The last day of 2012 was one of my the best days of last year. It wasn’t because I was partying up a storm with friends or being with someone special; in fact I spent the day all alone. Being alone isn’t a horrible thing to have happen sometimes and December 31, 2012 was one day that everything worked out just right. The sun was shining, the weather mild enough for me to put on my running gear and go for a jog around my nice quiet neighbourhood. Running through the snow on the sidewalks felt like running through the sand, difficult but challenging many muscles. My hardest working muscle, my mind, was finally calm, quiet and just focusing on the moment. Focus, had been the thing that seemed to be often pushed aside with a busy year of both the day job and the gift of teaching and performing. The stillness of my mind was welcomed.
Upon my return to my house, I freshened up and then sat down in front of my computer to play around in iTunes and start to search for songs for the new session as well as for potential personal choreographies. I sat thinking, what do I want to focus on this session? The first two things that came to mind was veil work and dancing with a purpose.
Bollywood is straight forward in its purpose; I belong to fabulous group Bollywood for Fun and the purpose is to always to create choreographies that not only the group will like but that are fun and enjoyable to perform and be watched by audiences everywhere.
Belly dance is not so straight forward in its purpose except I have a passion to dance with silk veils (my collection consists of many from local Ottawa artist Shirbori Borealis) and stick. Belly dancing has wide range of styles that are distinct from each other. There are many folkloric dances of Egypt, Morrocco, Lebanon and other middle eastern countries that are classified under the general umbrella of belly dance. I find folkloric dances fascinating and I specifically enjoy exploring the stick dancing of Egyptian Saidi style belly dance. Then there is the modern and classical styles of belly dance of which I have also learnt from various teachers. The choice seems endless and hence sometimes where the lack of focus can be derived.
December 31, 2012 however helped me focus in defining my style of belly dance and it is partly derived from how I describe the new sofa I purchased that day…I am “modern playful”. I respect and honour the best I can the classic styles but I like to play with different music and moves.
I believe that both Bollywood and belly dance is an excellent way of expressing emotions, strength, grace, sassiness, playfulness, sensual and it is a great method to empower women. The empowerment of women is something I seek to foster when I teach either in my classes and/or when I have the opportunity to teach one on one.
My 2013 goal is be true to myself, still my mind and continue to share my passion for dance in hope that the women I teach feel empowered, graceful, sensual and playful.