by Alia Thabit
My dance room is the south end of my house and has a 5-sided bay window, so it is bright and nice. A black love seat nestles in the bay with a blue-green Egyptian applique hanging over it. If facing that window, the entrance to the room is behind. On the left are wardrobes for all my costume stuff and another window; on the right are the stairs going up and a door to the outside. Further back are mirrors and more mirrors behind, next to the door. The dance space is about 10X12. It has sweet energy. There is a faded carpet on the floor, kind of soft warm pink, and the walls are very pale warm pink. The floor is painted pine boards. Theater lights hang from the ceiling. There are paintings and art work here and there and musical instruments, drums, nays, finger cymbals. It is only during this 45 day challenge that I have danced every day, so I have few rules other than at least 20 minutes, and lying on the floor breathing with the music counts. Recently I have begun adding in White Tara mantras and Bodhisattva vows that I have not said in years, mixed in with Sufi chants (usually fah-ti, sha-fi, and al ilaha ilallah)–plus have been working with moldavite so that affirmation as well. Quite the hodgepodge, but I am very happy with it, and very pleased to be saying the refuge prayers and all again, and have them appear so effortlessly. I mostly end up dancing at night, like tonight. I want to extend the practice. My vision is a morning of dance, playing music, and writing, but I am grateful to be doing what I am, and I am grateful for the requirement to do the practice, because I would probably not be doing this without it. Thank you.
Alia Thabit, a Levantine-American dance artist, writer, and teacher, celebrates belly dance’s cultural ideals of feeling, playfulness, and joy. Alia is the author of Midnight at the Crossroads, a book about the heart and soul of belly dance. AliaThabit.com