Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We all shimmy together

I'm still alive! I think, to do my best blogging, I need to ban myself from both twitter and Facebook! Those I seem to manage to comment in ever day... And my poor blog gets left behind!

Here on my blog, you get a more in-depth Lorna, but if you want a little bit of Lorna daily then I recommend you follow me there, if you are not already!

Home for a few days now, full of a stinking cold. The problem with the pollution in Cairo, is that once you get sick, it always seems to take so much longer to get well again without the oxygen to help you! But hey ho, I will live. As my mum always says, 'oh Lorna, buck up, it's JUST a cold'! But a cold can really bring you down can't it?!

So I am staying home, trying to catch up on all the preparation I want to do before I head to china in two weeks time. For those of you who know me well, you will know that the word preparation and Lorna don't really fit together. I am a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kinda girl. I like the excitement and the freedom and the creativity that is involved in improvising. Whether that is improvising a performance or a workshop. I love living in the moment, connecting to what my audience and/or students are feeling and responding to and taking it form there. It's the interaction that I love more than anything. So the idea of having to come up with a month of lesson plans gives me a mental block, but I am trying. Wish me luck.

A couple of weeks ago I was in UK teaching and performing in Newcastle, UK.

It was my first time teaching in Newcastle, and I loved meeting the dancers there. I was honoured to be asked to teach the JTA, which is a group of bellydance teachers who wanted to meet together at regular intervals to share information and support each other. Such a noble and worthy cause! So I was asked along to teach the teachers, and what a lovely group they were too.

Often once dancers start teaching they become isolated. Despite standing in front of up to hundreds of women every week in class, I remember when I was teaching full time, how lonely I felt and that I had no one I could turn to for advice about problems with students, advertising, how to teach mixed level classes etc etc the list is endless. I struggled alone, and didn't see any other option at the time. These women are doing it right. Seeing each other not as competition but as colleagues, supporting each other and therefore the UK dance scene as a whole. If you haven't heard of it, and want to get and give support as a UK teacher I recommend you contact them about how to join!

Www.theJTA.org  is their website, which is still under reconstruction, however you can get info via a link on there. You need to have done a JWAAD safety course to join, but you do not have to be a JWAAD qualified teacher (which is the bit most dancers don't realize!). I recommend it, to all Bellydance teachers. Whatever 'style' you teach or 'school' you are from. Let's unite and help each other to build Bellydance in the UK rather than all feeling we have to do it alone!

Now, what I would like is an organization to link all the professional bellydancers in Cairo together, to share and help each other. To stand together against unfair treatment and pay. That's what we need now. A Cairo bellydancers union. A pipe dream, unfortunately. It would take a stronger woman than me to set it up, that's for sure!

Here's a pic of me performing in Newcastle. A relaxed fun very enjoyable evening. I look forward to returning to Newcastle as soon as I can!

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