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Dance into Feminity

Raqs Sharqi

The Egyptian women's solo dance, known as Raqs Sharqi, is an earthy, sensual, traditional dance. In its flowing, organic figures, women can find a language of movement that leads to their own female self-expression. In contrast to show belly-dance, Heide-Marie Heimhard teaches this style of Oriental dance both as a performing art and a female means of healing, directing our focus on the inner experience.

Differences to theatrical belly-dance
If a woman goes to "belly dance" - as the oriental dance known as show dance is generally named – she frequently encounters a strange hybrid: an originally female discipline that is danced in a masculine mode and separated from its spiritual roots that lie in the Goddess cult.

This is very confusing for the female soul. On the one hand, something returns to the woman, on the other hand, a part of her remains distant, though she does not know why. Women are so accustomed to male methods - technical, intellectual, isolated - that they hardly notice how a female dance is taught in patriarchal tradition.

In the belly dance as a show dance, through the dominating principles of achievement and technique, the woman remains largely separated from her female essence. This is - as in "normal life" too - replaced by coquetry, sexiness, elaborate facade and technical sophistication. Yet a lack of female substance cannot be replaced by anything. Something in the woman is still unfulfilled and empty.

Joy of life danced
Unfortunately, lots of people - including an alarming number of young women – see their lives less joyfully and feel alienated from their own femininity. In a patriarchally dominated culture and society in which masculine values such as discipline, performance and success prevail, the masculinisation of women is almost normal, the "female woman” almost a rarity.

A woman can learn to be fulfilled from within and simply relax in her female being. The oriental dance that breathes the spirit of ancient women's culture and feminine spirituality is a wonderful way to do this. If Raqs Sharqi is freed from the encumbrance of show-dance and is danced with a feminine spiritual orientation, it is an unparalleled source of female vitality.

The pleasure principle is crucial: feminine energies flow through movements that are tailored to the female body, in a playful and pleasurable way. This is the opposite of control and for many women so unusual that at first it scares them. The prohibition to feel feminine and fear of losing control are ingrained and deep-seated.

There are many moments in which happiness is experienced alone or in union. But there is a joie de vivre, which is linked closely to one’s own sex. People in general, but women in particular, are happiest when they are entirely themselves. The happiness of a woman is absolutely feminine. Women who engage in the spiritual practice of dancing will be richly rewarded. If they give up control, they can enjoy the healing experience of being supported and energised by a force fulfilling them from inside. If a woman learns through dancing to trust the flow of female primordial energy this will have wonderful effects on her life, too - especially in the relationship with her partner. A life led from the female self brings a woman’s dearest wishes.

Women who want individual assistance on issues affected by dancing have the opportunity to take additional individual sessions or attend workshops.