I have always wanted to be a Ballerina. One of the clearest memories of my childhood is me dancing to classical music trying to be just like the one I had seen on TV, to move just like she did.
It took me “a while” to get to my life's desire, but after I finished my university degree I took my first class in bellydance, and that has been the first step I took into my future. Then I attended workshops, took classes, learned choreographies that took me always a little further.
I believe that things comes to you as you move both unconsciously and willingly through them. I went to my first workshop with Suhaila in a moment of impasse in my dance life, I had reached a good level in technique, but I was in a plateau, and it was uncomfortable. So I went not really knowing what to expect, but willing to see if it could be a new challenge... and a challenge it was, not only on a physical level, (straining to get the movements out of my body it was something I hadn't experienced in a while!), I was getting a glimpse of what my dance could become if I could learn to do one tenth of what Suhaila was doing. But I have to admit that what really reached inside me, and started to grow was the attention put on the importance of knowledge, deciding what to study, with whom and most of all: what kind of dancer I wanted to be. Well that was a lot of food for thought. And that was the beginning of it all. The level 1 was just the first taste, but only now that I am studying for Suhaila Level 3 and I am baffled to discover that I don't really know why I have chosen the Salimpor formats, even though I kind of know why I am studying to try to test for Suhaila Level 3 this summer: because every time I go through a new online lesson, every time I pick up a new book, every time I write my morning pages, I discover something more about me, I unveil a part of me that hasn't been created, on the contrary, it just needed to be aroused again. I think this is what this format is for me, the chance not to became a copy of Suhaila, but to learn to tap into my resources to discover that the limit is never steady, is never reached, it moves a little forward, a little further and I too, could move with it a little further.
Dance for me is not “loosing myself” into the movement, but living it, savour it, being into a blissful consciousness where body and mind are connected but kind of lost in each other. It's a balance game, not only the body needs to be ready to respond, talk and feel the music, the mind has to be aware, and at the same time willing to expose a part of the true self. These last years studying with the Salimpour school have showed me that what I see in this dance is not only my vision, and it hasn't got only one face, one side, but it is varied as the dancers taking part in it. Bal Anat in Europe, being part of it it, has been another small tile composing the mosaic of the Salimpour school and what it is for me. I could see the structure, the meaning of a common language and at the same time the chance to be myself into this.
When a person chooses a school it has logically some reasons to do so. I know I had some, but today I am not sure that the motives that lead me to start this program, are the ones that are keeping me to it. During the last month when I have tried to put down these reasons, maintaining it clean and simple I often got lost, because my ideas and opinions where never the same, one day I was pleased with myself for being able to do some drills right or follow a combo properly, the next day I was struggling through warm up, and that wasn't pleasant. Right now I'm trying to summarize once more what these formats are for me I am once again divided between the idea of challenge, struggle and discovery, but maybe they are altogether the basic reason of my staying with the Salimpour school and follow the certification: because it's not easy, I have to work for it, but there are great things for me to gain. I don't need easy, I need rewarding, I need to know myself, my dance skills, my creativity, my possibilities, and the Salimpour formats are allowing me to do it, it's up to me when and if I want to stop. The formats, the materials, the resources are there and every student gets from them what they need, what they are capable and what they can, the path is set but not defined. At the workshops seeing everyone doing their best, no judgment, no competition, but sharing of knowledge, struggles, sweat, impressions, opinions, have given me a great impulse. Maybe that's it that is what I like, that we don't learn only from Suhaila but from each other, but to be honest I really don't know, I have no straight answer, nothing is sure and steady, but changing every day, and perhaps this is what I like most, the fact that I cannot really put my finger on it, and that pushes me a little further to discover if there, there could be an answer. Right now “I focus on the process, and not the product”, and maybe next year I'll have some more answers, but I'm sure also many more questions.