Back to school offers and Katie Holland
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स्वागत हे        WELCOME         أهلا بك
to dancers and dance lovers everywhere!!
This month we are happy to welcome back a wonderfully serene and radiant looking Katie Holland (here on the right). She will be telling us about her dance journey, a new course for 2017, where we can catch up with her and she opens her heart on a personal level! Is that the sound of bells we can hear?  Anklets - ghungroo? Horse bells? Or ...?!

We also take a look at the ARAB QUARTERLY'S next show which will be in their new home - Hoxton Hall!

And with it being September, the start of a new dancing term, we introduce some exciting new dance wear arrivals at Zara's Zouk!!!
And there's more so ......
Please enjoy! 
We start this month with a big WELCOME to you Katie and we thank you for finding the time to talk to us. Your dance and life journey seem to have really moved on since your last interview with us here at Zameena !

Hi Zara, thank you for interviewing me again. Life has definitely been an exciting journey since we last spoke! Although I still continue to teach and perform as before I am also embracing and developing other aspects of me who were always there and have now come to the fore.....

My awareness that there was more to this physical world than what we think we can see began when I was seven. I became aware of energies and more in tune psychically as if I was remembering something I had always known. This inner knowing grew stronger as a teenager leading me to study massage, crystal healing and reiki, alongside M/E, African, Bollywood and Samba dances. Which led to the beginning of my belly dance teaching/performing career. 

In 2006 I moved with my family to live and work in India. I was thrown into a crazy and exciting world performing for celebrities, billionaires,  multi national corporations, TV etc. On one hand it was an unbelievable dream come true. I could never have imagined some of the experiences I had which I'd trained so freaking hard for, for all those years, right? But as time went on I was confused.
The more 'known' I became the more I found that I needed dance to feed my soul in a different way. I had always related dance to feeling great emotionally and knew it had the potential for profound healing, so I began studying Transactional Analysis, Tantra, conscious communication, Bharatnatyam, Gurdjieff sacred movements and Sufi whirling. I was suddenly aware of the blocks and repetitive patterns in my mind and body and wanted to embrace them into freedom! 
Intrigued with the significance and interpretation of every nuance and sacred ritual I also found the spiritual balance I craved for, whilst realising what was now missing for me in. It was a steep, intense learning and letting go for me on all levels.
I was still performing loads and had decided to be in the showbiz world but not of it. In India many foreign dancers are also prostitutes, the constant pressure to join them and the focus on the way you look was immense and difficult to fight against. Sometimes our lives were in danger, sometimes we were treated like Queens and this all coincided with the breakdown of my marriage. So I made a commitment to myself. To take a very courageous journey to the inside exploring all the shadows and wounds I needed to heal and release; taking my life and dance to exactly where I wanted it to be. 
A penny dropping moment for me was on one teaching tour in England. A lady came to me after a performance and said, "I have seen you perform many times and I love your dance. But today something was so different and I can't work it out. What changed?"
I was bewildered and pondered on this for days. I kept thinking, "I didn't change my technique or anything else in my dance, hmm.. but I have let go of such and such issue, that person isn't in my life anymore and I healed this and this...and....and!" I suddenly realised. As I was transforming on the inside there was no hiding it on the outside! My shining soul dancer could not be hidden any longer and people could actually see her! This then led me to Inner dance and Access Bars which I now also train facilitators in and then Kundalini dance and now, based in Bali, I am studying Balinese dances.
That was such a personal journey to share with us dancers, thank you. I can see your dance journey continues in Bali but, where can we see you or take a workshop with you?
I love sharing my knowledge and skills with others. It makes me so happy! I am currently on tour across England.  I visit twice a year and also teach/perform around the world. The best way to keep up is to join my e-mailing list or ask my I regularly have to!  Here are a few dates:
5th Sept: Bollywood. Worthing
6th Sept: Tantra-Belly and Inner Dance. East Grinstead
9th Sept: Inner dance  Northants
10th Sept: Access Bars Facilitator Training. Leics
11th Sept: Inner Dance,  Malvern
16-18th Sept: Jan's  Bellyspa  Torquay
22nd Sept: Kundalini Dance.  Leicester
23-24th Sept: Workshops and Casbah Cafe.  Kidlington, Oxford 
1-3rd Oct:
Earth Soul Dance Retreat.  Ambleside
7-9th Oct: Jewel of Yorkshire Festival  Yorkshire
5-16th Oct: World Dance Festival. Lampeter Wales
17th Oct: Inner dance ~ Inner child.  Leicester
23 Oct -1st Nov: 
Kashtat Bedu Retreat  Bali
Photo taken and edited by Majdi (also the 2nd & 5th)

Wow! You are so busy! And I know that In 2017 you are holding a 16 day Facilitator Training Course in Bulgaria. I have read the details, which are very thorough, but can you tell us more about it?

Awakened Bellydance really is a very special and completely new perspective of exploring M/E dance for healing and spiritual 'dancenlightenment'. When I first started learning M/E dance in 1994 I often thought of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, wondering how the arm positions and movements activated energy and blockages within the body.
As time went by my dance and energy practices expanded and combined as I discovered many keys and insights.  These included how emotions, the body, chakras, Kundalini energy and the womb could be purified and activated. How the feminine/masculine and right/left brain could be integrated and balanced through simple bellydance techniques, energy work and conscious connection with the heart centred self and much more....

When we perform hip circles, figure of 8's etc we stimulate womb energy in the lower body and chakras. This energy is wonderful! It has limitless potential! As women we hold so much power in our womb centre which is awoken and stirred as we bellydance. 
However, it can begin to stagnate if not directed with intention. As technique based, linear, structured bellydancers we may think only about the show, bling and what we present to our students and audience on the outside. Unfortunately, when our super feminine energy isn't channeled upwards and through the heart centre it can then manifest as the 'shadow dancer' in negative states of ego, judgement, control, competition and basically the bitchiness that unfortunately we see inherent in the bellydance world.

The Awakened Bellydance Training is a beautiful self awakening process and an invitation to all women who are interested to explore and expand their awareness with a different focus on Middle Eastern dance. We will also work with other sacred dances, yoga, dynamic meditation, conscious sisterhood and communication, breathwork, deep ecology and energy development exercises.  

This certification will give students the option of teaching their own Awakened Bellydance classes, using it for self development or both. Creating a supportive and respectful sisterhood is paramount as we transform conditioning, negative thoughts/body/ancestral patterns and heal all that is stored within the womb - problem periods, traumatic births, sexual abuse etc. Dancers will discover transformations in all aspects of their life including their performances and teaching as we re-programme, unlearn, remember, allowing ultimate surrender. Healing ourselves and our ancestral lineages on all levels with love and compassion whilst fully embracing our femininity. 
Throughout my life there has been no question in my mind that I had to dance. I was born to dance, I was going to dance and I have most certainly danced and danced some more! Around ten years ago in Nepal I had a spontaneous Kundalini rising experience. I realised I had to listen even more deeply to my intuition and really own what was then the seedling of my AB creation. I had to follow what my heart was telling me and completely believe in myself healing all my fears along the way. After years of developing Awakened Bellydance bringing the training to final fruition has been such an emotional journey because I now recognise absolutely that my whole life has been about experiencing, learning and building up to this moment. I know in my own humble way I am making my contribution to the universe. 

To take part in the Awakened Bellydance training absolutely no dance experience or prior knowledge is needed as all will covered during the course with full support. The focus is on You - what's on the inside, not how you look, your technique, age or anything else!  
Also there are 5 part scholarships on offer, so enquire.
It sounds amazing and very special Katie! Bulgaria sounds wonderful too.  

Thank you, I certainly plan for it to be a fully amazing course!  Close friends who live near the venue in Bulgaria, and who will be holding the sound healing and sacred sounds concert during the course, recommended Baby Mountain and I intuitively knew it was the right place!

You have been to so many amazing places. Do you have a favourite?

I always love where I am in the present moment and I just try to fully immerse myself wherever I happen to be on that particular day without attachment. In the same way I always say my home is wherever I happen to be sleeping that night because it changes so frequently with all my travelling! Places mainly stand out for me because of the people and experiences I have had there. I have spent a lot of time travelling and studying in Morocco and feel a deep connection to the country.

I'm now engaged to a lovely man, with dimples, from Saudi Arabia who is in complete support of everything I do, as I am of him. I have a secret (or not so secret now) wish for a hot air ballooning honeymoon over the Moroccan desert!
A honeymoon, Katie!! How romantic! Congratulations!  Mabruk, Alf Mabruk! Tell us more! You mention that your partner is from Saudi Arabia, many people would find this surprising. How does this work for you both and your dancing?
Many people ask me this kind of question and it makes me smile. When we first met (in a nightclub in Goa dancing aptly to Rihanna's 'We Found Love in a Hopeless Place') he shyly asked me for my number. As I gave him my bellydance business card I told him:

"I'm British. I'm getting divorced, have two children by two fathers. I'm a professional belly dancer and have no intention of stopping, so its your call."

Fast forward to five years later.... there have been so many times when Majdi is praying on his prayer mat and I am next to him on my yoga mat doing salutation to the sun. We look at each other and smile. As they say in India, 'Same, same, but different!'

I love it when I'm offered an opportunity. I'll be working out the rehearsing and logistics, that I'm going to be away from home and all it will involve. Majdi says,
"Just do it love, I'll look after everything and we'll be here waiting for you when you get back........(with chips and humus!)"
You have such a lovely family. I hope your dream honeymoon comes true! I love this photo of you with your two children!  Thank you for sharing it with us. So, spill the beans - How have you managed to juggle motherhood with all the travel and work?

Thank you! My gorgeous ones - Xavier is 16 and Tai 13. For me I never, ever thought of it as a 'juggle'. I feel your attitude and the way you perceive children and work is key to doing both and still following your dreams. I was twenty-one when Xavier was born and twenty-four with Tai. I had no idea of all the unbelievable experiences my dance was going to take me to at that time. I just continued to dance with small wriggly extensions carried in my belly or on my back. It seemed very simple and easy to just pick them up and carry them wherever I went and to dance as usual. I have worked tirelessly to further and balance my own self development, career and support my family. 

I have also been a single working-dancing mum with all that that entails - the work never stops! 
So when I have time off I dedicate this to my family. We go off exploring or make chips and humus and stay in watching films. As well as my lovely fiance, Majid, there's my amazing parents and family who have always believed in me and my adventurous dancing lifestyle! 

Thank you Katie for sharing so much with us!  Best wishes for a wonderful, love and family filled future - and the honeymoon of your dreams!! 

And for those who cannot get to see Katie live, here she is dancing with assaya!
from Zara's Zouk
Get these Fun and Sexy sets and start your new term feeling great
Brown Meow Cat Set £31.99, Gold Necklace Â£25.99,  Practical Pink Cat Set £25.99
Bra and Belt Sets Â£99.00, Red or blue Ra Ra Skirt £59.99, White or Gold Double Chiffion skirt £39.99, Double Purple Satin Split Skirt £39.99
at their NEW venue
Hoxton Hall

Sunday 2 October
Doors 7pm: Performance time: 7.30pm
Melanie Norman, the TAQ dancers, musicians of The Arab Quarter Band and guest dancers are excited to be performing at their new venue, Hoxton Hall - a traditional, East End music hall of great character and charm which has just benefitted from a £2 million refurbishment
o, do buy a ticket, come along and join in the fun! 

Arab Quarterly is London's long standing live Arabic music and dance stage show featuring The Arab Quarter Band and amazing dancers.

Check out the line up for October!

The excitement of the night is generously shared as the audience is invited to dance with the band! It's fun, informal, smart and refined, all in one!

And Zara's Zouk are delighted to be there with a range of sparkly goodies!
Come and meet Zara's Zouk at
Rosemary Belly Dancing Event

17 September,  City Academy Atrium, Norwich

A Summer of Bellydance Love

In this fun photo and video blog Zara Dance shares all her exciting belly dance adventures from across the summer and THANKS ALL THOSE WHO HOSTED HER! 

Click Here To Read 
Thank you for perusing this month's Zameen.  We hope you enjoyed!
Till next time, it's belly dance love and shimmies from
Zara and Sandra xx

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