On the Gifts of Imperfection

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On the Gifts of Imperfection
As an Egyptian Dance teacher, who knows teaching dance is also teaching selfawareness and love, I’ve witnessed signs of evolution, setbacks, moments of despair, hopelessness, boredom, strength and weakness, fear and courage, one step ahead and three steps back; trying, giving up, trying again; winning and losing and everything in between.
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In Dance, as in Life, growth doesn’t happen in a straight line – it’s made of ups and downs, falling and rising, making mistakes and miracles; meetings, face to face, with our own darkness and with our own light.
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Although we’re taught to celebrate the (false) idea of perfection – which really, and I mean really*, doesn’t exist -, the truth is we’re works in progress – always undone, thriving for a better version of ourselves, always building new houses upon an ancient house (our soul) which has long forgotten universal truths.
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When we think we understood the rules of this Dance, Life takes the carpet off our feet and BAM 💣💥💢, we’re thrown into the beginner’s classroom, once more.
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I say “Celebrate imperfection! Celebrate not knowing, the failure, the darkest meetings with ourselves and with others – there’s always a possibility of a flight after a fall.” Being human is, after all, the adventure of walking in unknown roads where we will, make no mistake, fall and bleed, hit rocks, rise and shine.
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As long as we keep living, and learning from our mishaps, we’re perfect. We may move slowly as long as we keep moving forward.
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God laughs at our Plans

When I moved to Bali, Indonesia, I thought I’d start a new, local, dance project and settle into the Asian way of living. I also had a personal dream, one I doubted would come true
The thing is I´ve always dreamed my own dream, did my own thing, followed nothing except the guidance of my own soul.
I now look at the last months and realize how little we know and how generous, and sometimes brutal, life can be.
My initial plan went down the drain, giving place to another plan, one I was almost afraid to wish for – finding true love, launching myself into creative adventures that make my adrenaline juices flow, getting into a new phase of my life that pushes me to drop my old, outdated, identity behind.
Like a snake, I shed my old skin. It hurts a little and it’s damned scary but there’s no way back 🌟When Love knocks on your door, you must receive it with open arms. And so I do.
Life can be a b….; it can also be a generous Mother. May we open our hearts and receive its gifts.
Photo: me, bathing in a waterfall in Bali 🌞, captured by the eyes of my beloved man.
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Preparing to take off (Bali, here I come!)

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Balinese children, a symbol of purity, faith, limitless possibilities (photo taken by me, two years ago, on my first visit to Bali)

Confession: I´m a little scared – my heart’s going BUM, BUM, BUM! – and beyond excited.

Big leaps of faith are uncomfortable – how many of those have I taken? – but I don’t know any other way of living.
 
🚀First, I moved to Spain to study Acting at the National Conservatoire.
🚀Then, I started a new market for Egyptian Dance in Portugal when nobody had ever heard about it.
🚀Then, I built a successful career – no prostitution strings attached – by myself in Egypt where I struggled and won for 8 years.
🚀Then, I started to teach-perform-lecture around the world; writing and publishing my first book, growing, and loving.
🚀Then, I opened a pioneering school which is changing the way Egyptian Dance is practiced and taught around the world – my newest baby, Joana Saahirah’s Online Dance School
 
Now, the biggest of my biggest dreams happening in Bali, Indonesia.
When I read that list, I doubt if I sleep at night, if my days have 24 hours, if I manage to breathe.
The answers are yes, yes, yes.
 
🚀Luck has very little to do with it. We build our luck with our own hands. And, if luck doesn’t show up after we’ve showed up for it, we build it from scratch. We invent it. We become It.
No excuses; no complaining; life belongs to the dreamers who dare to be Doers.
 
🌎 Getting ready to take off 🌞 Bali, here I come!
 
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This is how May kicked my ass (so sweetly); this is how you´ll kick ass in June!

waterlily-graphicsfairy006c.jpgI can hardly believe we´re in June (what a cliché!).

Here´s the thing I dislike about clichés: we end up bumping into them, even if we don´t want to.

Here´s today´s inevitable cliché: where did time go?

The more you focus on your own life, your dreams, your people, and your priorities, the less you feel inclined to check your neighbor´s garden and the faster time will pass. In fact, you won´t feel it passing.

Eye_of_Horus_Right.svgMay was particularly blessed, busy, and fast-paced. Here are the goals I set, & accomplished, this month:

 

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairy.jpgI celebrated Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School 1st anniversary with our beautiful dance community. We had several events, Facebook live sessions, contests, gifts, and our special pioneering Course “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”.

 

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyI´ve moved forward with the editing of my upcoming book – a collaboration between me and a talented Slovenian photographer, Breda Jurecko;

 

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyI´ve created, and delivered, our game changer Online Course: Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love (now available, fully recorded, at our school). Aside from the classes I taught – 10, to be more exact, each focused on a particular theme related with dance, personal, and life expansion -, I´ve created extra material that totally kicked my ass; it pushed me beyond everything I´ve done, so far.

The bonus material – videos, articles, music, images, Love Sheets with Life Changing Questions & Exercises – offered with the course was in itself enough to make me work like a maniac for 6 months, at least. But I´ve made it in one month, adapting, changing, improving as we went along.

The participation of the students and their feedback was an essential key to the success of this course.

Enta Omri Journey by Joana Saahirah Online Dance School*Follow the link for more information: https://joanasaahirahworld.com/2018/05/03/enta-omri-a-journey-of-soulful-egyptian-dance-self-love/

 

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyI´ve made the final decision to move to Bali, Indonesia & took care of the logistics behind such a huge life shift. 

 

Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyFurthermore, I´ve studied and challenged myself on a personal level like I hadn´t done in many, many years. 

Am I exhausted? Heavens, yes. Am I happy? Absolutely.

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As far as I´m concerned, June will be even better, and more intense, than May.

At least, I plan on showing up for my part of the deal.

What about YOU? How was your month? Did you achieve the goals you´ve set for yourself? Wait a second…you haven´t set your goals?

No worries. There´s no better time than NOW.

May´s gone – bye, darling! -; June´s here – hello, gorgeous!

You CAN act upon your dreams now.

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Grab a Journal, or a blank paper;

Write JUNE, the most blessed month (so far), at the top;

Write a list of your TOP 3 GOALS for the month which is now starting;

Then, write the STEPS you´ll take to make them happen;

Go ahead and schedule those steps on your agenda. 

The present moment is all we have – make the best of it.

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Joana Saahirah´s Interview with Jennifer Dove (Your Creative Fire Sessions)

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If you´ve met me, personally or through my work, you know how much I love to communicate, exchange ideas, learn & teach. 

When Jennifer  Dove invited me for an Interview about Egyptian Dance & Creativity, one of the many interesting chats she´s sharing in her NEW Your Creative Fire Series, it was a no-brainer: yes, I´ll talk to you about it.

I´ve been doing, teaching, performing, lecturing & living the Essence of Egyptian Dance for almost 20 years in a high profile career that spans from Lebanon, Oman and Egypt, to the whole World. Besides, Creativity is my middle name.

I breathe, eat, & drink creative endeavors as a dancer, a teacher, a choreographer, an author, an entrepreneur, a life creator. 

Dig into this inspiring series of interviews, get inspired, then go out in the world and

MAKE YOUR STUFF

MATERIALIZE YOUR DREAM(S)

DANCE YOUR DANCE

CO-CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF

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Join me, Jennifer Dove, & a group of amazing artists, teachers, & entrepreneurs, for a series of FREE MASTER CLASSES called “Your Creative Fire”!

“Your Creative Fire” is a summit master classes, a series of conversations with women and men in the creative and healing arts fields on the subject of Creativity and Intuition. Artists, visual artists, writers, retreat leaders, sexuality coaches, shamans, yoga teachers, business coaches, women’s empowerment leaders, and more, speak about what gets their mojo on.

And, it’s FREE!

 Here are the steps to enjoy “Your Creative Fire” Master Class Series:

1. To access Joana Saahirah´s Master Class, as well as the Master Classes available at this amazing series, follow the link https://www.jenniferdove.com/events/o/joana/

  1. Fill in their name and email address and click “get access.”
    And, you´re in!

Starting on May 28th, one video/master class per day will be sent to your email.

There are 14 speakers in total, each with his/her own vision, experience, & inspirations.

Each video will be available for 72 hours. After all 14 have aired, all videos will again be available for 72 hours, until June 18th.

13907129_10154397606514886_193059075212437078_n The Master Class with Joana Saahirah (that´s me) – about Egyptian Dance & Creativity – airs on June 4th. 

Eye_of_Horus_Right.svgTo know more about this event, & the amazing people involved in it, follow the link:

http://www.jenniferdove.com/events/yourcreativefire/reveal/

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Old veggies served at a 5 star Moroccan restaurant? I don´t think so.

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The night was young and we, me and a group of friends, were ready to rock Marrakech.

We left our riad, a building with fresh corners, a courtyard, and birds which drank directly from our hands, hidden in the labyrinth of the old medina, towards the famous Jemaa el Fna.

Jemaa el Fna is that way, that way, that way! – Strangers would yell at us, pointing in the wrong direction. Invariably.

Morocco was new to me and, yet, it wasn´t. The Arabic Culture, the North of Africa, the Chaos & the Colorful Mysteries of Life have been the core of my life for too long. Normality, if it exists, is exotic to me. Madness & adventure aren´t.

We settled for dinner at a 5 star restaurant, half lit, warm, pretentious. Girls dressed as “bellydancers” were swirling around, shaking their tired, apathetic hips in our direction.

I ordered my usual “vegetarian tagine”. What I received was a plate – steaming & depressed – of old, heated, over-salted veggies. 

-Hey, sir. Can you please come here? – I called one of the waiters. 

-Yes, miss. – He approached our table, pulling his “tarboush” towards his legs.

-This plate is unacceptable. You´re cute, the restaurant is gorgeous, but these over-priced veggies are uneatable. They´re old, heated, and over-salted. Take them back, please.

My friends were surprised. The waiter was surprised. I think the “bellydancers” were surprised. I wasn´t.

Whenever I feel disrespected, I say it so. Respectfully, but assertively.

I was being overcharged for a plate of uneatable vegetables and there was no way I´d shut up – “don´t make waves, girl; don´t make waves! – mamma used to say” – and eat something that hadn´t been properly prepared.

I wasn´t upset. In fact, I joked with the waiter the whole evening; I accepted an apology dessert, and I laughed my heart out. But I didn´t pay for that tagine and I certainly didn´t eat it.

Self-respect is a sign of SELF-LOVE. Without SELF-LOVE there´s no love. No love for others, no love for what you do. No love at all. Period. Love, and respect, start with ourselves.

Whenever you´re served an old, heated, over-salted plate of veggies, remember to set the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable for you, and don´t be afraid to make yourself respected.

It´s not a question of creating conflict, or being mean to others; it´s a question of justice, clarity, and evolution. For you. For everybody.

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P.S: This was the only time I was served a lousy plate of food in Morocco.

Moroccan gastronomy is amazing and, if you´re a foodie, like me, you should try it.

 

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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

 

Baladi from Slovenia, with love, to Morocco (Aunt Rocky)

Baladi Awadi, which was supposed to be just a “taksim”, by Joana Saahirah created on the spot, with Mazzikatea orchestra, dedicated to Morocco (Aunt Rocky). Fully improvised, music and orchestra, just as it should be.

Video shot in Slovenia, during a fabulous event organized by Ksenija Plesna Delavnica Zahir.

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School July/August schedule + Recorded Courses

19149454_1620192534671284_8338079661115689412_nOur limits are our strengths. For me, the limit is feeling. If I don´t feel it, I cannot do it.
This has caused the loss of potential relationships and career opportunities as well as great achievements and personal fulfillment. It has taken me to Egypt, where I´ve started building my career, and around the world, where I´ve been spreading The Vision* of Egyptian Dance and, hopefully, inspiring dancers to be, and dance, their best selves.
Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School is no exception: the project was born, and it has been cherished since it opened its first class on May 13th, from the heart. It´s not only about creating high quality dance contents that are filled with credible information, know-how coming from deep and extensive experience in the field and culture. It´s about communicating the CORE of Egyptian Dance which is, not surprisingly, my core: the heart.
People can feel it. And they give back with the same frequency.
All our online classes are live & recorded. Even if you miss the live class, you can enjoy the correspondent recording and review it as much as you want to.
The perfect tool to connect with students from all over the world.
From Egypt to the World. 

Joana Saahirah Online Dance School Love

Our on going & future live & recorded courses:
 
Introduction to The Secrets of Egyptian Dance Workshop:
Egyptian Rhythms for Oriental Dance Intensive Training – Level 1:
Egyptian Dance ABC & Creative Awakening – Level 1:
 
Om Kolthoum & Tarab for Oriental Dancers Full Introduction:
Egyptian Dance Intermediate Level Course by Joana Saahirah:
In September:
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Our recorded courses (the correspondent live classes have already taken place):
 
Baladi Extravaganza Intensive Training:
 
Baladi Extravaganza Deeper into the Language of the Hips:
 
Cairo style Tabla solo Intensive Training by Joana Saahirah:
Oriental Dance for the Stage Intensive Training by Joana Saahirah:
School New Logo June 13th 2017

Welcome to Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School!

Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School:
4th Session

M.A.N(hood)

19225096_10155378778702731_1747508637645553645_n“I don’t like to discuss my marriage, but I will tell you something which may sound corny but which happens to be true. I have steak at home. Why should I go out for hamburger?”
~ Paul Newman

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Although comparing his woman to a steak is not a good idea – not for me, at least -, the truth hidden behind these words is spotless and it can only make me respect Paul Newman, more than I already did.

He was not just a great, charismatic actor and the most gorgeous man ever lived on earth but he also happened to be a MAN. Not a kid old enough to be a man but an actual man. A rare diamond!

Shameless

-You´re not ashamed at all, are you? – My niece asked me as I pulled her out to dance in the middle of the beach on my birthday.

-I´m not, honey. There´s no shame in happiness. I´d be ashamed if I hurt someone; if I stole, lied or was unkind. But I´ll never be ashamed for dancing with you on the beach.

-Yes…but…everybody´s looking.

– Of course they are. It´s a real treat to see people, totally free, enjoying themselves without shame. And they´re not paying a ticket. See? Why being ashamed when we´re offering a free show to the people?

My niece smiled and nodded. She understood

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