I was recently thinking about an experience I had in a ballet class when I was young, that had a huge impact on me. An â€œolder womanâ€ (or so I thought at the time, she was probably in her 30â€™s) was consulting with the teacher before the class began as to whether or not the class was right for her, explaining she used to be a dancer. The teacher stopped her abruptly and said, What do you mean you used to be a dancer? Once youâ€™re a dancer, youâ€™re always a dancer!!
Over the past 4 decades (yes, 4 decades!) I seemed to have managed the ever changing business of Bellydance pretty well, I think. Iâ€™ve even been fortunate enough to remain in great health and with no major injuries (knock on wood). I remember thinking as a young dancer, Iâ€™ll never stop dancing! Iâ€™ll dance till I fall over into my grave!Â But with age, comes wisdom and many times over the years Iâ€™ve looked back and thought that that was naive and unrealistic to think I could dance forever. Then I hear the voice in my headâ€¦Once youâ€™re a dancer, youâ€™re always a dancer.
Of course over the years, Iâ€™ve changed the course of my career from nightclub dancer, to touring workshop instructor/performer and producer and studio owner. Itâ€™s a natural progression that comes with time and experience.
Dance, especially oriental dance, has been my lifeâ€™s blood, my soul, my savior. Witty conversation, the art of writing and clever use of words has never been my strong suit. Iâ€™m basically a shy person. Well not really shyâ€¦quiet. I have a friend that calls it Zahraâ€™s quiet gravitas. Haha! That really makes me laugh, but I guess thatâ€™s why I chose dance to express myself. Iâ€™m not one for a lot of words.
So many dancers these days are amazing at marketing and self promotion. I marvel at them all. Aside from style and specific focus, how can you come up with so many different ways to say youâ€™re teaching a bellydance class? Apparently there are thousands! Iâ€™ve been trying to be better with words, but then I figured, why? Maybe there are still people out there that arenâ€™t fooled by a lot of words. Maybe they love dance as much as I do.
I have to say, now that Iâ€™m in my fifties, itâ€™s true, Iâ€™m never going to stop dancing. The passion I have for dance goes way beyond the physical beauty and agility of youth. Dance is in my heart and soul. Iâ€™ll stick with my quiet gravitas and keep dancing.