From the moment I took my first steps, my parents knew I was a child with an inherent grace of movement. Music was present in my house so it was difficult not to naturally want to sway, hop or pose. Fortunately, I was sent to learn ballet and jazz as soon as I was old enough for the local community programs. I took to dance with a hunger to learn, grow and test my limits. For me there were no obstacles in dance; if I wanted to learn something I would be vigilante and very persistent to getting the opportunity and making the most of my experience. Of course obstacles existed, in the case of moving to a different city and not having the same programs available. Although, I did not get the chance to be in many dance programs in my adolescence, I still danced at home with either the music videos or through experimentation of how the music made me feel.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s I enjoyed formal instruction again in the genre of ball room dancing. As much I enjoyed dancing with my partner, the passion for that style did not take hold. In the mid-2000s, I found my way to a belly dance class with my sister and mom, not expecting how my life would change. I fell in love with the movements, how they connected with the music and how sensual and strong I felt. The passion that was ignited continued to burn strong even during a hiatus to finish my university degree in English. After I graduated, I returned to a beginners class with a girlfriend and didn’t look back. I learnt through a weekly class as well as occasional workshops. I was inspired by Rania, whose grace, kindness and passion for the dance stirred my inner dance to grow. One of her teachers, Denise Enan was another inspiration and introduced the history and more folkloric style of belly dance to me. I learnt from many teachers locally (Anna, Safiya, Rania), and internationally (Aziza, Zafirah, Hadia, Lubna Emam, Sahra Saheeda, Khaled Mahmoud, Aida Nour, Fifi Abdou, to name a few).
In 2008, through chance as well as my connection to Halyma’s Belly Dancing For Fun Dancers, I was thrust into having the opportunity to perform and help teach Bollywood to a room of approximately 400 people. Before 2008 I had never studied Bollywood before but within a short timespan our small group of belly dancers evolved into Bollywood dancers as well. We were fortunate that our skills as belly dancers were able to fuse with many of the moves we emulated from our crash courses in Bollywood dance. After that fateful night a second dance passion was born as well as the group Bollywood for Fun which continues to enjoy entertaining at various events and festivals.
In 2009, one more change happen in my dance career; I began to teach. The knowledge I have gained and continue to update, has allowed me the privilege and honour to teach a variety of amazing women in both of Canada’s official languages. I have seen many a student become empowered in her own movements and develop her own personal style. I have been blessed also with the opportunity to have some private students, who have inspired me to seek out more one on one teaching as well structure my general classes where each student can have more individual attention. I am proud of each and every one of them and hope to continue teaching both at general classes as well as one on one.
Dance is a way of expressing emotion, strength, sensuality, graciousness, and playfulness. My hope as a dancer is that I’ll always have the opportunity to dance. My hope as a teacher is to share my passion and to empower women through dance.