Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beauty from within

The following is written by a student, and friend of mine, Sara.

After she sent it to me i felt all warm and happy inside- so I figured that you too would appreciate reading it. (she did give me permission to paste it in!) you'll enjoy it especially if you have ever thought about taking up bellydancing and are not sure whether it is for you or not.......

Sara Lepine's 'the Art of Bellydance';

I've developed a serious passion for bellydance. It HAS always been on my "to do" list and is one of those fantasies I indulge in after every inspiring performance I witness. Well, it just so happens that Edinburgh has a relatively rich Bellydance community and I've been blessed to work with some outstanding dance intructors, all of whom are brilliant performers in their own right. So I have had ample opportunity to indulge myself and am currently making every effort to get the most out of my time here. To that end I now dance {quasi} professionally, at a lovely Moroccan restaurant, and attend multiple classes, workshops and performances limited only by my restricted student budget.

It's been well worth the effort.....not that I've become a spectacular dancer by any stretch of the imagination....but because the art itself has such a positive influence on so much of my life and I've seen the same in others.

I've found a wonderful network of friends through bellydance, and have seldom seen a community that offers such a warm supportive female environment.

It's also a fantastic workout, and as shown by dancers more dedicated than myself produces phenomenal muscle tone.

Add on to this the opportunity to shop for gorgeous yet totally impractical clothing and you've reached the stereotypical feminine ideal.

Yet what I love most about bellydance is very simple. Bellydance makes everyone beautiful. All women, of all ages, and of all shapes are nearly instantly transformed into these beautiful, sensual creatures through the art of dance.

A little of it's the clothes with that little added sparkle. But, it's mostly the way it makes you feel and the way you express that feeling through your dance. It's graceful, a little mysterious, sensual and fully enjoyable. It makes you feel beautiful and this feeling unconsciously changes the way you carry yourself and present yourself to your audience.

It's very much a "Look at me because I know I'm worth looking at." kind of feeling. And when you see a dancer that's connected to that feeling, she's actually glowing. She simply radiates self confidance and her pure enjoyment in the music and the dance will convince her audience that she's one of the most beautiful things they've ever seen.

I saw one performance where the dancer was heavily pregnant. Her abdominal moves were beyond impressive, with exquisite muscle control. And she was radiant.

I saw a much older lady, somewhat plump and quite scantily clad, dance with such force of personality and humour that you couldn't help but laugh and watch carefully for every nuance of expression, lest you miss the slightest detail.

I've even seen an older man doing a Saidi performance with a group of ladies. His face was simply shining with joy. You couldn't help but think it was wonderful and smile right back at him.

So this is what you feel when you dance. The joy, the power of the music, the true inner beauty shining through in a way everyone watching can see.

It's like you've taken something precious from inside yourself and are wearing it on the outside. Or maybe it's more like the superficial physical appearance melts away and you finally see what lies underneath.

And the best part is the more you learn to show that part of yourself, the less readily it sinks into the facade you've always shown the world. And more and more you become the beautiful creature you finally let out.

Thank you Sara- I couldn't have put it better myself....... This really is the answer to that often asked question 'Why do you bellydance' ?


Annette McCann said...

Can I thank Sara as well? That was so lovely to read!

Kari said...

Lovely! Can I translate it to spanish and post it in my new blog?

Lorna (aka BellyLorna!) said...


of course you are welcome to translate it and use it- and long as Sara Lepine gets credit for writing it, and as long as you say where you found it (and link to my blog too?!)

whats your blog?