I am passionate about many things, but one thing that has been close to my heart for as long as I can remember is my passion for exploring and learning about different cultures. This passion is so strong that it led to a degree in Cultural Anthropology and what is turning out to be lifelong love for Oriental Dance.
As I’m preparing for a new class series I am integrating many things I value as a student of other peoples and cultures. Without a doubt, one critical element for anyone learning Oriental/belly dance is increasing cultural competency. You cannot sever the relationship between art and the society from which a particular art form is born. One constantly informs the other so to learn truly learn about this dance you need to learn about cultures of origin. Not only will my beginner classes naturally include elements of cultural competency alongside technique, but starting with my first class on November 13th I will also be offering an additional a fun, unique, and interactive element to one class each month. Our main focus in these special classes will still be on learning technique, but there will also be an extra interactive element. Examples of this will be live music demos, exploring textiles, foods, etc.
These special elements in and of themselves may not seem like any big deal in the broader context of a culture, but anyone who has learned another language or lived in another culture knows that it’s sometimes the smallest details that make all the difference in crafting the big picture.