As today brings the entire decade to a close, before we head into 2020, we take the time to reflect on all the amazing experiences and people that were brought to us...
Current & former SharqiDance students pose with Shahrzad, our guest instructor for Spring Into Dance 2019
2019 - A Year and Decade in Review
This decade saw the birth of SharqiDance, my dream business teaching belly dance in New Jersey, giving me the opportunity to cross paths with and teach hundreds of people this empowering, feminine and healing art form. For that, I could not be more grateful!
Just this year alone, we've had so many incredible experiences. Our SharqiSquad (the SharqiDance student troupe) performed at belly dance events all over New Jersey--gracing the stage of Roxy & Dukes in Dunnelle, Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, and studio haflas all throughout the year.
We performed at public events and festivals: The Asbury Park Promenade of Mermaids, The Lakewood Renaissance Faire, and Soulsational Festival in Bayville; we hosted world-reknowned belly dancer Shahrzad at our very own studio in Wall Township, NJ, we added a Darbuka Mastery class with the amazing April Centrone to our roster, and we were honored to close out the year performing at a NY Arabic Orchestra concert in New York City!
What's Next in 2020
This was all made possible thanks to the amazing people who took a chance and gathered the courage to try out a belly dance class with us. This has enabled us to come up with even bigger, better plans for 2020.
If belly dance has been on your mind this past decade, but you haven't quite yet gathered the courage to start, now is the time, with 2020 poised to be our biggest, baddest year yet!
If you're local to Monmouth or Ocean County, NJ, come join our empowering, positive and supportive community! Or if you're too far away, contact me to schedule an online private class over video chat. It's never too late to start, and I would love to have you join us!
Stay in Touch!
As the year nears its end, we reflect on one of its biggest overarching themes
It's very easy to get caught up in the fight, in the negativity that surrounds us all when we are spending so much of our time and energy focused on the cruelty, injustice and trauma we have suffered as individuals and collectively as a gender.
This was a difficult, triggering, exhausting year for women in our society; it was a year in which many awful truths were laid bare for us all to see. It was also a year in which our society took multiple steps back, rather than making advances to break the cycle of trauma we continue to fall victim to.
Most of us are still sorting through that pain, through the anger, trying the best we can to make sense of it all, to process it and figure out how we can create a better world for ourselves and a better future for our children. It's easy to look back and feel only helplessness and hopelessness.
But when we reflect on this past year, we have a choice. We can choose to focus on the we battles lost or the extent of the trauma we've suffered and in doing so we can lose ourselves in victimhood, pessimism and anger... or we can choose to focus on the lessons we've learned and the things we've discovered about our true nature, allowing those discoveries to light our path forward.
You see, this year was about assessing the real damage that has been done to us. And the realization of just how much we have all really been through--of just how much we have survived--reveals by extension the true resilience and strength we have been carrying in us all along.
We were woken up to our true nature. And for those who are waking up, there is no amount of societal programming that can take us back to that place we were at before--the belief that we are weaker, incapable, or in any way less worthy than our male counterparts. We won't settle for a society that is built on those beliefs, and now we know we are strong enough to make a change.
So women the world over are stepping into their power and choosing not to settle for a world in which their voice is not heard and their choices are not respected or understood.
We are empowering ourselves to show the world new ways of thinking, acting and being that will create a kinder, more balanced and harmonious future--something all people will benefit from.
And it's possible to accomplish it from a place of love, compassion and understanding, if we do the work of healing ourselves both as individuals and as a collective.
Fear and anger have their place, they serve to help us survive dangerous situations or motivate us to right a wrong. But when we let these emotions outrun their usefulness, they do more harm than good and backfire on us. As Martin Luther King, Jr said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
When we do the work to heal ourselves, we find the answers. This is why 2018 has been The Year of the Woman. We were exposed to truths about our society we can no longer accept, and we were shown that we are strong enough to heal and powerful enough to create change. And we are learning how to work together and empower one another to do just so.
That is how we will ascend.
Happy Healing, WonderWomen!
Yamê is a Brazilian-American belly dancer based out of New Jersey, USA.