My Interview with a Bellydancer

This is the first time I’m doing this and it’s quite fun actually. I met Naziehah through this blog of mine; somehow she’d stumbled upon it and we started an online friendship. And then I found out that this woman is a bellydancing teacher!

(Yes, I secretly want to bellydance. Got myself a VCD from Tesco … ok, please don’t guffaw now and spill your morning coffee. But it’s hard work. Barely 20 minutes into the VCD I am huffing and sweating bucket loads, trying to keep up with the dancing Arab twins urging me to ‘do the genie bop’!)

Anyway, if you are in KL and like me, harbour dreams of doing the belly dance, look for Naziehah. She conducts classes weekly. And here’s my little interview with her and how she got started.

Maya (M): What made you take up bellydancing?
Naziehah (N):While I was in the UK, I was always on the lookout for something new to learn. I bumped into this advert at my uni, and I thought, now belly dancing sounds very interesting. Signed myself up and the rest is history.

Where did you learn it? Whom did you learn it from?
I learn it in the UK while I was doing my degree. My first instructor was this wonderful English lady, Desna McKenzie. She dances like a goddess! She is also one of the kindest, most helpful person I’ve ever met. She is also very pretty, I always thought she looks a bit like Winona Ryder =D. We still keep in touch until today.

How did you find it initially?
I find it very interesting and and also quite challenging at first. Since belly dancing focuses a lot on body isolation, it was quite a task to train my body to be ‘isolated’ when doing the movement in the beginning. I also found the experience to be highly liberating. It made me much more aware and at ease with my body. I also love the artistic aspect of the dance. The ability to fully express and lose myself in the beauty of the dance is simply exhilarating.

How many classes do you teach?
I teach around 5 -6 sessions per week.

Where do you teach?
I teach in a few centres in Fitness First. I also teach a few sessions at Yoga2Health in Bangsar. I also do private lessons at people’s houses and I conduct workshops too.

What do you find most enjoyable about this art form?
I enjoy the music, the graceful movements, the costuming, and of course the mix of ladies that comes together to dance together. But the most enjoyable I believe is the power of expression that comes from dancing. In my dancing and teaching, I encourage a lot of freedom in expressing oneself’s via dancing. You can just lose yourself in the music and let the music brings out the movement in you. Or you can become the master of the movement and fit it in into the music. You can be cheeky, you can be melancholic, you can be fierce and you can be sexy. You can be everything that you want to be when you are belly dancing.

What tips and tricks can you share with me?
For a beginner to quickly master the movement is, like I always mention to my students, to practise and persevere. Belly dancing movements consist of many natural form of movements for women. Thus, from my experience, most ladies will be able to do the movement nicely. However, the determinant factor is – your level of patience and persistence.

For intermediate or for the more familiar dancers, it helps to go around learning from a few instructors or at least looking at their styles. Every instructor has different styles that will help you to grow more as a dancer. You can do that from watching videos as well. The Internet is a great source of belly dancing video clips, one of my favourite is www.Youtube.com. You’ll be able to watch many dancers from all over the world and you’ll learn a great deal!

General tips when dancing – be very aware of your body weight distribution when dancing. The awareness of this helps a lot in making the movement flows more smoothly.

Anything else that you might want to add?
Maybe a bit about myself – when I am not belly dancing? I am an avid learner. I believe very strongly in continuous learning and self-development – in all areas of life. I love all forms of art and would love to indulge myself in everything artsy! I am also a spa and wellness enthusiast thus I keep myself up to date with the wellness industry in Malaysia and Asia. I love good books and I also do write a bit. Not anything profound, although I wish to be able to do that someday! All in all, I am a girl who wants to do good by contributing in areas of my skills and interest.

And lastly, Naziehah blogs too (yes, we blogging folks shamelessly plug each other’s blogs). For bellyfancing tips, posts and lots more, go visit her at
http://pinkbellydancer.blogspot.com

0 thoughts on “My Interview with a Bellydancer

  1. i heart bellydancing! *giggles*
    when i was an exchange student in egypt few months ago, i was brought on a Nile cruise trip where all the sruise ship holds a galabeyya party a.k.a bellydancing party. basicly they will hire a bellydancer to perform then followed by sufi dancer. well amazingly, the huge fat bellydancer pulled me up on stage and made me dance with her! crazy, but it was an unforgetable experience. later on after she left (she danced for more than 30 minutes nonstop), teenagers started to party up in on the stage and everyone were bellydancing until 4am! for 3 constructive days!

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