Once upon a time, a time that seems distant and yet so close, I had an awakening.
A Tunisian artist called Leila Haddad was going to present an Oriental Dance performance at "Culturgest", one of the most prestigious theatres in Lisbon, Portugal.
Leila dragged a fascinating culture behind her. Her photo on the poster of the performance smelled of cumin and "bokhour" (incense); her ellusive presence promised a magic I´d never witnessed.
At the time, I knew...
Growing older is inevitable - the privilege of the ones who live to tell; growing up is optional.
And what I´ve observed is that most of us grow older without ever growing up.
One of the reasons why we don´t grow up is because we refuse to learn from life experience.
I´m a compulsive learner. Give me a course, a book, a podcast, any great learning tool, and I´m a happy girl.
Yet, I know that there´s no better school than life experience....
This is not what you think. And certainly not what I expected.
When I moved to Egypt, during the official - bumpy - start of my career, I experienced the infamous cultural shock. I also suffered from the even more infamous "colonizer´s syndrome".
I criticized. Pointed fingers. Couldn´t understand how locals thought, felt, and behaved.
I grabbed, perhaps tighter than I should, to my values and perspective on the world, presuming they´d be superior to the ones I was...
As a dancer and, certainly, as a person, I often struggle to keep my soul intact.
Wars - internal and external -, economy, global warming; personal and collective issues. And, what hurts deeper in the skin, heartbreak coming from the observation of a world that seems less and less human, more and more machine-like, robotic, soulless.
Making sure I, too, don´t lose my soul starts to look like a full-time job. Luckily, it´s a pleasant job.
Here are 3 of my favorite...
The way we think shapes the way we dance. And, most importantly, the way we live.
At Joana Saahirah´s Signature Course, we work on mindset and heartset as much as we work on the physical body, dance technique, musicality, and all sorts of delicious skills oriental dancers have to develop.
In this post, I´m sharing an excerpt from a Bonus Live Class I delivered at our Signature Course about THE MINDSET OF A PROFESSIONAL ORIENTAL DANCER.
The thing is: it doesn´t...
I don´t know who needs to read this but...
In our dance journey, and in our life, we´ll face opposition. Inner and outer opposition.
That opposition comes in the shape of personal insecurities, self-sabotage, trauma, a belief system that brings us down - that´s our inner opposition.
That opposition also comes in the shape of naysayers, critics, haters, and folks who are so frustrated with themselves and their life, they simply cannot accept that someone else -...
Am I Self-Confident?
We can affirm that I am. Most of the time.
I believe in myself - my inherent value, talents, and ability to make great things happen.
Sometimes, I fall off that wagon - big time. Life throws me a punch and I doubt myself, I go back - even if for just a moment or a short season - to a disempowered place of victimhood, lack of self-trust, and amnesia. But, make no mistake, I know my way back home.
You can tell when you´ve gone astray...
The obvious isn´t that obvious - here´s something experience has taught me; something I tell my students, frequently.
In other words, in our search for the extraordinary, we ignore the power of the ordinary, the simple, what´s right in front of our eyes.
In a time when everyone and everything seems to exist at a high speed - too fast, if you ask me -, we need to slow down, take a step back, and reconnect with what truly matters.
In this blog post - 3...
Self-Discovery & Empowerment are essential parts of my work. They´re also, in my experience, an indissociable part of Egyptian Dance.
When I first wrote about it - in my first published book "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond" -, I was criticized, ridiculed, and not-so-secretly hated. That was in 2013, the year the first edition of the book came out.
Today these concepts have become trendy and plagiarised.
I could tell...
Images that speak more than words
A couple of pleasures that feed my soul
Consider it basic self-care. Rituals of self-preservation. Routines that nurture what is human in me
A creamy cappuccino, come rain or come shine.
Sprinkled with cinnamon or dark chocolate.
Reading them, above all; smelling their pages; browsing bookshops; discovering new books; last but not least, writing books (I have two published; more on the way).