

“Too happy for my own good”, I´ll whisper, fearful of what will come.

We set a Happiness Limit, seasoned with needless obstacles and drama, and we´re terrified of going beyond it. It´s a ceiling we build for ourselves – one we refuse to surpass. As if by doing it we would be defying the Gods and they would punish us as a consequence.zeus.gif

-I´m feeling too happy. Should I be worried?

Worried about what, exactly? That´s the golden question.

In grew up with amazing, yet pessimistic, parents who believe life is hard. If you ask me how I define life, in one word, I´ll answer “Adventure” without blinking. If you ask my parents, they won´t blink – we have than in common-, but they´ll start describing my concept of hell. Are you ready? Take a deep breath and dive.

Life is:

A burden;

Obligations;

Sacrifice and pain;

Hard work;

Routine;

A series of unfortunate events nobody can, or will want to, avoid.

Their parents carried it too – the pessimistic, unworthiness, self-sabotaging bug. It gets into your genes  – it´s heritage passed on from generation to generation like blue eyes, high cholesterol or crooked noses.

Believing we don´t deserve to be happy – not beyond a comfortable, usually mediocre,  level we have set for ourselves – is an invisible trap most of us fall into. We´d rather be unhappy – remain on familiar ground, even if that ground is a mud pond infested with alligators and foul smelling frogs – than risking punishment for being happy beyond our measure. Our measure – take that in.

In theory, we want it. We may say we deserve it, write in notebooks, sing and preach. But, when we check under the carpet, we find the (ugly) truth: we fear our own greatness; we avoid annoying the gods with our arrogance, our ambition, our childish belief that the garden of heaven can exist here, right now, on the palm of our hands.

I´ve learned it the hard way: we cannot be happy if we keep feeding the belief we´re unworthy of it.  We have to grow up, literally, by paying a visit to the monster under the bed. It may be an imaginary monster but we act as it is real.

Imaginary monsters rule our lives.

Dare to go into the dark room, the one your father warned you against, and look under the bed. Don´t think too much. Just do it. Get on your knees, look.

The only thing you´ll find down there is dust. Dust, my friend. Bloody, fucking, ridiculous dust. Grab it and put it where it belongs (you know where).

You – we – deserve to be happy. It´s not a crime to experience life at its fullest.

If we´re able to receive unconceivable amounts of pain, and disappointment, we´re also able to receive unlimited happiness and pleasant surprises.

We were born to reJOYce, not to be punished.”

Excerpt from chapter of a book I´m currently writing.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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