It is so exciting to be writing you this blog from the busy streets of Nairobi, in a lovely café serving local grown Kenyan Coffee. I’ve been belly dancing here with my friend and colleague Azin Bellydance for the past month and we’ll be here for a few more months to come so, if you are in Kenya, do come to see us!! It’s a very exciting opportunity. We perform every weekend in one of the city’s top night clubs, Venom, where the dance floor is packed with locals, the LED lights are flashing and everyone is out to have a good time!
But actually I nearly didn’t come! Something I look back on now and feel ridiculously stupid about. Especially when I consider that I am sitting in and enjoying the spectacular Nairobi Sun – whilst the UK is still icy cold and dark (sorry to rub it in).
But why would I nearly allow such an opportunity to pass me by? It wasn’t the obvious “stress” of leaving for another country with less than 10 days’ notice. Yes, Azin and I are crazy enough to move to another country with only 10 days’ notice! This was the least of my concerns. It was because, despite having danced professionally for nearly 10 years (ahh how time flies) – I am human, a woman ridden with insecurities! And regardless of how irrational my insecurities may be they have a very real effect. This is not the first time I have had to face my insecurities – It is something which has always been a part of my life, especially in my dance journey.
What were my biggest fears?? AHHHH what if I get there and they don’t think I am a very good dancer? And DOUBLE AHHH what if I get there and they think I am ugly / too fat / too old? Yes, they had seen photos/videos but I am talking about in real life, no filter.
Now let me be clear in this article – I know these fears are irrational / blown wayyyyy out of proportion, but it doesn't stop them from showing their ugly face. I can dance, I have been studying belly dance for as long as I can remember. And hey, I know I’m not hideously ugly and I seriously believe beauty comes in all forms and NOBODY is not deserving of fantastic life opportunities because of how they look. Also, as a woman, I DO NOT have a sell by date! It is something a lot of women battle with, usually due to deep societal ingrained teachings from birth as to having to look “pretty” and a certain way as a girl/woman to feel worthy of happiness, even of existence. There is a famous saying, “If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business!” which makes you realise the scale of this issue. I’m not alone. You’re not alone. Really when you think about it, it is crazy but all the same it has an impact and I can’t deny I was in fear about going!
Luckily, as much as belly dance has lead me into situations where my insecurities run rife, amazingly, there is something magical about bellydance. It is always bellydance which makes me face, destroy and conquer these insecurities! I have a section on this in my Bellydance Empowerment Workshop which really concentrates on how fundamentally embedded within bellydance is the power to overcome insecurities and as a result let you live happier – because really - what use are our Insecurities?
Insecurities will only ever ROB YOU! They will rob you of happiness, of joy, of experiences and opportunities. They can even rob you of friends and love because not only do they lead you to feel un-worthy of being loved and receiving luck; they are usually deeply rooted in jealousy. Hate and nasty behaviour often emenates from a dark place of insecurity.
DON’T LET YOUR INSECURITIES CHEAT YOU out of doing what you want to do; out of performing anywhere; of chasing your dance dreams; ENJOYING fully dancing in your beautiful body; performing; showing off and sharing your joy: all without guilt. And don’t let your insecurities control your actions. Don’t act out of a place of spite and nastiness. I know it’s hard. Trust me, I nearly didn't come here. But know this: bellydance is there for you – it’s your support that loves you and a tool which you can use to let go and allow yourself to love yourself.
So, I am here and what is the conclusion? ….. Of course I think it goes without saying – I had nothing to worry about! I was panicking over nothing! (The wisdom of hindsight). I am having the time of my life out here! I LOVE IT!The amount of joy and the RUSH of excitement, performing regularly for an amazing audience in a sexy, classy club in Africa is performing on another level!
And hey, even if somebody does think those things: that I am not a good dancer, that I am not pretty enough – you know what? They can go !*?!*?!Thoughts like those are probably coming from a horrible place of insecurity within them and are not a reflection of me – My advice to them? ….. Take up bellydance! ;)