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adventures that make my adrenaline juices flow, getting into a new phase of my life that pushes me to drop my old, outdated, identity behind.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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Sneak peek at The Secrets* in Poland

A full month of non stop travelling for work; several countries covered; different groups of dancers and students; meetings with strangers and new friends in Dublin, Tullamore, Malaga, Warsaw; love affairs & phantasies; new dreams on the rise; airports, bags, jet-lag, the guilt for not being able to work on my book while on the road; the joy of it all.

Here´s a video – above – with a sneak peek into The Secrets of Egyptian Dance Workshop I taught in Spain, Ireland and Poland. The music is called Baladi Nostalgy by Ilahun orchestra. There´s so much I could say about it but I´ll leave comments aside, for now. Just enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating and teaching it.

For now, I´m leaving you with some tips I´ve gathered along the road:

  1. Trying to achieve perfection, whatever that means. I can only thrive for growth and totality: putting everything I am into what I do. More than that it´s an illusion. A frustrating one.
  2. The idea that happiness means “having it all”. It´s another impossible goal. If you´re in China, you cannot be in Spain. Not at the same  time. If you choose the right path, the left remains unexplored; if you dedicate your time to your children, your creative achievements, charity, travelling, (fill the blank space with your priority), you won´t dedicate it to something, or someone, else. Choosing is losing. We choose something in detriment of something else. I´ve made peace with losing a path over another, knowing I always do what my heart´s calling for.
  3. Stop judging people. Yes, there are arseholes – no doubt; I´ve met a few. But most of us are doing the best we know. If we knew better, we´d do better. Dealing with other human beings, and their flaws, is another way to become more human. Hard but possible.
  4. Enjoy every single moment even if the present doesn´t seem particularly exciting to you. Having coffee at the airport (overpriced, crappy coffee), for instance, can be awesome. Meeting a friend for lunch. Enjoying success after you´ve worked hard for something. Kissing a loved one. Reading a line of a great book. And the list goes on. Appreciation, people! Life´s short and oh so fleeting ❤
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Teaching in Warsaw, Poland, at Orient Addicts Festival

Entrance on Stage choreography by Joana Saahirah

One of the choreographies I taught in Portland, Oregon, USA, last October.

“Entrance on stage” or “majancé” – check introduction video – shot at home in incredibly beautiful and uncomfortable conditions: freezing and windy weather; wet, hard, irregular floor. Yet made with love, as usual.

EnJOY

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If you wish to see the introduction to this choreography/theme, feel welcome to take a look at this video shot at home by my own fireplace:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY9yej_WoBE&t=3s

Bali, baby!

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Daily public offerings to the Gods & Goddesses (gratitude) are a way of life in Bali. Love this!

– Where is the reception? – I asked, at the entrance of the SPA, mesmerized by the beauty of the statues (Krishna, Saraswati, Ghanesh), the luxurious nature – shamlessly wet, green, stubbornly sensual – and the aroma of different incenses burning, simultaneously.

-I am reception. – A Balinese lady told me in her rough, yet efficient, English.

-I AM RECEPTION…- I repeated after her, in a whisper only I could hear, wondering at the lesson she´d just offered me without noticing.

What do I do when I land in Bali? I search for a full goddess body treatment in an old SPA in Ubud – that´s what I do, that´s what good daughters of Venus do.

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Jet-lagged and ready to be pampered at a traditional SPA. Always protected by my faithful friends ❤

The name of the lady who received me – claiming to be THE RECEPTION – was Katut (number 4), the fourth child of a family. I loved the sound of her name and spelled it aloud, like an excited child, learning her first words:
KA-T-U-T. The last three letters drummed on my tongue – TUT! – and made it tingle.

She took me to the massage parlour, a piece of heaven in the midst of Ubud´s hub – and I struggled not to fall asleep. I was exhausted. It took me so long to arrive to Bali: endless hours of flying and waiting between flights. In and out of consciousness…half awaken and half asleep…mixed up brain due to time zones´changes…the frontier between reality and dream vanished.

It seems to me that arriving to Bali is an Initiation the country demands from its visitors. The trip doesn´t start when you arrive to the country – it starts when you head to the country. In just 2 days, I caught 3 airplanes, 2 of which with long flights enough to review my life from birth until the present moment; I had lunch in Paris and breakfast in China. I even visited downtown Guangzhou, in China, between flights. Jet-lagged, foggy and cranky, I still roamed with the flow.

My brain endured  – and eventually adapted to – 3 time zone changes.

If you successfuly arrive to Bali after this long, long trip, your brain is already stripped of any logic, sense of reality or balance. You´re literally out of your mind. And I wonder: how bad can that be? Losing our mind is not the worst thing that can happen. But that´s just me, a Madness child, talking.

-Am I awakened? – I asked, while sleeping.
-Am I dreaming? – I asked, while awakened.

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Saraswati, Goddess of Art and Knowledge by Raja Ravi Varma

I arrived to Bali not knowing which day it was. The taxi driver answered before I could ask:
-You arrived on Saraswati day.
-Ah…ok. Fair enough. Not Friday or Saturday, just Sarasvati day. Some folks know what´s important. – I smiled, a happy zombie on her way home. Another home.

Although she assured me she was using coconut oil, Katut´s hands smelled of rice. And her silence was loud.
Even stuck between dream and reality I knew: another school term had begun.
The eternal student is back to school!

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Detail of my first Balinese dance show: Kecak and Fire Dance Trena Jenggala

More informations on Saraswati Goddess: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saraswati

New Zealand, here I come!

Vaccination ready (outch!), work prepared and passion packed. This girl is on the road again, this time around to Bali & New Zealand. Talk about paradise!

Egypt and its soulful dance reaches every corner of the globe and, I suspect, beyond. What a honour to share my knowledge, experience and vision with countries where I also happen to meet amazing people and learn about life and my crafts.

What a Ride it has been and I´m just starting! 8 years of successful career in Egypt – without selling my body or soul to the devil, thank you very much! – performing, daily, with the best musicians and in the best venues. The last 4 years of non stop travelling the world to perform, teach and lecture; a book published – “The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” and another one (well, 3 new ones) on the way.

Saying that I´m proud of my path is not enough. Saying I´m excited about sharing a bit of these treasures with New Zealand doesn´t even start to tell it…

From Egypt to the whole world – bringing back what really matters. In dance as in life. I´ll toast to that!

The next days will be filled with last minute preparations, deadlines´accomplishing before heading off and the excitement (I know so well) of the eternal traveller.

Amazing workshops, performances and lecture on the way. Expect nothing but the best ❤

Show New ZealandMore infos on the event “Joana Saahirah in New Zealand” by Candice Frankland over here: https://www.facebook.com/events/440758212774203/

Joana Saahirah back to USA this October!

unnamedCAJ9K2ZYJoana Saahirah & The Secrets of Egyptian Dance back to USA, for the 3rd time, this October.
21-23rd October in Portland, Oregon.

Another pioneer event sponsored by Heather Henna Louise.

More informations about the event in Portland: https://www.facebook.com/events/1543089346001872/

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“The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” by Joana Saahirah back to USA

Spreading the Magic in Italy & Poland

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“The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” 2nd edition, revised & updated, in Milan.

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The Magic of Oriental Dance in Poland by yours truly for the first time in Poland! My return to Poland is already settled. Keep tuned! 🙂

Time seems to vanish quicker than usual; the concept of time itself is changing. A day passes in a minute and a second can feel like eternity. So much life, projects, dreams and ideas to materialize and so little time for everything…or not. I choose to believe there´s plenty. Of time. Of everything which is great, sweet, worthy of my attention.

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We made magic in Italy!

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Me and Giorgia, my beautiful sponsor in Milan, having fun under the light of Milan.

This time around, I won´t be able to write, in detail, about my last work trips (Italy and Poland). A question of time, once more, and priorities. But I can say I had an amazing time in both countries, teaching the dance I love, giving my best to educate, inspire, challenge and empower students to be and dance their best selves.

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Stepping on the bull´s balls for luck (centre of Milan). Don´t ask!

Poland saw me roaming its cities – Lublin, in particular – without a determined destination. That´s my favourite way of knowing a city. It found me having coffee and pancakes at a cozy coffee shop, reading Henry Miller and Anais Nin letters, scribbling on my journal, tasting a rare moment of silence and pause.

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Dancing at the La Scalla theatre, Milan.

Italy fed me like a big mamma – too deliciously, too much! It made me want to learn italian, officially, and find me an italian lover as well. Those men tell you the most terrifying things and they sound like poetry – damn the gorgeous italian language!

 

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At my favourite spot in Lublin, Poland: Mandragora restaurant.

From Majdanek concen
tration camp, in Lublin, (not a walk in the park, I assure you) to what became my favourite  Jewish restaurant – Mandragora -, all I could do was savouring each moment, sad or happy, and learn. Learning, always.

This world of ours is a School, a gorgeous school.

 

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Teaching in Poland with a mysterious light on my hand.

If it´s true we are a product of the countries we know, I must be beyond gorgeous. There, I said it again; now throw me in the fire! I feel fuller, smoother, more open and curious after each trip. I remind myself of the privilege of knowing the world while doing the work I love the most, meeting incredible people who are invariably kind, interesting and surprising. No matter where I go, success, safety, abundance and beauty are waiting for me.

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Love is everywhere ❤ ❤

Three words: I AM RICH ❤

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