As an alchemist, Belly Dance is one of the best alchemical tools I know to strengthen our physical and emotional power. If you’ve opted into my weekly Love Letters, you already have free access to The Belly Dance Prescription: Shake your Hips and Depression! – my unconventional guide for increasing your well-being, shaking off depression and feeling more alive!
But do you know that Belly Dance saved Suhaila Salimpour’s life?! It’s true.
This incredible woman is part of three generations of the Salimpour legacy. Everyone who has been moved by her dance knows her skill, passion and dedication are unmatched. I knew I had to have Master Instructor Suhaila Salimpour join me on my radio show – listen up and your heart will thank you.
Here is some food for thought about this ancient alchemical art which is perfectly suited for strengthening our emotional and physical power:
“I think that for women, having physical movement, physical strength, and power, they really associate it with having emotional power. When a woman, a girl, or a young lady doesn’t feel confident physically – and the focus is really about internal strength and being able to feel that they have choices and feel that they have rights – there is a break down in the soul. I think we go through this in many different times in our life, because we’re women and we constantly have to redefine ourselves.
I’m first generation Middle-Eastern, and my father was Muslim. As a young girl, in the household, we were very repressed. Being on stage was the only time I felt free and almost proud of being a girl. In my household, and on my father’s side of the family, my Dad was very sad that he had a girl. You kind of grow up with the feeling of, ‘Okay, I have to overcome.’ I was raised having to keep my eyes down, and never making contact with the men in the family because it was disrespectful, and kind of being seen but not heard. The women always ate last.
Being on stage made me feel confident and gave me a real inner peace that I was okay. I remember being a teenager, it gives you the confidence that you need as a young woman, that you don’t have in this culture today.
My daughter is almost eleven and I can see all her friends kind of starting to cave in, starting to develop. Not my daughter, because she doesn’t even know what the word “shame” means.
The community that it offers is invaluable. We don’t have a lot of community, anymore. I think that it’s been so important for her to see the sisterhood that is around belly dance. Belly dance is women for women. Even in the Middle East, the dance form is passed down from mother to daughter, aunt to niece, woman to woman.
I grew up watching my mom teach all women. I watched my auntie, from the old country, literally wait for the men to leave the house to go to work, and they would lock the doors, shut the blinds, move the coffee table over, put on Arabic music, and dance for each other.
It was their therapy. They don’t believe in therapists and shrinks. They just dance for each other and cry, and cook for each other. That’s the community that I offer my daughter. My studio is such a supportive, creative, and wonderful environment for all different shapes, all different sizes, all different age ranges. Isabella sees my mom, who is 82 years old and still teaching. She is my total goddess. I’m teaching and I’m 42. Now she’s almost 11 and she has her little group of belly dance kids’ class that she also teaches. You have three generations here.”
Ready to learn more? Check out The Belly Dance Prescription: Shake Your Hips AND Depression, then hop over to Suhaila’s Salipour School Online for more motivation, inspiration and education. Just what the doctor ordered 😉
Do YOU have stories of alchemically strengthening through physical movement? I’d love to hear your comments below!