Before I knew it ten ten years had passed, I had performed my last show in competitive marching band and was relocating to Orlando Florida to begin college. During those ten years I became the top clarinetist in my band (as well as captain) and had won various awards and tittles for all my hard work and dedication. Upon moving I suddenly felt lost without a band, and none of my friends were there. I decided to attend a salsa class nearby one day to try to keep myself in shape and make new friends. Unfortunately, the salsa class was not the level I was hoping for, but I did see a flyer for Belly dance classes in Orlando on the door, and decided to give it a try. A week later I came by and could not believe my eyes when I saw a gorgeous woman at the head of the class teaching everyone to move their bodies in such a confident and unique way. I fell in love with the dance, the music, the cultural traditions and of course the sparkles! I was able to lose myself in dance the way playing clarinet had done, and the strict adherence to technique and regimen (what I had been used to) made me feel like my old self again. One class a week quickly turned into three classes per week, and soon I was helping my teacher run warm-ups, choreographies, and other activities.
Weeks quickly turned to years, and one day my teacher told me of a restaurant in Orlando that was looking to hire belly dancers. I went not knowing what to expect and was hired on the spot! Soon after I doubled my training and decided that I would do whatever it took to become a professional. Years passed, and I was soon dancing at various restaurants, events, and parties, and unofficially started my business. At first it began with just referrals and time and time again I was asked by my clients to post up a website, a video, something! I did not…I had a fear of putting myself out for the world to see (it sounds dumb but it’s true). After a while I slowly began collecting videos of my performances, posted a few photographs, and slowly began breaking down my own barriers.
2010 was the year that changed it all for me. I was invited to perform at some fantastic events and after much urging from family and friends, I gained a tremendous amount of confidence and decided to begin constructing my website. After years of training, hard work, and ups and downs, I felt proud enough about my progress with belly dance to show my work to the world. Before I knew it, it was 2011 and my website went live.
I now am at the point where so many opportunities keep pouring in and the possibilities are endless. Orlando has provided me with a great life, and the ability to belly dance full-time, and meet some amazingly talented people. I cannot wait to see what the future holds, but who knew this band geek from New York would have ever become a Orlando belly dancer who is the face of billboards, in magazines, and performing all around Florida at high-end parties and events.
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