Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RIP - Phenomenal Woman

The Wisdom of someone who has lived (with her open eyes) and learnt/grew from it.
Existing - just breathing in and out - is not that hard but LIVING is.
I often say that all of us may have life experiences but just a few are able to take LESSONS out of them and even fewer are able to clearly and positively SHARE those lessons. Here´s a Woman who lived, learnt and shared like very few have.
Forever in our hearts*
"The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination."
Maya Angelou

(Never) good enough: Cairo backstage classical scene*

My mind went on explosive mode yesterday - it had to. I caught myself on one of those classical blue valleys where I feel like quitting the whole thing and getting this pressure of CREATING off my back. Just becoming a smart ass business woman or a farmer - anything like that.
 Three facts contributed to this explosion:
1. The perfectionism ghost and how castrating it can be (even if I still move forward and DO things, ACHIEVE stuff and CLIMB mountains with success I tend not to enjoy a second of it);
2. Doing the second (and final!) revision/edition of my upcoming book - finding myself on the verge of a nervous break down due to all the corrections, cuts and re-writing I have to do.
3. Reading Andre Agassi´s auto-biography "Open" (no idea why I would even pick the biography of a tennis player) and seeing myself in it wayyyyyyy too much. He was a 1st level athlete competing with the best in the world - I´m a dancer (combination of athlete and artist) known worldwide who has never competed with other dancers but, what is probably worse, has always competed with herself.
P.S: I am loving this book!
The whole "perfection" ghost is falling on my head and I have to wonder it it´s time to ENJOY more and worry less about the results. A story immediately comes to my rescue, reminding me not to let victories and creativity´s pleasure pass me by.
Classic of mine:
Some years ago (4 years, to be exact), I was presenting my BEST show EVER. This was in Cairo, Egypt, and the night was ours: my night and my team´s night (musicians, dancers, assistant). I´d worked so hard and sacrificed so much of my life for this moment: not the famous name, not even the respect of the Oriental Dance Mecca but THIS NIGHT. I knew I had done my best work so far; my musicians followed my lead and also knew how great they were; the audience, usually warm, was ON FIRE - inspiration and connection was on our sides and nobody could ignore the fact that this was the BEST show of our lives.
Once the show was over my team retreated to their backstage room and celebrated - loudly, happily, NATURALLY, like  human beings do.
What about me? Ah!
I was held my the audience for a while (pictures, autographs, heart felt hugs and generous words of praise for my work); then I retreated to MY backstage room and sat quietly with a cup of tea on my hands. I could listen to the celebration noise by my side (it almost bothered me) but all I did was to ask my assistant for a notebook ("Are you all right, Joujou? Are you feeling ok?" - She asked, worried about the absense of a smile and my bizarre quiteness).
As my team continued to party - and fairly pat each other on the back for the once in a life time show - I took notes with a philosophical expression on my heavy face:
Where had I failed in this magnificent show?
What could I improve?
Which musical arrangements could be created in order to inhance the music repertoire I had chosen?
How could I be - even - better?
Sepulcral silence on my backstage room; loud music and laughter on my team´s room - an irritating thirst for perfection separating them.
Well, well...This gives me the creeps right now.
It´s healthy to have an outsider´s look on our work and being able to see where we can improve (there´s ALWAYS space for improvement, as far as I´m concerned) but letting the JOY of victory pass you by, especially when you know you REALLY deserve it, it´s an whole other story.  
Every time I´m creating something - dancing, choreographing, writing, etc - the old dilema revisits me like a ghost who refuses to let me go. Facing the truth is not easy: I´ve achieved and lived so much in my short life but have enjoyed VERY little of it due to my "not enough" addiction.
 I AM ENOUGH is on repetition mode. It has to be. My dreams keep growing and I keep making them come true but, from now on, I WANT TO ENJOY THE RIDE and tell "perfectionism" to (simply) FUCK OFF
I hope you do the same. Greatness and Joy are on the other side of the ghost.

Thanks to Katya Faris for posting this "quote" from one of my favourite books
"The Help" (by author Kathryn Stockett)

Thank you! My book "The Secrets of Egypt" is rated with 5 stars by readers at

What a wonderful surprise!
As I was checking my book´s price at, I noticed readers  rated it with 5 stars.
Not that I should be surprised - I know what I wrote and how much heart was put in it - but I WAS SURPRISED.
I´m the kind of person who asks for critics - meaning: what did I do wrong or where can I improve - rather than positive comments. No matter how great my work can be - and, YES, I am aware of its quality - it´s always new and disarming to receive such a loving feed-back from the public.

It´s OFFICIAL and I couldn´t be prouder:
 My book
The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life and Beyond by Joana Saahirah is rated by readers who have already read it with 5 stars at

Thank you, dear readers, friends, dancers, students, strangers who keep supporting, sharing, recommending, reading and speaking about the book. It only rises the stakes towards my next book(s) and everything else I do.

To see the rating and how you can buy your own copy, follow the link:
If you wish to order the book directly from the author (that would be me) and have your own autographed copy, all you have to do is sending me an email ( - all infos about the purchase will be offered.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Following Order(s)

I believe - having learnt from my short yet intensive experience in writing - that books ask to be written; they claim their absolute right to exist and dance inside your head so intensely that you see there´s no way you can keep them yourself. For a question of peace of mind - and internal silence - you MUST write them.
They* know when you should bring them to life - as if they were already existent entities (like spirits) floating in a parallel dimension until the right* time arrived for them to be manifested through the author´s hands.
It´s magical, all right!
My second book is not only asking to be written: it was already writen and now it´s DEMANDING to be polished and published. As a rebel who rarely accepts external authority, I follow its instructions but not without reticence and some dread.
Following Order(s) right now - giving birth to the baby who´s whispering : It´s TIME: It´s NOW.
So be it*********************

Incredible JOANA SAAHIRAH! Modern saidi+crazy Drum solo!

Dancing - creating, in general - has always been about travelling beyond the medíocre "correct and cute" mode. Correct is never great - it´s just...well...correct.

Taking risks is just another side of this willingness to explore, to improve, to open new doors (for me and for others) -here´s a proof of my thirst for freedom (check the vídeo).

Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed dancing it*

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The amazing story of the egyptian ghost who visited my home every night*

I´ve heard all kinds of fantastic stories about me over the years: places I´m supposed to have visited, people I´m supposed to have dated and even married, stuff I´m supposed to have done. There´s only a tiny detail to these stories: I´ve never visited,met,dated,married or done such places/people/things.

Sense of humour is essential, of course, as well as compassion to understand how frustrated, empty handed and sad these story tellers must be. "I wish that person would get a life and stop imagining my own..." followed by a good laugh has slipped off my mouth way too many times in the last years. It got as bad - and crazy - as receiving the news of my own marriage to one of my bosses in Cairo when I was sitting with my real boyfriend during a rehearsal. We looked at each other and inquired: "did you know I was getting married?" None of us did.

 These stories are rarely spoken to my face because - oh, well...- they´re fiction and I have a strong impression the story tellers who spread "my" life episodes suspect (just suspect) they´re spreading plain bulshit.

Come on, girl! You´ve lived and worked for 7 years in the Crazy La La Land (aka Egypt) - why are you so surprised or even affected?!

I am. Right now. Go figure...

Exactly, dear Jude - exactly.
 An ex-boyfriend (a photographer who hates women and dancers, in particular, but lives off them) I had in Egypt called me a few days ago to tell me the following:

1. I was the best he had ever had (what does that even mean?!); despite the fact that he has a girlfriend, he would like to meet me again (he already reached me in Russia after years of blessed silence); he misses me.
All of this, knowing our story (the humiliations, beatings, murderer attempt - oh YES!), just makes me wonder how so many mad people are out there in the world, dangerously interacting with the rest of us.

2. He had finally forgiven me for stuff I´d never done (as if Jesus Christ himself had fallen over him) from which I pinpoint: prostitution. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I thought this old, rusty, exhausted prostitution ghost was left where it (sadly) belongs: in Egypt. It´s known that dancers in Egypt are in fact seen by the great majority of people as prostitutes and I´ve dealt with that luggage with the same ease I dealt with all Egypt´s games: with indifference, doing my own thing in my own way. Let them think what they wish - we´re all entitled to some sort of ignorance, aren´t we?! - and keep doing what you do with dignity and pride. So I did.

What surprised me the most about this prostitution story was the amount of details still lingering inside that poor man´s head:

2.1. According to him, I had not only been a prostitute but a VERY smart one (thank you, sir!) who used one of my bosses as a pimp, husband and boyfriend (all at the same time, apparently...yes, I´s confusing...I knocked my head on the wall a few times until I grasped the concept - move ahead, please!);

2.2. According to him, that same boss was seen visiting my home in Zamalek (the zone where I lived, right on the back of the Marriott hotel) night after night. Now...wowza, ladies and gentlemen. The show is about to start. This is where the story gets REALLY interesting.
 I was practically living with my boyfriend at the time (we were together 24 hours per day or very close to it) so it seems my boss/husband/boyfriend/pimp was visiting me but none of us - not me or my boyfriend - ever saw him.

Hmmmm..."Houston, I think we have a problem..."

Ghosts are something palpable and natural for me - this is not where the mystery resides. I´ve seen, touched and spoken with spirits (people who died but whose souls still hanged around between us). What strikes me as odd is that my boss (slash all that other nonsense) is not dead, at least he wasn´t at the time I lived in Zamalek. So...bite your nails off, Agatha Christie!
Here´s where I get intrigued: if he´s not dead, his ghost cannot visit me every night (explaining my lunatic ex-boyfriend´s theory).
Was it a projection of his ethereal body? His unknown twin brother (abandoned by their mum at an early age) who came to my door, God knows why, and slept there, on the carpet, near by the building´s cats, unnoticed?
Everything is possible - that is something Egypt (life) has taught me. The funny - and depressing - thing is how ignorance, frustration and weaknesses can play with people´s minds. I know that it´s easier - more comfortable - to believe a dancer like me was successful in Egypt because she slept her way up. This is the regular way - I know, I´ve been there, seen it with my own eyes and kicked loads of assholes. The thing is: now pay attention: there are exceptions to the rule and those who don´t believe in them also don´t believe in themselves and in the power we all have to shape our lives as we wish.
Understand this, dear ex-criminal boyfriend and fellow haters: this world is full of possibilities and the fact that I´ve made it to the top without selling my soul to the devil is a reason to believe DREAMS are POSSIBLE and we don´t have to loose our Humanity for them. It should make you proud - not mad.
The world starts to change inside of ourselves. Right here. Right now.

P.S. I think I got extra material for my first novel. Don´t you just love mad people? So creative, so inspiring...

"The Secrets of Egypt" book receiving the Love (thanks, dear Sahra C Kent)

My astrologer friends know it quite well: I have a FAST trigger when it comes to thinking and writing (I´m kindly attacked by absolute urgencies to write specific stories, thoughts, books). Furthermore, my Mercúrio (which rules communication) is swimming inside the waters of Cancer (feeling, memories,home) so I am limited and expanded to communicate only what I FEEL and LIVE.
It´s like all communication (may that be in the shape of dancing, choreographing, singing, acting, writing, teaching, whatever) is attached to my heart. If I don´t feel it, I cannot do it. I could easily be scared of such fact if I didn´t know the HEART (to which I am so deeply attached when it comes to communicating my world to others) is the universal filter through which everything of relevance happens.

Having said this, I can only thank Sahra C Kent for the comment she wrote on my book "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond". As she clearly states, it is not* a book review but her own thoughts (and inspiration) born out of her reading. Beneath everything Sahra so elegantly wrote, I can feel the purpose of my book working its magic: it´s beautiful to see how my own Journey (and troubled Path towards success and self-awareness) inspires other people to follow their own dreams and lose the ghosts that stop them from living their best lives.
Everyone has his/her own path and copies will only go as far as...well...copies (and I´m writing this with a slight twisting of my face as if I was smelling something rotten); being yourself is all that Egyptian Dance is about and so is my book and its intention. I truly hope Sahra - and everyone who reads the book - feels empowered by it in a way that they too will chase their most passionate wishes and make them come true.

I can only thank - once more - the energy and time it took Sahra to read the book and publicly talk about it, also hoping this will be a moment of INSPIRED ACTION for her.
As  I often say: there´s great merit/value in ACTION. Not thinking about, not wishing, not dreaming, not la la la land blah blah blah but ACTION. It takes guts and persistent effort to DO things and face our own limitations/imperfections/mortality-humanity.
NOT for sissies.
Life is what we make of it - here´s another one of my Classics. What you´re able to learn and share from each life experience is what will make you interesting as an artist/writer/human being.
Doing it - imperfectly, unsafely, falling and getting up, clumsily talking down at our own insecurities and even crying out loud ("I cannot do this! I´m not good enough to...ah! you fill in the blank...").

Just DO IT. The perfect time or the perfect "you" never arrives. Never.

Here´s what dear (and so elegant) Sahra wrote on my book:

"During my last train ride through the Tyrollean Alps I read a book that was written in a immediate, personal, somewhat experiential way. Her way of writing was a hook, but then I got into the content. It felt like finally someone understood my culture-contact while dancing in Egypt. She went to Cairo to perform at a different time than I did, a much more difficult time. I was transfixed with her story, but when I would put the book down I was flooded with my own, often parallel, memories. Although sick with the flu and a fever since Monday night, I kept writing, her book challenging me to tell the truth. So, here is our next blog: Maybe the title should have been more like: "Our stories and 'The Secrets of Egypt' by Joana Saahirah."


Monday, May 19, 2014

Joana Saahirah and Funun orchestra at Almárabe Festival 2014

So much fun to watch!
Then again, the usual vídeo quality limitations don´t play in our favour but you can get a small idea of the MAGICAL* moments we lived.
Almárabe Festival by Esalim Bellydance ("gracias por siempre crer en mi trabajo y vision del baile oriental - te quiero, bella!") in my beloved Andaluzia, Spain.
"Funun" orchestra having fun with me over here as well as the audience which is ALWAYS a central part of my performances.
So in love am I*********************

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Joana Saahirah choreography for Mamma Galina Efremova

For my dear Mamma Galina Efremova (who received - by the side of her warm hearted daughter Olesya Efremova - me with open and loving arms in Astrakhan, Russia).

For the way she looked at me while I was teaching this choreography; for the way she FELT me, my story and heart through this dance: just priceless.

Love you, Galina!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Joana Saahirah USA TOUR lining up + New Book final polishing + Birthday gift (Jude Law)

Explosive cocktail going on right now:

My first USA TOUR is lining up greatly (from the beginning of October until mid-November): New York, Boston, Chicago, Alaska are already on the agenda and more will be confirmed.
Launching of my Book "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond", workshops, shows and lectures.

 There´s also a new EDITING retreat arriving to town. The next 15 days will be dedicated almost exclusively to finishing the final editing of my upcoming book. Here´s one of my main goals to accomplish until the end of May. Duty & Passion calling*
Emails, facebook profiles and fan pages, blogs and twitter (uff!) will be kind of sleepy in order to save all my juices for the GRAND PRIORITY.

Then comes Jude Law - or my publicly desired birthday gift. There´s even talk of a Facebook Group called "Joana Saahirah will dance for Jude Law" or - simply - "Banana Peel Operation" (thanks to Hani El-Masri for the romantic touch).
All I want for my birthday (13th June) is DA MAN: MY MAN.
Bring him to me, dressed or naked - just bring it on. I´m ready, baby!

The nice girl syndrome (NO DIVAS ALLOWED!)

It´s funny how so many people expect me to be a Diva (arrogant - the other side of extreme insecurity -, rude, not accessible or kind) and how many others are surprised to know me and see I am - in their own words - a very sweet, nice person. I call it the "nice girl syndrome".  ??? Basic question:
How should I be?!
A few facts to take the dust off this messy conversation:
1. I was raised to be polite, kind and generous to EVERYBODY. My career, success or any other circumstance that I may enjoy do not make me better (or worse) than anyone else. We´re ALL humans and deserve to be treated with equal respect - so this is the first thing that shapes my behaviour (if it bothers you for some reason, I suggest you call my mum);
2. No one - except the PUBLIC - made my name. I am not a "rich man made star" or someone who was launched by a big shot, by a corporation or by hell itself. My name was built from the appreciation, presence, word of mouth and persistent support of common people who are not even connected with the dance business.
When I signed my first work contract in Cairo (Egypt) I had no fixed show schedule. The rules of the game were simple: "you´re on your own: if the public requests YOUR name, we book you; if the public doesn´t request it, you and your orchestra don´t work". We all lived from our job so...chop, chop. See where I´m getting at?
It was the simple man and woman who kept coming to my shows, talking about me and my dance, recommending it to family and friends and so forth. Rare people believe this is how I actually started to build my name but it´s the TRUTH.
Unless I suffered from amnesia, I could never be an arrogant asshole and/or ignore whoever reaches for me to ask me for something, congratulate me or simply to say "hi, I love your work". NEVER. Being a normal, polite, warm person towards everyone who contacts me (with good manners and intentions, of course - creeps are not welcome, thank you very much!) is PART of WHO I AM as well as part of BEING a TRUE PROFESSIONAL.
I have no inclination, time, energy or (lack of) education for DIVA attacks, high noses and idiotic arrogance. Greatness is seen through my work  - that has been more than enough for me. 

Joana Saahirah teaching in Russian League of Belly Dance Moscow

One more souvenir from Moscow (sound quality is low and not all the movement details are visible but you get a little taste of the beauty we shared)*
About 60-70 cameras (maybe more) were pointed at my face during the whole dance - scary and tender at the same time. Never tired of being pampered by people´s love and appreciation.

Thank you Moscow; thank you, Russia; thank you, World.

P.S. Choreography dedicated to my dear partner in crime Serkan Tutar, to Galina Efremova, Elen Ramazanova and all the loving people who keep inspiring and supporting me.

Also "spasiba" to Tatiana Dubrovina for sending me this vídeo*

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Now you can order your own autographed copy of "The Secrets of Egypt" by Joana Saahirah (direct sale)

The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life and Beyond by Joana Saahirah is already for sale around the world via, Barnes & Noble and the Publisher´s website but now you can order it and have your own autographed copy directly from me, the author (Joana Saahirah of Cairo)
Payments via Paypal (or bank transference if you´re in Portugal); orders via email:


 An Adventure of Life, Death and Rebirth in the country
of the Pyramids*

How did I end up living and performing in Egypt for almost a decade, succeeding in my career against all odds? How did I do it* when everything and everyone around me yelled: YOU CAN´T!

The answer to these – and other – intriguing questions is above words and rational understanding; it´s Magic (God´s playground) we´re talking about over here. Some call it obsession, others call it suicidal or masochist (to say the least); I call it PASSION.
Almost killed, chased, shocked and amazed with an Egyptian (fascinating) underworld very few foreigners ever get to know. (...)

In my heart, I knew I had to go to Egypt and rescue my past, myself, my soul; I knew I had to dig from under the sand an almost lost legacy and finally keep my word (an old promise I made). I had to finish what I started a long, long time ago (as if Time actually existed).
I knew I had to build my current life and career from that divine ground from which a beautiful, shinning and luminous garden would spread its trees and flowers throughout the World; a Voice (angel´s guidance*) insisted on whispering in my chest: GO and rescue what´s left of the Dragon´s Tail. Catch that incense trail and keep it in your heart – then spread it wherever the wind may take you.
So I did (do) and, by doing so, I learnt way more than just the craft of Oriental Dance: the Journey* was never only about the dance, darling.
Oriental Dance is nothing but a Door – covered in veils and luminous sequins - to a Temple where much about Life´s Adventure is to be learnt.

Welcome to my Journey; enjoy your OWN ride. "

By Joana Saahirah of Cairo - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

P.S: Because this blessed fountain of Inspiration doesn´t dry (thanks God!), I am finishing the final editing of my next book (3 volumes) and already taking notes for two other books: a novel (nothing to do with Oriental Dance) and a children´s book dedicated to my niece Alice*.

Here´s a piece of those notes which are scattered all over my days & nights:

"She considered that chasing after her dreams didn´t include that oh so embarassing search for love until she realized LOVE was the matter from which all dreams are made of. Bothering to find "her man" was beneath the great enterprises she ...had defined for her own proud glory.
Then she won, learnt and saw. It*.
She left, chasing after The Dream, after him, after themselves: the ultimate oásis in a desert of illusions, blind desire and (almost) lost hopes.
The REAL adventure started where she thought it would end.Then...then she redefined Victory and started to LIVE*"

Russia (love souvenirs) in images*

In Moscow, near from the great Bolshoi Theatre*
The feeling is (what you see in this photo) AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! I´m used to be received all over the world with open arms but some places are just special and Russia is certainly one of them. The fact that my work is understood and loved in the country where I found the highest level of Oriental Dance is the best cumpliment I could receive.

One more time, I felt at home (Astrakhan and Moscow). Olesya and Galina Efremova and Elen Ramiza made sure that I would think about requesting a russian passport for myself by the loving (and super professional) way they´ve treated me.

Then came the students, audiences, colleagues (I was VERY lucky with the artists I met along the way) and strangers who seemed to be on a mission to offer me the best work trip EVER.
In a telegram mode, here we go:

Astrakhan - "Spring of Oriental" Festival - was made out of love, literally. There are so many reasons why people are in the dance business (because it´s also* a business) and I´ve rarely seen two people who moved so clearly out of pure love:
Olesya and Galina Efremova (mother Galina as I ended up calling this fabulous lady) create na event that reminds me of the reason why I started to dance in the first place.
Workshops, show, competition and several private lessons taught in a week plus a very sweet pampering ride that included:

Visit to the gym (you have no idea about the core and motivations of Russian History if you´ve never shared a "gluteus special" class with russian women in a small town gym);
Massage and facial in a little, old, russian home by the river Volga (only natural products and tender hands healing all my wounds and exhaustion);
Special photo session in an old, traditional merchant´s home (typical cloths and props included) - photos taken by the talented eye of Galina Efremova;
Beautiful food (ah, those Astrakhan mushrooms!) and good-bye party with singing (me, singing a bit of Fado and Jazz and my lovely ones singing traditional russian tunes especially for my ears).

Olesya also offered me some "new English" classics I´ll never forget:

1. "Animals from the sea in my soup" (she meant sea food soup);
2. " A very slow, peaceful, cool fish which happens to also eat children" - famous river character who haunts the locals´imagination;
3. "The sausage will miss them very much without them" (she meant: "the sausage - a dog - misses its owner when she´s gone)

Then again: the most amazing things in life cannot be translated through words. Trying to do so is the ambitious desire of Literature (and love letters).

The (wonder-full) look on Mamma Galina´s face when I repeated one of the choreographies I taught in Astrakhan: priceless; little Leila (check the vídeo on the post before this one) and me in our private lesson, connecting, laughing, building TRUST; the hugs, smiles, watered eyes, whispers of deep appreciation I received from everybody I met along the way...cannot thank this life enough.

Then came Moscow and its own surprises and delights. Elen Ramiza - the organizer and talented dancer who presides the National League of Belly Dance in Russia - is the Super Woman. I have no idea how she does it - really!
Fast, adrenaline fueled ride in Moscow...
The journey started with a visit to the Kremlin (Red square) with the lovely Marina Oganyan who patiently guided me (the tourist!) throughout the centre of Moscow; then followed an evening of private lessons teaching (always love to see that spicy combination of TALENT and CHARACTER) and the jump into the Festival itself.
The best dance colleagues ever - Warda, Katlin, Sophie: love you, ladies! -, students who were eager to learn and grow (typical of Russian dancers and one of the reasons why I adore them) and some personal surprises that reminded me of what´s REALLY important.
Performing with an egyptian orchestra was a great bónus, of course (Safaa Farid´s orchestra). Two of the musicians had already worked with me and we all spoke the same language - although it was not MY orchestra, it was almost there. No time for rehearsal - the usual jump off the cliff to keep me on my toes, alive and brave.
Silences, heart explosions, LIFE shared with audiences, students, dancers, cup runneth over. Plus: Sophie (one of my colleagues) called my attention to the Oriental Dance "russian style" and, for the first time, I got the point (agreeing with it is an whole other question). It´s clear that I´m highly shaped by the years of life and career in Egypt so I tend to judge according to that CORE I know so well (it´s actually part of who I am) - there´s nothing wrong with it but I STILL HAVE TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND towards other tastes, proposals, ideas. And this is what Russia does to me: opens my mind, heart and soul.
So in love am I.
Thank you, LIFE*********************

Galina Efremova photo - Gala show of "Spring of Oriental" Festival

Judging table in Astrakhan*
Me and beautiful Olesya Efremova - backstage in Astrakhan.

Galina Efremova ´s photo.
Galina Efremova´s photo. A moment of true WONDER (you can see it in my eyes) - the connecting brigde that is music & dance, the RELIGION that pulls us all together right where we belong.
With my wonderful women Warda Maravilha and Sophie Armoza (love you, ladies!).
Gemini sister found (we´re both born on the 13th June!) - what a treasure!And remember, baby, every dancing opportunity is a unique gift we should be thankful for. Beyond fear and insecurities there is the awareness that no moment is ever garanteed. Love you, Katlin Shafer!

Moscow time - at the show. Courtesy of Aida Hassan (who was a sweet heart and a true professional with me).


My new russian style dress - bought on the spot and loved for eternity.

Me and my sister Olesya in Astrakhan (love you, woman!).

My favourite photo: a little girl staring at me while I was performing. Astrakhan. Moment caught by the heart (eyes) of Galina Efremova.

Russian style photo session at old merchant´s house (Galina Efremova´s amazing photos)

Show in Astrakhan.

What comes from the heart goes to the heart - my rule, my life.

Russian me*

Receiving the love (and the many bouquets of flowers) in Astrakhan.

Moscow moment - at the Carcadé party organized by the lovely Aida Hassan.

My baby "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond" is dancing around the world with me. Here, with Olesya and the sweetest girls after one of our workshops. All copies of the book were SOLD OUT. :)

With Safaa Farid´s orchestra - Moscow.

Moscow magical gala show*

Are you talking to me?
Spicy moment - photo by Galina Efremova.

In front of the Bolshoi theatre* - photo by Marina Oganyan.

Russia at my desk - always. Samovar (thanks, Alia!), book of Russian Painting (gift from Shanti Sukhova) and Oriental Dance Russian League soap. Love is inspiring to me and this is what Russia has been for me.

See you later, mother Russia! I´ll be back this November. Details of the events will be posted soon.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Salsa with Leila (unforgettable moments in Russia*)

I believe there are many definitions of success and I certainly have my own. The possibility to share my Vision of Oriental Dance (of Life) with the whole world is a huge part of my "success" definition but inspiring/empowering other people to live their own dreams is also at the centre of all my work.

What you see in this vídeo was an improvised warm up I did with little Leila (thanks, Olesya, for filming this special moment). She was not only the youngest dancer I´ve trained during these 15 days of work in Russia but the most talented little girl - EVER!

Aside from the Festivals, I was fully booked with private lessons with pretty amazing dancers but my heart was delivered on a platter to this little girl whose openness, trust, LIFE and beautiful heart shone right through every single movement that came out of her.

We all have a LOT to learn from children - especially this* kind of children who are not afraid to try, to feel, to enjoy, to TRUST (the teacher, themselves, life). Only four words: I am in Love.

Thanks, little Leila, for providing me some of the happiest (and most successful) moments of my life.

Gorgeous JOANA SAAHIRAH on Gala-Show "Spring of Oriental"'2014!

Second souvenir from Russia*

The most important thing in Oriental Dance is not perceptible through the eyes, only through the heart. You would have to be there - phisically present at the theatre - to FEEL exactly what I mean.

What I call the "invisible dance" (or internal dance) is what covers Egyptian Dance in Magic dust and no machine - so far - could capture it. Here´s the Wonder of our Humanity/Divinity - still untouched by technology and a world that tends to lose its ground.

Hope I can dance for/with you soon on a stage - anywhere in this beautiful world of ours.

Bridges (LOVE*) are made of this*

My immense gratitude to Olesya and Galina Efremova for pampering me like a queen (as their Invited Artist/Teacher) and sending me so many gorgeous pics and vídeos. They have provided memories of a life time (love those ladies).

Incredible JOANA SAAHIRAH! Modern saidi+crazy Drum solo!

Souvenirs from Russia ("Spring of Oriental" Festival in Astrakhan)*

Totally improvised - as it always happens when I perform (solo) - and as crazy as they come. Nothing of this is programmed, well thought about, pondered - it´s just (and only) what I FEEL I need to do at each moment. I´m not on this Road to show off my dancing skills and technique - that´s what schools are made for, not the stage; I´m on this Road to RE-CONNECT myself with my soul as well as with other people. We are all ONE means the world to me and my dance reflects it.

Vanity and ego aside plus a passionate nature that brings me equal amounts of troubles and delights - this is me. Take it of leave it; love it or hate it. One thing you can be sure: I´m always REAL, HONEST, RAW, IN LOVE. The moment I´m not one (or more) of those things, I´ll quit dancing.

P.S: there´s nothing more inspiring than the feeling of being appreciated and respected for my talent and work and THAT*s what Russia has always given me. Spasiba Bolshoi, Mother Russia!

Humanity is a daily pill we (can) take

Living and learning - always*
Deep valleys of sadness, disappointment and even despair are a natural part of life (I guess...) but, no matter what, there´s always a new sun rising out of darkness. This too shall pass is a great reminder of a precious fact: there´s no day without night and no light without darkness.
Rising again*********************