Why I Love Belly Dance essay – Honorable Mention


Why I Love Bellydance
– by Yeril Barlup

Dance has always been my creative outlet.   Born in Latin America I was exposed at an early age to the colorful rhythms of Salsa and Merengue.  It was until the age of twelve, in my many visits to the United States, that I witness my first Belly Dancing performance.  I was smitten by it.  The beautiful dancer, her colorful outfit, her body movements completely in sync with the entrancing sounds of the drums.  A heavenly memory that I took with me when I returned home.

It was until my early thirties, already living in the United States, that I took my first Belly Dancing class at the local community center.  Through the class instructor I learned about the Belly Dancing Community and sighed up for my first Belly Dancing workshop with a beautiful dancer named Delilah. I didn’t know who was who in the Belly Dancing world; to me she was just another dancer.  When I saw Delilah danced on the Gypsy stage at the Cairo Carnival, I was inspired beyond description and I knew right then and there what I wanted to be when I grew up.  After years of taking numerous workshops and studying countless videos I slowly but surely developed my own dance style.

Years after my journey of discovery began; I was given the wonderful opportunity by my first Belly Dancing instructor to teach the Belly Dancing class at the same community center, where I started.  Teaching Belly Dancing has been a pleasurable and humbling experience for me.  As these ladies come to my classes session after session, I realize that for that one hour they are not wives or mothers or sisters or co-workers, they are simply women re-connecting with themselves.  They come for the pleasure they feel when their hips eagerly move with every drum beat. They come to experience the soothing playfulness of the veil, and they come to re-discover their sensuality with every slow movement.  They come to class for the joy, the creativity and the endless possibilities.  What a blessing for me to be a part of all that.

Once I read that a way to be immortal is to share what you know.  I need to thank all those beautiful dancers that either in person or through videos have given me ideas and techniques, so I along with them can leave my imprint on this earth through “The Dance”.

I’m eternally grateful to the Universe for presenting me with the opportunity to share the gifts that I have received and pass on the knowledge that was given to me.

By re-discovering “The Dance”. Its mysteries, myths and healing powers, I have discover my essence.  I am part of the Universe.  I am every dancer.  I am…. A Belly Dancer.

In conclusion I can say that Belly Dancing has given me a beautiful balance between the ordinary and the extraordinary and that is why I love Belly Dancing.