You may find it hard to believe, but I’m not a dancer who lives to perform. I can and I do, but that’s not where my passion for dance lies. Unbelievable right? A belly dancer whose goal isn’t to perform, who hasn’t retired or disappeared into the miasma where dancers who aren’t performing go to live out their days.
There is an asumption I’ve noticed in the belly dance world that if you’re not performing you must not be a good teacher, or you aren’t interested in teaching. Also that the only reason you would want to dance is to perform – although that’s not only a perception issue with belly dance!
Why dance if not to perform?
I love sharing my love of music and movement with others. But that doesn’t always require us to perform to do this (although it’s a very popular way). I am that person who will be telling you about new tracks that I’ve heard, or even better, playing them for you so that I can see if the song resonates with you too. Or that person the tram that everyone can’t help but watch because I’m caught up in my music and I forget I’m in a public space (like standing on the train going to my day job).
But I’m also the person who loves lifting other people up. I am always able to find something you did great when performing and happy to share it with you. Even if it’s just simply getting up on stage was the biggest thing because I knew you were nervous/worried/unsure about being up there. When I teach, I like to remind people that they are worthy of having the time to be there. That they are important – not just a mum, a partner, a friend who’s on the other end of a phone at all hours of the day and night.
I like to remind women in particular that we need to shed how the world tells us we need to be seen when we dance in class. That we’re not too big, too small, taking up too much space, not taking up enough. That we need to wear specific clothes, say the right words and fight for the right things. That we are ourselves and that we are important.
The dance class doesn’t exist for me to be able to be in charge and talk. It’s only the carrier for the bigger message – a reason for us all to get together n the same space.
You are why I dance
Yes, you. And you, and you.
I dance for you, I dance with you and I dance because of you.
Please don’t get me wrong, I dance for me too. But for me the greatest joy I have is watching a person see something I do and thinking “I want do that” and then seeing that come to life in their body in class or on a stage. It’s magical and wonderful and makes life better. Knowing that there are people out there dancing because they feel they can it the best thing.
Classes where I see you finally work out a movement you’ve been struggling with. See your body relax into the move and watch you be overcome with happiness that you did it. Because you did. And it was awesome.
Want a taste of what belly dancing is like with APB Dance? Check out what’s coming up and how we can help you.