I produce casual showcases at Ancient Art Studios where students who wish to can perform what they are working on. Not everyone who belly dances likes to perform but for those who do I take the responsibility very seriously. I promise each student that I won’t let them go out and have a bad experience. I try to share every secret and every cultural implication and tradition I can to help the dancers on their way. I hold my breathe a little as the actual show unfolds bc I know their hopes, fears, and new skills they are employing. I swell with joy as these brave women take their cheers. The relief and the reward are beyond “a job well done” feeling. It is actually downright life affirming to witness each person putting herself in this situation and standing up for her right to enjoy the music and her expression of it. I cry a little. And this past show, after each took their triumphant bows, I was so moved by their joy that I danced like Snoopy. Thanksgiving Showcase 2016 dancers, thank you for the privilege of witnessing your brilliance and thank you for making me do the snoopy dance!!!

Photo taken at: Ancient Art Studios by Pam Garnett

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