The interconnectedness of Dance, Our Wombs & Womanhood.

The interconnectedness of Dance, Our Wombs & Womanhood.

I am speaking on the art of belly dancing—an ancient, ritual dance that originates from ancient Egypt and has slowly made its way into the roots of Arabic culture. In the beginning of this sacred movement of a woman's hips and torso, it was believed to be a fertility ritual in preparation for a woman's initiation into childbirth, as well as its powers in seduction.

My name is Ayesha. As an Australian woman whose father and most of my family are from a Middle Eastern island called Cyprus (the Turkish side), I have always felt a deep calling to connect with my lineage. I have suffered from my own mind for many years, fearing dancing and movement in front of people—a fear of being seen. I remember once being at a party and seeing a girl go up to the DJ, being the only one on the dance floor, and thinking she was so confident to be able to do that. I wanted to be able to do that so desperately.

I didn’t feel like a good dancer; I felt like everyone was watching me and laughing. I am only speaking to this to share how we all have really personal fears that we may not see in each other.

I worked at this; it took me being away from my sisters, my family, my community in Australia, and living in an isolated village in the south of Turkey for six months to realize that movement was mine. I started dancing all the time in my room. I would go down to the Mediterranean Sea, where I had a secret spot that the fishermen couldn’t see me, and I would listen to the Turkish flute, the Barcelona Gipsy Orchestra, and other foreign music. I would dance.

I built such a connection to my body, my flow, my embodiment practice that I felt this confidence grow from within me. I connected to my womb and my womanhood by the sea—the same sea that my ancestors swam in. I let go of it all by the water; I shed all the old stories, my old agreements, on my ancient soil. This was the biggest gift that I received while being in the Middle East, and I have taken this confidence home with me.

Now I am finding my rhythm through belly dancing because it is a dance that I resonate with so deeply. I am mesmerized by it, and it makes me feel so human and safe in my womanly curves. I urge you to find your dance and remember that you can never, ever look bad dancing if it is making you feel good.

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