Breaking barriers, known or unknown, requires strength. Strength is not just how long you can dance, how much you work out and drill or how much you think you know. Strength is a test of character and willingness to break barriers.
I knew I wanted to learn this art form when I felt the passion and saw the raw joy of this dance. My background was in the western dance styles, but I felt a pull towards the earthy and soulful music from a place I knew nothing about. I threw myself into studying the music, the dance and culture of the Near East and the Silk Road. I poured my heart and soul into my desire to learn and grow and find the pure passion I felt. The first time I heard a full Turkish band, I got chills! That fueled me, pushed me to dive deeper into the oriental style.
As I studied with various teachers within and outside of my community, I learned that it was the raw and wild, sit on the edge of your seat performers that held me each and every time. That's when I saw a little video on Youtube... I watched as an amazing woman in red poured every ounce of herself into her dance, she smiled, flirted with effortless technique and precision, sometimes slowing down, closing her eyes and feeling the moments for herself, other times, hair flips, kicks and finger cymbals flying she held the audience on the edge of their breath. THAT'S IT!! That is the Passion, the Joy and the Strength.
Ruby is just that, the woman in red from that little video that was a catalyst to break barriers in my dance.
Ruby's influence and guidance is immeasurable to me. Having been a part of her mentoring program, as a private online student, and in the workshops where I have hosted her, I have learned more about myself and how to make that come through in my dance. I'm easily a "happy" dancer, but I had to break barriers... How to feel emotion and show it, calming down and trusting my technique, working hard...ALWAYS!! (Even when you want to stop!) Ruby helped me truly find a center and trust in myself. She pushes you to stay strong, go beyond your comfort zone and challenge yourself!
When you are ready to find your strength, look inside first, but I know I can count on Ruby to help bring out the very best in me!
2013 Personal Best Middle Eastern Dance Competition "1st Place Professional"
2013 Personal Best Middle Eastern Dance Competition "1st Place Folklore"
2012 Pittsburgh Belly Off "2nd Place Troupe Division Live Music" (La Belle Sultana)