Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Spring into Shimmy!

It's been a lovely sunny day in London town and Spring has officially sprung.  I find this time of year not only refreshing, but a great time for reflections and creating new beginnings; the two sub-headers of this post.

1. Reflections...
Its been a busy but lovely few weeks at my primary school and one of the highlights was arranging for a group of children to attend a dance festival for kids with special needs.  It was one of the most heart warming experiences I've felt and I was SO proud to see the children take centre stage, face their fears and bring their dance moves alive in front of a supportive crowd. The power of what dancing can do for a young person's confidence and self-esteem, goes without saying!  The children had no expectations, simply went with the flow, as they danced to Pharell Williams's "Happy" and despite their initial apprehension, trusted that everything would be okay.  Well it was better an okay in the end, they were AMAZING, as were all the kids from the other special schools at the festival. 

The whole experience of the children's dance festival got me thinking about how dance uplifts my own sense of self and enhances my well-being.  Last weekend at Shimmy by the Sea (SBTS), certainly put a spring into my inner dance diva.  SBTS is a bellydance weekender with dance workshops from experienced professional dancers, a hafla (aka Arabic party and showcase) and a SOUK to buy sparkly Egyptian costumes and bits in. For me, SBTS was a weekend full cheeky laughs, pushing myself to experience new things, creating dance memories with old and new friends, and lapping up some beautiful sea breeze and scenery. My first experience of SBTS was a lovely way to physically unwind, learn from others and DANCE just like the kids at the dance festival.  

2. Creating new beginnings...
Well the sun is out and change is coming.  Rather than blindly rushing ahead and creating new beginnings for the sake of it, I've chosen to purposely digest what I have learnt from all of my amazing teachers, students and inspirations so far, including all the lovely hafla dance performances I get to see.  This time round though, I plan to continue simply enjoying and feeling the beauty and sensuality of bellydance; but with a new perspective: if something is out of my comfort zone, face the fear and go with the flow until it becomes automatic! Pushing the dance boundaries (well for me anyway!) this season, I will pursue a Bellydance Performer's Course and workshops with live Arabic musicians - exciting stuff!  It will be a balancing act with the day job, but as dance is what feeds my soul, its SO worth putting in the extra effort for.

Enjoy the sunnier climes and keep dancing!

Shimmy ON!


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