Let’s be honest, India can get pretty overwhelming sometimes… And with a dozen flights between Delhi and Dubai each day, it only makes sense to take little breaks in the Emirates!
I love the UAE because it makes both sides of my split personality happy. 😉 The dancer/traveller in me enjoys the Oriental feeling – the Emirates is a true melange of Arabic and Asian cultures, involving everything between Morocco and Vietnam. And at the same time the Northerner/Excel-table side of me is very satisfied with how clean, organised and safe it is there.
From a gallery in Al Bastakiya
During my most recent trip I was a true tourist – I spent most of my time exploring the galleries and cafes at the Bastakiya Heritage Village, had my meals at the restaurants by the Creek, and even went to see the fountain show at the Dubai Mall!
And what would a trip to Dubai be without bellydancers? On my last night there we had a truly global reunion with Sabriye, Athena, Selina and Kamillah. And what do bellydancers do for fun? Of course we went to Sewar, a Lebanese restaurant, to enjoy live Arabic music and see a bellydancer perform!!! 😀 It was a beautiful end to my little trip, but I know I won’t stay away from the Emirates for too long! 😉
The bellydancers’ reunion: Safran, Selina, Athena, Sabriye and Kamillah at Sewar.
Already before I came to India Najla told me that one of the most important aspects to working here is the community feeling with the other dancers. Because here, unlike with my recent contracts, a number of dancers work and live together. And, the bond that has developed between us is special indeed.
In our little flat in Dwarka (a sub-city of New Delhi) we are representing four different countries, four different languages, and four different stylisations of bellydance, ranging from Saida Helou to modern Egyptian. The diversity means that we can spend hours discussing dancing, cultural differences between us, and of course, India! We’ve even developed our own set of jokes, complete with theme songs and all!.
Working dancers are, of course, night creatures. During the busier times, after we get home from work we sit in the living room with tea, biscuits and Nutella waiting up for others. We work different venues and different events, so those nighttime tea hours are like briefing sessions – we discuss who worked where, what happened, and most importantly, what was the food like 😉 Food is a very important aspect of a dancer’s life, so sometimes I would arrive home from work at 1 a.m., only to find a Ukrainian girl, still in her stage make-up cooking borsch in the kitchen 🙂 When the schedule is less busy, we still stay up late – it is not uncommon that midnight finds some of us rehearsing while others make pancakes.
The beauty of it all is that there is no rivalry or conflicts between us. We trade recipes, give each other fitness tips, go shopping and sightseeing together. Basically, we are like a little circus family 😉