It all started like that
My first knowledge of the world of dance and music came about in early childhood. It was ballet. Fascinating live music, gracious ballet dancers in the lamplight enchanted me, and I began to study in a ballet studio. Then I wished to go for show dance, which I’ve been studying for 3 years.
And there, at last, in 2004 I got acquainted with Oriental dancing that charmed and captivated me at once. It was the beginning of my oriental fairy-tale, which brought me to Cairo. Why exactly Cairo? Because when going in for Oriental dancing, it is necessary to understand that you have touched a foreign culture, and its peculiarities, some way or other, have been reflected in the manner of dance performance. Without awareness of folklore, styles, rhythms of performance, your dance will never succeed in conveyance of all shades and accents, initially put in Arabic music, and you can obtain genuine knowledge about it only from bearers of this culture.
The great, wise city, the city of pyramids - the most ancient heritage of Islamic culture, the city of skyscrapers and costly casinos, where once Tahia Karioka, Samia Gamal and Naima Akef were shining. I strived towards the city with all my soul, and it, as it seems to me, understood that, and accepted me. It’s a pity that the real, genuine unique character of Cairo remains hidden from thousands of tourists, which come to stay there for one or two days. It is impossible to understand this city, watching it from the bus window. In order to grasp and love Cairo, one should live there for a while, and then it will reveal you its secrets, and the word "Egypt” will sound to you in a different way.
It is said, the teacher appears when the student is ready. There have been a lot of cases, when somebody is crossing our path, and this encounter turns round sharply our life. I also had such a teacher in the world of Oriental dance. I bless my stars that I’ve met such a splendid, wise, and kind pedagogue like Professor Hassan Khalil, who has taught more than one generation of brilliant belly dancers. It is with him during 1.5 years I was to learn the niceties of Egyptian folklore, classical and modern Egyptian dance and costume, rhythms and styles of dancing. I understand, of course, that a lot of great and talented teachers will cross my path, but genuine knowledge about the essence of Oriental dance, without which it is impossible to become a professional dancer, I gained here, in Cairo, in ISOC of Professor Hassan Khalil. I am very grateful to him for this, and I’m looking forward to seeing him again.
And in conclusion...
Thanks to the Cairo dance festivals Ahlan wa Sahlan and Nile Group, study of the Oriental dance is accessible to everyone. Come to Egypt, study, learn the niceties of the Oriental dance. Just do not try to adopt another dancer’s style of performance (even if she is very famous), search inside yourself, in your enormous innate resources, work out your own style. Otherwise you will always produce a false impression, because you can learn and even perfectly imitate the technique of prominent dancers, but you still will not manage to dance like them, because the dance is not just technique, but it is also your inner state. That is why, in conclusion, I would like to wish all dancers good luck and success in their dance art!