I vividly remember the first time I heard Shakira belly dance as she sang the famous, whenever wherever. Though it certainly was a long time ago when I still was in school, I remember watching the video with rapt attention whenever it played on tv. With eyes glued to the silver screen, I was in awe every time I watched the song and the ease with which she moved her waist, simply left me mesmerized. Back in my hometown, belly dance wasn’t widely practiced and so it was difficult to find a class. So I resorted to learning classical Indian dance forms like Kathak and Bharatnatayam, while periodically switching to the Western Jive and Salsa. I enjoyed the different styles of dance I had learnt along the way but I still hadn’t learnt to dance the way Shakira did and wondered when I would be able to move my waist with such a faultless ease. So, my adamant desire led me to read a series of articles on the art as and when I could. One such article suggested a minimum intake of salt would make a world of a difference but living in India didn’t quite make that a viable option. So, I simply mimicked Shakira and did manage to comprehend a step or two.

Those early days moved on to years and I concentrated my energies on other aspects life demanded. Soon I had graduated and got placed in Mumbai. I was thrilled to be living the professional life which had become a simple routine of waking up to meet the challenges of work every weekday. But I still felt incomplete despite my days being packed and realized I missed dancing and needed it to be a part of my life again to break the humdrum of my days.

Dance had become a quintessential parameter of my life and that made me learn various forms. Though throughout there was one dance in particular I urged to learn, but was silenced over the years because of lack of opportunities. And that was to belly dance like Shakira. So, I grasped the opportunity of being in the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai and googled belly dance classes in Mumbai. The most prominent with raving reviews was Ritambhara Sahni’s Belly Dance Institute. On contacting the institute I was thrilled to be briefed about the different levels they offered. With a joyous enthusiasm I went ahead to enroll myself and went about to share the excitement with my friends. My friends reciprocated my enthusiasm exclaiming a WOW on having found an institute that taught belly dance since it wasn’t a dance form that was easily available to learn. Seeped in excitement on having an institute that awoken a desire I had subdued, I began to once again play Shakira’s catchy songs, reliving memories.

The days crawled to the much awaited Sunday that was going to be my first class on belly dancing. As I walked towards the studio resonant with a jingling sound, I was numb with sheer excitement to soon be learning a dance art I’ve been wanting to ever since childhood! On entering the class I was in awe of the belts that shimmered and jingled around the waist of all the students. I couldn’t take my eyes off the belts as it glimmered in the light and shimmered with the moves. I couldn’t wait to get my hand on one of those and begin the beginners course of level 1,2&,3. My first class was exactly like how I imagined it would be and do much more. With an incredible selection of songs and a choreography quite apt for a beginner’s foundation, I had begun to belly dance. As a form of art, the dance is refreshing in itself and introduces you to a whole new you that is so comfortable in her body. As a woman, you not only begin to feel beautiful in your own skin but also get reconnected to your inner self. Ritambhara Sahni is a marvellous instructor who is equipped with a professional knowledge on the intricacies of the techniques and the dance as a whole.

On having completed the beginner’s level, it was all but natural to join the next course. It was at that moment I was absolutely certain on going all the way in the institute and learn all the levels they had to offer. I had picked the techniques with considerable ease and thoroughly enjoyed my every moment in the class. Apart from mastering the belly dancing art, the institute also provides an opportunity to be a trainer. Given a chance I would definitely pursue teaching the dance in the institute and establishing an eternal bond with belly dancing.