It is only natural. When you set out to do something new and scary, you want to know that you are not alone. So you search the horizon for others like yourself, others who have survived the bias that you have faced because of their skin, their size, their look or their way of being. You seek out sister travelers who get you because they have been there themselves.
For many years I was in that space. When I looked around the bellydance community there weren’t many, especially professionals, who were like me. Dark skinned, busty, full figured with locks was a combination rarely seen at any bellydance event. I was making a transition from baby dancer to something that felt intangible, because there seemed to be no models to guide me. Then one day, I stumbled on a video and the world changed. She was beautiful, enchanting, commanding and yes, a bellydancer, like me.
Miasia is a Washington D.C. based bellydancer, specializing in Turkish, Egyptian and American styles of Oriental Belly Dance. To describe Miasia’s dancing is like describing fine silk, strong, luxurious and captivating. Her mentor and teacher, Artemis Mourat says it best:
“Miasia is an extraordinary dancer. Of all the thousands of women I have taught, she is the best of the best. Her stage presence is intoxicating and her joy is infectious. Miasia’s technique is flawless, but a true artist must be more than that. A master technician must be warm and engaging. Miasia is what I call a heart, gut, soul dancer.”
Etang and I have had the pleasure of meeting and even sharing a stage with Miasia. As a bellydance-sister she is generous, informative and hilarious. It was a lively conversation about costumes, teaching, performing and traveling to Egypt and Turkey. We left with heads whizzing, full of possibilities. But what I remember most about her was the way she held the audience in curve of her hip. Every shimmy, undulation and dramatic pause was met with wide-eyed wonder and smiles. What a dancer. What an inspiration.
Who inspires you? We invite you to join Your Body Raks in our celebration of Women in Dance this month by submitting a photo or video with a message about the dancer to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can be an international, national or local dancer from any dance style.
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