I had to push myself into a LANGUAGE that is older than the Pyramids which Egyptians carry inside their genes: soul language. I also realized I had to discover myself and put it out on stage - creating a language of my own, inside the common Oriental Dance language. You need to do that as a dancer.
In discovering (maybe remembering!*) my own dance style I was able to touch my audience's hearts This was the only way I could survive in the Cairo jungle and thrive - despite and against all kinds of (very odd) odds (forgive me the pleonasm).
Mastering a genuine Egyptian style is a combination of education (of the dance, music, cultural context, etc), self-assurance, self-knowledge and the courage to assume your uniqueness. Having the guts to expose our raw feelings and inner world is a MUST for everyone who wishes to shine! I stress that these June workshops will work on this .....
You have talked of the styles of belly dancing you have seen on your travels. How do they differ from those in Cairo?
Travelling and teaching around world has given me opportunities to see new styles and approaches within the Middle Eastern Dances realm. I learn from all these variations, styles, perspectives and even mistakes. In general, there is great work being developed but there is still an ignorance towards what Egyptian Dance REALLY IS.
What I miss most is the ESSENCE of Egyptian dance, the expression, the interpretation, the emotional and spiritual dimension which make Egyptian dance unique, magical and transformative.
There are still misconceptions that reduce this dance to a group of basic acrobatic/aerobic movements everyone can master and show off on a stage as "an exotic dance". There is a lack of realisation that Egyptian dance is a language of the heart/soul that speaks to other human beings.... but we are heading in the right direction - we'll get there soon! :)