Greenstone Belly Dance is delighted to be hosting Asiyah in Rotterdam on Saturday the 29th of June to teach an advanced veil workshop. Want to get to know Asiyah better? Here are 6 quick questions that we asked her!
Why did you start belly dancing?
As a teenager, the whole idea of “1001 nights” was really appealing to me. During a holiday to Egypt I saw a a belly dancer performing and really felt this was something for me! When I read in the newspaper that Majidah was going to teach in my region, I didn’t hesitate for a second and signed up for a trial lesson. My whole life I have been busy with dance: jazz ballet, street dance, ballroom dancing and salsa; but I found my real passion in belly dance.
How would you describe your style?
Cheerful, energetic, and referencing the original style of belly dance. I personally try not to include too many modern influences in my choreos.
You’ve competed in (and won!) several competitions. Why do you enter competitions?
In order to continue to develop my dance and to keep pushing myself. It’s a great way to see where you stand, and where you could grow further. I registered for this year’s competition as a way to come back to dance after pregnancy. It was like a challenge to get back to my previous level – and I succeeded!
What is your preparation process like when you’re getting ready for a competition?
I spend a lot of time looking for the perfect music. When I’ve found the right song, I start creating the choreography by improvising and filming myself, then picking out my favourite bits. For me, just listening and “feeling” the music helps me to improvise and create movements that fit the rhythm nicely. As soon as the choreo is finished, it’s time to perfect it and practice, practice, practice!
What is your favourite belly dance prop to dance with?
Veil and assaya (stick/cane). I started dancing with veil very early on in my belly dance journey, and it’s my favourite because I love the way it flows. It’s a nice way to begin a dance piece. You can really follow and accentuate the different accents and changes in the music. I also like to dance raqs al assaya / saidi, so the cane is my second favourite!
What has been your biggest challenge in dancing with veil, or what has made the biggest difference to your veilwork?
The biggest challenge is to make big movements when dancing with a veil; if you think your movements are big they have to be even bigger for the “wow” effect! My greatest leap in progress in dancing with a veil has been working on my arms, breath, and the concept of rising and falling. These are exactly the topics that will be discussed in my workshop on June 29 in Rotterdam!