My mother tells me when I was 3 her aunt was singing this song and while she sang Yeh mera dil pyar ka deewana..... To their surprise I sang the latter part 'Deewana deewana pyar ka parwana'
I am in love with Helen's moves and she never fails to inspire me. I could say she was my first dance teacher because when I was young my parents couldn't afford to put me and my sister in a dance school as schools in Kuwait were very expensive. My sister and I turned to movies as our dance school. We would choose a song and role play a character and dance to it. This was the most exciting part of our day.
When I came to India I joined Shiamak Davar's Dance classes and trained for 3 years. There my world opened up in a whole new way! I learnt a lot from footwork to syncronicity , styling and how very important these aspects are!
The idea of a job and working 9 to 5 never felt right for me and working in a call center for a year proved that but I did learn a lot about Customer Service. I knew I had to find my passion and so my search began, I learned fashion designing, candle- making, chocolate making, baking and a professional make up course. While I was a make up artist , I always felt I wanted to be on the other side of the brush! I then stumbled upon Voice Overs and Dubbing. I really enjenjoyed doing it and I still do it till date.
"Seek and you shall find" - My journey with bellydance was accidental; I was looking out for a fitness regime and I had a few options amongst which bellydance was one. Once I attended the class I was hooked and have been ever since. It has been a long journey of Self Discovery ever since. Being a plus size dancer, I had many self worth issues of my own and some borrowed. I struggled to go Solo for a long time. I believe that struggles are self made. I made mine too. It took a while before I understood my worth! My teacher Veronica Simas desouza and my sister Avalanne Dsouza have been very instrumental in my self discovery journey!
My AHA moment came when I chose Courage and performed Solo in 2015 on stage at the Hipnosis curated by Payal Gupta! I was appreciated by International Master teachers - Azad Kaan & Aziza from Canada as well as other belly dancers too.
Being on stage now felt a tad bit better!
In 2018, I travelled to Kuwait as the first Indian bellydance teacher and performer. Which was a grand success! I saw what Courage did for me! 😁 And so now in times when I feel stuck or confused! I Breathe and remember what my sister said...."You always have a choice between Fear and Courage." And so I acknowledge Fear but always choose Courage!
I have a lot of students and viewers who appreciate my abilities! And some criticise me for my size but I am happy to break these stereotypical boundaries of weight, height, age and size. I have discovered that the "limitations" are suggestions and they only matter if I accept them.
Belly dance is everything to me because it helped me find my worth, made me feel good about myself! I feel like the search ended with Belly dance for me. All that I have learnt till date has helped me hugely in all I'm doing now. I apply my own make up and design costumes for myself and my students too. Nothing you learn is a waste! Someday it was all come full circle. Belly dance has helped me become a teacher and a performer! It has taught me to accept my feminine side and not be afraid to show it to the world. It is a very 'Forgiving' dance form because anyone can do it at any age. There are no prerequisites. The youngest I have taught is 4 and the oldest is 66.
There is just one side effect to Bellydance and that's Self Love!