Dance has always been a constant in my life. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. And I have never stopped.
Belly Dance is where I found my happy place. I have been Belly Dancing since 2003. In the past 16 years, I have lost weight, gained weight and lost it again. I am older. I am not in my 20’s anymore. In fact, I am in my late 30’s.
I still love dance. My body may not look like it did in my 20’s, though I am still in pretty good shape. My hair color has changed. My age has increased—but guess what—I still love dance. Belly Dancing has taught me a lot of things. First and foremost, it taught me to love and appreciate my body. My body during belly dance, expresses my emotions, fears, and joys.
I have no desire to stop. Just because I do not fit into society’s image of an “ideal body” doesn’t mean I am going to stop doing what I love. As a professional belly dancer I know what society thinks I should be– but fuck that. Its taken me years to love my body, regardless of where the hell I am on the scale. And I will be the first person to admit, that sometimes, I have moments of insecurities-then I remember– I am a badass. I dance with snakes and sharp pointy things!
You should never stop dreaming or doing what you love because you are fat, skinny, short or tall. You are you. Love you and love your body. Its where your soul lives. Express yourself through movement and art. You do not have to fit into a fucking societal box of judgment.
Its time we stop comparing ourselves to others and learn to love who we are. Why is it so easy to forget? We are all different for a reason. Anyone who judges you and your talent based on your body can fly into the no-fucks-given bucket.
I was just finished reading a fantastic book by Jamie Sams called “Dancing the Dream.” The book is an excellent source of illumination if you need some extra guidance on your journey–whatever journey it maybe. One term really stood out to me: enlightenment junkies.
We all know of or have met those people who believe they are the right road–that they need to be relentless about how much of a “healer” they are. People go on healer quests all the time and often end up in groups lead by an enlightenment junkies.They preach about how they have healing abilities, or some divine secret wisdom and understanding of the world that no one else could ever possibly understand. They know everything thing there is to know about the world and how to gain access to it. They have meetings, run talks, have groups–and followers–and sermonize enlightenment. Then, when they are done preaching, when they aren’t in their group, when they are just being them….they are completely different people. Control freaks. Know it all’s. They don’t practice what they preach and are flawed and broken–searching. They are not the same person they are when they are hooked on that enlightenment drug.
True healers don’t need to tell everyone what they do, or try to gain “groupies”. Nor do they feel the inclination to tell someone they can heal them or fix them. True healers heal in different ways. Some of us have the ability of energy healing. Others the ability to guide and teach people strategies for living. And healers like me, who use art and dance to create self-confidence and wisdom through movement. There is no need to lead everyone down enlightenment road. We do our work because it’s what we are meant to do–we do it without even thinking. We heal and inspire people when we don’t know we are doing it–even when we are struggling on the path as well.
Originally I started teaching dance because I wanted to share my love of it. For 6 years I taught women the art of Belly Dance. When I walked into class it was to have fun and teach something exciting to those who wanted to learn. Unbeknownst to me I was actually teaching women to love themselves regardless of body type. I will never forget after a private session for a birthday party, a woman came over to me when I was getting ready to leave and said, “this is the first time I have ever felt beautiful in my own body.” I have moved on to teaching my Primal Fusion classes, which teach both men and women that deep inside them, they have this strong assertive confident spirit that can control their own destiny. “Dance with intention,” is what I always say at the beginning of class. I plant the seed in all my students and those I meet, that they are powerful. strong, and despite what they think-have more confidence and magick residing inside them than they ever could imagine. A student told me that this is the first time in their life that they have ever felt as confident as they do now.
We are all flawed. No on is perfect. The truth is, the perfect healer is——-yourself. You heal by learning. By what you can handle and what you can’t. What makes you stronger and what makes you weak. What brings you up and what brings you down. Yes, you can go outside of yourself and meet other healers–who are just like you–flawed–but capable of invigorating and inspiring you a bit more. But you are your own healer.