Saturday, March 24, 2007

For the love of dance...

I just got back from a day of snowboarding, and I'm sore, tired - no, make that exhausted - and just want to sleep. I'd love to have a nice relaxing Sunday, like normal people, where I could sleep in, run some errands, and just rest and prepare for the work week ahead. But I haven't had a normal Sunday in years! I teach bellydance class Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings, making Sundays possibly the busiest day of the week for me (because I do still need to do those errands, too!)

So, why do I do it? That's a question I often ask myself, as my normal 9 to 5 friends come home from their jobs and actually get to relax (as opposed to running out to teach a bellydance class, or changing into costume and running out to a performance). And it's a question I've been asking myself about quite a bit lately, since our Second Annual Student Showcase is coming up in a few weeks, meaning that classes are stretching into their second hours and extra practices are scheduled daily (more about the show another day!).

I've come back to the same answer to this question time and again - without bellydance, I would not be complete. I've been dancing my whole life; since I put my first pair of tap shoes on at the age of two and a half, I've done everything from tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, modern and hip hop. I've never felt the euphoria with any of those dance styles, that I do with bellydance. A friend asked me a while ago if there was anything in this world I was passionate about, and I told him bellydance. I told him that, when I'm performing bellydance, I don't need to fake a smile. I don't need to pretend I'm enjoying myself for the sake of putting on a good show, for the sake of entertaining the audience. I AM enjoying myself. I am smiling for ME, not for the crowd. Heck, I smile when I'm dancing in my kitchen with no one but my cats to see me. I can't help it - it just comes out. I'm happy when I dance.

So, why do I do it? Why do I put a normal life on hold, in exchange for one with late nights and early mornings, back aches and blisters? Because I LOVE this dance, and without it, my life wouldn't be normal.

What about you? Why do you do it?


Martha said...

It's your enthusiasm and love for bellydancing that shows through all your movements and your smiles. It's because of you that I look forward to every class and appreciate dancing more and want to continue bellydancing and go as far as you have. Thank you for the opportunity of having you as a teacher. See you Soon!--

kara :) said...

Okay, Okay, so we are addicts...I must be addicted because I take almost all of your classes and will attend any workshop you offer. My Sundays also revolve around belly dancing and I would not have it any other way!!!! Belly dancing is a great way for those of us who are normally not so outgoing and like to blend in (like me). It is a release from the normal day to day stresses. It does not hurt to have an instructor and friends that encourage you to come out of your shell.

Gloria said...

Well Daniela I guess you said it all, I also love to dance. Unlike
you I never had dance classes when
I was small, but I did dance since
I was born with my family. I dance
around my apartment all the time.
My husband who never dances thinks
I am a little out of my mind. 12 years ago when my mother was very sick in the hospital I had just come from a trip to Cairo. I had
bought a belly dancing dress and
I entertained her. She enjoyed it so much (of course I had never taken a belly dancing class so it was all my own way). I wish she could be here now to see how much better I am now. Thank you Gloria

Anonymous said...

I enjoys belly dancing a lot from day-one I took the first course with you three years ago. I have never stopped practing ever since. I have been dancing in the early morning before preparing breakfast for my family and also dancing at night time after my kids were put to sleep ... I found joy and relaxation beyond reading and writing. I used to spare my time after work on academic writing for articles and books. Life is very stressful especially in academia with obligations on promotion and tenure. I developed back pain and headaches. Since I started to learn belly dancing, I become much healthier and happier than before. You really inspired me with your dedication on belly dancing.-- Janey,

Anonymous said...

Hey Daniela, My mother attends your belly dance classes and I have to admit shes becoming so great at it. Everyone at my home enjoys her dance steps and all my friends wish they could dance like her. Thank You so much for teaching this beautiful art to my family, you are a true pioneer.
-Jerry Rengel (Gina's son)

ginavasquez88 said...

Dear Daniela,
My mother attends your classes and my family has never been happier. Her dancing skills have greatly improved with your instruction and its a delight to see her perform at home as well as in nursing homes.Recently she performed for my dad at a family reunion and my dad enjoyed it to say the least, thank you so much for bringing this beautfiul art into our home.You are a real pioneer for belly dancing.

ginavasquez88 said...

Dear Daniela,
My name is Jerry Rengel, my mom takes belly dancing classes with you. She has brought a lot of life and happiness into our home with her dancing, as well as to nursing homes all over the city. I'd like to personally thank you for teaching my mother this spectacular art form, the other day she performed for my dad at a family reunion, he absolutely loved it. Thank You so much, your a real pioneer for this beautiful dance.-Jerry(Gina's son)

Anonymous said...

Bellydance has become my outlet. I do it for me...and of course my honey enjoys it too...but again its more about ME. When I go to class its like nothing else in the world matters, all the stresses of the day or week are forgotten. Its also a confidence booster... Ive learned to love my body more. Let me also not forget to mention, I have made truly great friends.

Dawn said...

I enjoyed the show tonite, loved the customes and I as a fellow bellydancer appreciated all the hard work of the performers