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The Story Of A Love Of Dance

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The Story Of A Love Of Dance
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Share A Dance With Me
A Few Of My Favorite Things.....
Shimmy With Me!
What's Happening Now.....

Here is where you will find what makes me love dance, how I came to dance, and what keeps me dancing!

I am 32 years old. I am divorced and the non-custodial parent of two wonderful sons ages 10 and 12! I am primarily a homemaker. I have been on SSI for close to three years now due to the fact that I have a seizure disorder but I am going to try and go back to school and get a degree so that I can get off of SSI and be independant! I have been epileptic all my life and have never driven a car due to my seizure disorder! I live a very clean lifestyle. I am a vegetarian though I do eat fish, I recently quit smoking and have now been "clean" for 7 months! I don't drink excessively or partake of any caffiene or illegal drugs. I try very hard to take care of myself and feel that I have made significant progress over the past few years.

I first started dancing when I was a child. Maybe 5 or 6 years old. Every little girl's parents put them in ballet at some point I think.. Also, I had an additional reason for being put into dance classes, I was very clumsy due to medication for my seizures and I think my parents wanted me to learn to be more aware of my body and how to use it. Well I honestly didn't stick with ballet for very long, maybe a year or two. Then my sister and I moved on to gymnastics. She stayed with gymnastics and I went on to tap which I enjoyed much more! I also found my way to modern dance and jazz by the time I was 11 and my first public performance that I did that was not a recital was with a wonderful woman named Mim Chenfeld and her assistant Dawn Haymer at our temple. Mim's son Cliff was the cantor there and he provided the music with his acoustic guitar and of course he sang. Mim, Dawn and I had practiced for close to three months before that performance and I was really excited and nervous! Well all I can say is that my love for performing was cemented! The hard work had paid off! Over the years I have studied many different forms of dance. When I was married to my ex-husband who is 1/2 Cherokee we participated in the local Pow Wow events here in Columbus and I danced Tradtional Style according to Native American Custome for five successive years. The first two were amature and the last three I did receive some reciprocation so you could say it was semi-professional. I have also studied the Cuban Orisha Dances to a very limited extent and I have now been studying Middle Easten Dance for close to two years! All in all the majority of my 32 years has been spent in studying dance! I think that when you stop dancing or doing anything that you love that is when you age.

golden memories by ayla
goldenmemoriesbyayla.jpg

This outfit is a caftan and I used to not really show myself in caftans to dance in because I wear them around the house a lot so I didn't picture them as 'glamorous'  or as 'costumes'.  The thing is that over time I have come to realize that none of the clothes I am wearing are meant to be 'costumes' in the strictest sense.  They are all clothing that is traditional to different regions and worn around the house or out... So why should I not wear my regular day clothing to dance in?  It has shown a kind of growth in my perception of Middle Eastern Dance and in my perception of myself as well.

When I first entered Shakira's class to study Middle Eastern Dance I thought I would prefer the "silk road" style of dance. That is the very sensual and slow dances that are very oriental in nature and meditative. I have found over time, that I prefer the Roma style of dance. Roma is the proper term for Gypsy. All my life I have had a fascination with Gypsies. I have a few books of Gypsy folklore and I have studied tarot reading as well and am a competant tarot reader in my own right. Many of my friends, Shakira included, have often refered to the style of clothing that I wear as Gypsy. In fact I was at a Macedonian/Greek Folkdance night at a local club/restraunt called K2U one Friday night when a young man there who was Persian asked me if I was Gypsy because of the way I was dressed and my looks! I was stunned! Also, our class has what are called "Studio Parties" where we get together with friends and family and perform for each other at a local Middle Eastern restaurant about once a month. Hanny who owns NAZARETH is very kind and lets us use the restaurant even keeping the kitchen open an extra hour so that we can order food for ourselves so we won't starve after we dance! At closing he locks the doors and the place is ours! The parties start at 8pm and last no later than 10:30pm because they are family oriented and Hanny is letting us use his restaurant free... Well I digress, at one of these parties there was a man there who was from Jordan and I had performed a Roma dance all in culturally correct outfit of course which is not hard because it is a circle and a half skirt to a double circle skirt and poet shirt and vest generally and I have plent of poets shirts and vests... Well I have this one skirt that I got at a thrift store that serves in a pinch as a Roma skirt. So anyway, I had just performed this dance and he told me that I reminded him of being back home! I felt so wonderful! And then he asked where I got my outfit because it was so authentic! Well I am such a little bargain hunter I had gotten everything in the thrift store and the whole outfit was less than $5.00 and the skirt was held together in back by safety pins... When I told him that he laughed and said, "true Roma!" I felt totally vindicated! So honestly I think that Roma will always be my prefered style though I do still love the "silk road" as it is refered to and I do quite a bit of meditative dance as well!

One of my favorite movies that has absolutely divine music and beautiful dancing too is KAMASUTRA. It takes place in India of course and is absolutely spectacular!

I actually listen to a variety of music.
Not only do I listen to more traditonal Middle Eastern music
but I will combine other venues as well...
I have found a form called Bhangra that is kind of
Middle Eastern rap in a way...
And it is very lovely to dance to!
I get very ecstatic with it!