Thursday, March 21, 2013

The 'real me' gives you- Tour spring 2013 feedback

This blog entry is a bit of an ego fest I am afraid.... the thing is – I have received so much lovely feedback on my performances, workshops and private classes across the UK over the last 4 weeks, that I wanted to show them off, I mean erm, share them with you!! Hehe.

That first paragraph is from the public 'fun' Lorna... Here is a little bit of the real me;

My previous blog was all about the insecurities I know that I share with many other dancers all over the world. How life as a dancer can be difficult at times. Many people came back to me about that entry and said how much it spoke to them. That it helped them to know they weren't the only one to feel that way. That blog entry has so many heartfelt comments attached to it now. Thank you for taking the time to share your feelings and wishing you all the happiness in your world of dance.

One of my biggest failings in life, not just dance, is focusing on the negative. I do it a lot. Too much. Ironically, only my own failings, or perceived failings. With other people, and especially my students I can only ever see the positives and potentials. So why can I never seem to do that for myself? I know it's not healthy but I haven't worked out a way round it yet.

 For example; I might get 5 compliments after a show, but one tiny 'look' the wrong way (never mind a comment) will be the one thing I see and feel. A whole good show will get thrown away as rubbish in my head because I feel someone 'hinted' that it could have been better. I might have a full class, but then take it to heart if someone leaves early (even if they have given me a perfectly good reason why they would have to!!!!) Over sensitive and over self critical. Not exactly a positive place to grow from.

Also, because of the afore mentioned insecurities, often when I get feedback on my work I brush it off as 'they are just being nice', or 'they don't know any better',  anything really so as not to listen to it. I am not really sure where this urge to punish myself comes from... but I have been told recently by a close friend that if I spoke to her the way I speak to myself then our friendship would have ended a long time ago! I hear her, and I understand what she is saying, but find it so very hard to be kind to myself. 

This blog entry is a bit of therapy for me... you don't have to read it... but I had to write it. 

I have gone through my emails and facebook over the last month and picked out all the lovely, positive things people have said about me and my work during this past tour. I hope they will be ok with me sharing them. I haven't asked permission to share because there are just so many! These lovely comments are part of what keeps me going at times I might be tempted to give it all up.

 I need to listen to them a little more and perhaps even believe a couple of them from time to time! Wish me luck....!

And a huge thanks to Karen Price for these lovely photos of some of my new costumes! 

Here goes... 'the Lorna love fest' ;

“Wow!!!!! Today has been awesome. I learnt so many things today....... 1. Be yourself. 2. There are no rules. 3. If you don't know what to do with your arms take them up and then use them to have a conversation with the audience 4. That a stick can be used for something other than Saaidi dancing - it looks amazing when performed slowly Baladi style 5. Some useful tips on how to transition from one move to another 6. How to dance to the whole audience at the same time. Not to mention our evening out .....Ladies, if you missed out on tonight - you really missed a treat! Lorna was amazing not just with her dancing but with her insight into life in Cairo as a dancer. A huge thank you to Lorna.”

“If I learned anything today it's that British ladies CAN! Thank you Lorna xxx “

Happy? who...? Me? whatever gave you that idea?

“Lorna of Cairo is a wonderful teacher and dancer x”

"Fantastic workshops with Lorna of Cairo today! Really inspired by her warm and generous teaching style and having had a day of eureka moments, lots of quiet reflection will follow. Really affirming day. Thank you so much for giving me the courage and the permission to start putting together my own sentences - I’ve got the words, I can now put them together, hopefully to create something wonderful! Excellent workshops - fulfilled me in so many ways and still have the heady feeling of a great days dancing. It was so good to know that it was ok to try out new moves, to play around and not have so much verbatim technique. So it is with great delight that my limited rule book was officially binned. For me, it's all about permission to dance, keeping the integrity, whilst maintaining a healthy respect for the dance and its culture. Once we allow ourselves that, we can fly as dancers. I need to have that message regularly drummed into me which is why I loved the workshops so much. Lorna is a wonderful teacher and dancer. "

“the Eureka moment only came to me at the very end when I danced like a lunatic to the last song and then I realised what Lorna meant and I knew I had to dance like that to Baladi - now my challenge is to find some Egyptian music which really makes me wants to dance like that. “ 


“Had fantastic workshop today with Lorna of Cairo, loved every minute (I can feel my legs until now). You are a star xxxxx “

A fun Eman Zaki costume creation. Bright and Bling- just my thing!

“Seriously recommend Lorna of Cairo as a teacher: a sound investment in your development as a dancer - her workshops go so far beyond mere technique.” Stine 

“Thank you Lorna! I found both workshops very empowering x “

“Brilliant workshops - thank you for giving so much. Xx”

“I had so many eureka moments in the w/s and private class. I feel my dancing leapt about 50 stages in one hour as she put into words, and gave solutions to, many of my dance related issues. Some really really useful feedback on my performance. Wowser moments watching Lorna perform. “

“I’m still mesmerised!” Ilaria 

“Just had to tell you how much I enjoyed your workshops on Sunday :) keep telling my friends we should dance like nobody's watching. Now I know I'm right. Thank you! Xx”

“Thank you for your inspiring ideas, I learnt so much and had so much fun you've certainly given me so much to think about, just need to put it all into practice. Please come back soon. :-) xxx”

“Just had a great time today with Lorna of Cairo For me today reaffirmed everything I feel about dance with passion. The words integrity, honesty and congruent come to mind. I also made a promise to get sexy with baladi and be provocative with a stick so watch out folks! “

I do love how the decor of Tiffu's restaurant set off this costume to perfect effect!

“Still astonished about all I learn and understood in just 2 hours workshop with the incredible Lorna of Cairo . So happy I could go and learn from her, she is incredible!!”

“One of my students went to Improvisation workshop today and she loved it! Thank you Lorna of Cairo”

“Lorna of Cairo...a very beautiful and funny lady.”

“Thanks for everything last night. I really enjoyed it. You are a star Lorna. Shoukran”

“thank you so much for today in sharing your thoughts, feeling and experiences with us all, it has reaffirmed things I already knew and given me some new stuff to work on which I'm always striving to do. Plus a big thank you for telling me my dancing was lovely today it's always encouraging especially for me as I do sometimes struggle with self confidence and maybe I always will, so for me even the slightest encouragement is a sign I'm breaking down my barrier and achieving my goal of becoming a better dancer.”

“Lorna, thank you for the brill workshops today .. Your words really made sense xx”

“Thanks again for all the fabulous tips and the amazing time. I still can't believe I had a private class with you! “

“Your workshops were amazing..... I for one, really hope I get to do more of your workshops. You were one of my favourite teachers ever! “

“Your workshops are fab”

"Great improvisation workshop at Jacksons Lane (London) by the way! Already using some of the ideas!" Jasmine

"Your Edinburgh show was wonderful. Technically brilliant but more importantly, full of emotion. Enta Omri was just breath-taking. It has always been my favourite piece of 'belly' music and you have made it your own!" Alison

“A few of us were moved to tears by your enta omri.”

“What great workshops they were! Thank you so much....I have learned so much today! Fabulous, fun performances too!! XO”

A wee bit of tartan- it has to be done really doesn't it, as Scotland's 1st ever  bellydancer to 'make it' in Cairo! Thanks to  Yasser Saad Hassan for the costume!

“I enjoyed the workshop. Lorna was a beautiful dancer “

“Thoroughly inspired after yet another brilliant workshop with Lorna of Cairo :)”

“Enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks Lorna. Please come again soon.x “

“Lorna I just want to say I really enjoyed my lesson with you yesterday. I will practice all the tip's you gave me. I also really enjoyed the evening at the bistro and seeing you perform. It was a wonderful experience.”

My 'Morticia' galabeya by Eman Zaki

“Thank you for your fabulous workshops yesterday, I could have listened and learnt from you for hours!! Can honestly say my dancing/teaching was turned on a different path yesterday, with as you said, a different ocean to explore!! Xxx” Shirley 

“Just wanted to say thanks again for your workshops and performance in Edinburgh. I was at "Putting Emotion into Your Dance" and I don't think I've ever been to a workshop that's made such an immediate difference to my dancing.”


"I loved and was totally inspired by Lorna of Cairo workshops - and was wonderful to see her in action". Joanne

"Brilliant workshops with Lorna - inspiring!" Tanya

"Lorna is a lovely teacher & inspirational dancer" Vanessa

"Fabulous show with the gorgeous and inspiring Lorna of Cairo" Sandra

"I have just spent the last two weekends studying at workshops with Lorna of Cairo. I was inspired to sign up to these workshops as i had taken one class at Raqs Britannia with Lorna and had really enjoyed her teaching style.
Lorna has a lovely friendly organic teaching style which meant that she could find a way to give every dancer at any level something positive to go home with. She made all the women in the room feel good about dancing.
I really enjoyed exploring dance moves and dancing to develop me as an individual dancer. I really like her ideas about dancing from your heart and with integrity. She has given me a notebook full of top tips about ideas for me now to develop my own dance and get creating my own dance stories." Jude

"Lorna's performing reminds me why I love this dance so much" Siohban

ahhhhh- thank you so much ladies, one and all. For coming to my shows and workshops and for giving me back so much more than I give you. I need to focus on these positives in my life and not get bogged down by my insecurities. This has been a really good exercise rewriting all of the above. I suspect I will have to come and reread it often before things start to sink in. 

(and a special thanks to everyone who actually read through this long 'Ode to Lorna' with me!!)

I recommend it as an exercise to anyone who, like me, tends to focus on the negative! Write down the good things people say. Try to believe them! (ok- I've done step one at least!)

In the meantime I have to just get on with doing more of the thing that always lifts my spirits....  dance!!!!


Jenny said...

I think we all must do this to ourselves!
Like you, I see all of the good in others, but still endure daily personal, and mostly private, self loathing and criticism. Perhaps the people who inspire us the most are the ones most in need of hearing their own words...because they 'get it'
I don't have an answer....but here's a thought..."Love yourself today, because 10 years from now, you will look back and love what you see, and wish you still had it"! Inspired and very much mis-quoted by Princess Farhana.
We all still talk about tips, and things we learned from you in your head up, shoulders back.....and just for today let yourself be loved by you! Then do it again tomorrow....and the next day......

Yuliyah said...

I have a folder in my mailbox, that I named "compliments". I put there everything nice people mail me. So when I have a bad day, I can read it and feel loved.

(Actually, I almost forgot, I had it. ;) Thanks for reminding)