|Posted by Tessa Thompson on May 1, 2013 at 11:55 AM|
Belly dancing has always called to my soul. I remember seeing belly dancers when I was little at events like the Strawberry Festival that my mom took me to. I watched them and knew I wanted to become a belly dancer. Before I was 21, I took a few classes here and there, but I finally committed myself to it 100% spring semester 2011 when I heard it was being offered at MSUB. I was so eager to learn everything I could and couldn’t wait for class to start. Julie Hrubes is the instructor at MSUB and my first real teacher. I absolutely adore her; her personality is very much reflected in her teaching style-she’s fun, silly, and ridiculous in the best possible way, but also teaches the material with great skill and clarity. I have taken her class every semester since and have grown close with her and the other girls in the class. I also started taking classes from Tessa and Kyla at Urban Sands Bellydance about a year ago and love them as well. They work great as a team and they incorporate many different styles of belly dance into their classes. If I had time to take more classes I would. Belly dancing is my biggest passion so I try to get as much learning in as I can.
I love belly dance for so many reasons. I love the way that self-discipline is reflected in the way you move your body and I love feeling my muscles work in synchronicity to create something so beautiful. I love how I am able to express my grace, beauty, talent, and creativity; I feel powerful and strong when I dance, very connected to my inner divinity and femininity and that feeling is addictive to me. I don’t think I’ll ever stop dancing because of it.
Most of my inspiration for belly dance comes from Rachel Brice. I had been dancing for about a year when I discovered her and after watching her I felt like I found “my style” of dance-tribal fusion. I love how she has trained her body to do such difficult moves, like the Turkish drop, which she does so flawlessly. She executes her moves with such perfection and beauty; it takes my breath away every time I watch her. I love that she dances to such unique music and I love the originality of her costumes. I also love Zoe Jakes; the way she performs is hauntingly beautiful. I love the way she throws herself into spins and how captivating her expression is. I love the way both her and Rachel match each movement of their bodies to the music; it's like their bodies become the instrument and it really captures their level of skill.
My favorite moves are the harder ones - belly rolls, miyas, flutters, shimmies. I also like to layer them, but that takes a lot of practice! I always love to challenge myself because when I accomplish a move or combination that is difficult I feel amazing. It helps me see my true strength and dedication.
Like most dancers, I love costuming. Since I was sewing long before I was dancing, I started making my own costumes right away. I like to make my own costumes because I love to sew and I like things that are unique and original, true expressions of myself. I also like that I put so much of myself into belly dance, not just the dancing part but the costume part as well. I feel that costume choice really reflects the mood of your dance and your personality and I am just as passionate about it as I am about dancing.
I am graduating from MSUB this spring with a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and am not quite sure where that will take me just yet. Environmental issues are another major passion of mine so I hope to get involved with an organization that helps to rectify the state of our natural world. My goals for belly dance are to improve-always. I believe that even though I am good, I can always be better and that there is always something new to learn. I want to keep performing at every opportunity and to continue to discover myself through dancing. It connects me to myself, it empowers me and gives me confidence, and it shows me that I truly am beautiful and strong. And that is the best gift I could ever imagine.
Categories: Featured Dancer