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Finding Your Dance Space

by Anthea Kawakib Poole
(Zaghareet! Magazine, Jan-Feb 2014)

If youíre taking belly dance class, chances are you have a place at home where you dance. It may be between the TV and the couch, with the coffee table pushed out of the way; or a hallway thatís long and narrow; a clear spot in your bedroom; or even your kitchen! Iíve heard so many creative ways people have found a place to practice at home.

Sometimes students get together and find a space they can use as a group:

These are great options for performing groups and troupes that need a large space to dance.

But students who are really involved in the dance usually set aside a special area in their home, from an entire room to just part of a room, where they can set up mirrors and a sound system. Your space may not be a glorious mirrored studio with wood floors, but donít be embarrassed. The point is youíve taken the time to make this space your own by dancing in it - even if itís just for a few minutes.

I also used to dance between the bed and the wall, looking into a chipped mirror I scrounged from somewhere. In fact I remember that bedroom ceiling was so low I had to go outside to practice veil dancing! I mustíve looked funny out in the dirt yard swirling a sparkly veil around and dodging dogs and chickens. Other times Iíd go into the kidís room, which was larger, kick the toys out of the way, and practice travel steps.

The dance took me out of these cramped and uninspiring surroundings to a world of joyful creativity. Iíd dance for hours, finally vibrating like a plucked string as so much energy flowed through me until I was drenched in sweat. Ah, youth! But this can happen when you let the spirit of creativity move you - you donít need a spiffy studio and fancy decor - just time to dance. 

Your Dance Ritual Helps Create Your Space

The ďDance SpaceĒ becomes special by using it. It is your dedication made visible - even if itís just a clear spot on the floor. 
And practice time neednít always be work either. Take an hour to yourself; put on pretty dance clothes, light a candle or incense, pick your favorite music and just dance. We need to let ourselves enjoy these happy moments. Thatís why a home dance space is important - and very much a sacred space.

Itís inspiring to see the places where students dance in their homes. I believe these ďsacred spacesĒ encourage dancing and help students grow, EVEN if itís not fancy at all. Would you like yours included on my Pinterest Dance Spaces board? Iíd love to include it: send me your dance space photo and info, or a link to your photo: anthea (at) kawakib (dot) com - letís encourage each other to create our own practice space!

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