Belly Dance – Women Empowerment
I’ve been wanting to learn how to belly dance for a while and last month I finally decided to wait no longer. I’ve been dancing for a month now and make it a point to attend every class! On one such day, I had gone to class a little earlier than usual to attend the beginner’s course at the Belly Dance institute Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni. I entered the class to see Ritambhara Sahni preparing for the next class and 3-4 of the students from the same course practicing their techniques. As i went on to join my new friends with the warm up and the practice, another student from the beginner’s course walks right in beaming with happiness in her every stride. With knowing eyes Ritambhara greets her enthusiastically and she exclaims, ‘Ritambhara I feel anew. I feel beautiful and confident! It’s such a wonderful feeling that I can’t stop smiling!.” All of us know what she is trying to express because we feel the very same! So, to this, Ritambhara Sahni responds, “Darling congratulations and welcome to the club!” Well, most days begin like this I’ve noticed. Aspiring students walk in so happy and gradually you begin to see that even the introvert has come out of her shell with an unexpected humour!
The day began on a high and her contagious energy made the rest of us chatter ceaselessly about the wonders of belly dance. The pretty girl who spoke earlier continued to say, “I’ve had my share of ups and downs and off late everything seems like it’s going downhill. I’ve been feeling awful off late! I hadn’t realized how ever so much I needed this class! The positivity and vivacious energy in every class has left me rejuvenated. I never imagined I could move my body with such flexibility and every time I practice the techniques and the dance at home, I end up falling in love with myself all the more. I feel empowered by a new found confidence and grace. And I know for certain the dance has a lot to do with how I feel.”
Ritambhara Sahni smiled her beautiful smile all the while and I voiced out what everyone seemed to be thinking. ‘Ritambhara, now we precisely know why you are always so naturally happy with life and have this joyous aura about you! Have you honestly always been this way?’
She acknowledged my question with a vibrant smile that is so contagious to answer, ‘I undoubtedly always have been this way and much before I began to belly dance. I’ve been dancing as long as my memory stretches and have been performing at a young age of 6. I’ve explored the dance floor in every way possible. May it be urban hip hop, jazz, contemporary or belly dance, what you do on the dance floor changes you for life! But as a woman, belly dance strengthens your feminine spirit and leaves you feeling empowered. There’s that magical moment when a relationship is struck in a fine balance between the music, mind, body and the emotional spirit, transporting you to a place where you feel a wholesome control of your body. In that moment, there’s a fire that flows from within and a surge of feminine beauty lights your face aglow. In essence, belly dance channels feminine beauty and confidence out to the world with earnest intent and a fiery spirit. It’s this fire for life you see in me every day, it leaves me so happy! And it’s so gratifying to see belly dance have a similar impact on all of you’ll.’
As we digest her words, we realize how true she was. In a mere month, there’s a new found happiness I’ve also begun to notice like the other aspiring students. And it’s a happiness that comes when every tightened muscle is relaxed to permit a surge of vivacious energy that leaves you feeling SO HAPPY! Look at us in the pictures! Don’t we all look so happy to be here!
Ritambhara Sahni then goes on to say how fulfilling the experience was as a belly dance instructor to see how her students feel the power of the dance after learning how to marry precise technique, a poised form and innate beauty. She said it left her feeling victorious to see how belly dance awakened, nourished and empowered the feminine spirit and see her students reconnect with their beautiful selves. It is heart-warming to know a teacher like her and see how she has impacted so many like me to regain my self-confidence and self-reliance, leaving me feel so empowered. To her, it was quintessential to make a difference in every girl or woman’s life by just leaving them feel empowered by the art of belly dancing. Every one of us reciprocated the empowering energy elucidated by the girl who walked in earlier today at class. The studio had unknowingly and unconsciously become a training ground in sharpening our minds with mastering a choreography and in toughening the spirit with a will power to conquer the toughest technique or sequence. Personally, I have begun to laugh more at life and not crumble when the shadows of doubt sets to seep in. The class today had a strong impact because i realized i too could now belly dance my way through life because Ritambhara Sahni showed us the way towards self-empowerment.