Dance has played an integral part of my life. What a joy it is to be able to combine my career as an author, with my love of Middle Eastern dance. My new dance series combines my two loves.
The first novel in the Pharaoh’s Daughter’s series, “Dancing to a Different Drummer,” is dedicated to students of the dance. The second novel, “Dancing in the Dark,” is dedicated to instructors of the dance. My newest novel, “Dancing on Air,” is dedicated to Middle Eastern belly dance performers, because they have exemplified the culture, history, beauty, elegance and drama of this exotic art form.
To dance on a stage, in a restaurant, club, a home, business, dance workshop, hafla, festival is an accomplishment. As a performer, a dancer is an educator, as well as an entertainer. The music, costuming, makeup, props and choreography reveal the different influences and aspects of this mysterious dance.
As someone who is a family-friendly professional belly dance performer, I know how it feels to be put on display. I’ve graced stages, danced regularly with a live band, performed singing telegrams, and entertained at private parties and events. Each situation is unique, and calls for a different skill. More than dance, a performance is part personality and part public relations. As a performer, you are representing the dance to the general public. You are the dance.
I also enjoy watching other dancers. Each dancer adds her own nuance to this ancient art form. Belly dance lends itself to individuality. No two dancers are, or should be, alike. Observing other dancers is also an education.
To the public, there is far more to belly dance than “shaking the booty.” Belly dancers are trained professionals, with a demanding skill set. Before performing, dancers have studied for years, and practiced for hours, just as in other forms of dance. If something looks easy, it’s not. A true professional just makes it look easy.
Belly dance is sensual, not sexual. It is mysterious and ancient. If you haven’t attended a live belly dance performance, please plan on it. You will be glad that you did.