There are many philosophies or motivations that various teachers or students of bellydance bring to their classes or performances. I was reminded recently that one of my primary philosophies is a very simple phrase, “No Pressure, No Shame.”
There is already so much competition in the world and not everyone resonates with competitiveness. Some people find competition to be wonderful. Others find competition to be horrifying and even a trigger for previous bad experiences. Some people have been bullied by competition, shamed by it, and unwilling participants in competitions they could not escape.
What matters most to me is that people find *Their Passion.* I cannot decide your passion for you. That is as personal as your favorite flavors or favorite colors or favorite music. I can share my passion with people through stories of my experience, through performance, and through photos. But my passion is *my* passion.
If someone comes to me and happens to share my passion for dance, then we can share the experience. But again, each of us decides to what level we want to pursue our passions. You might only want to take up a small hobby, a place to relax and be safe through movement and music. Or you might want to dance slightly better than you did the day before, the week before, or the month before. You might simply want to stand up and *try* a movement to see if you are capable of doing something different from five minutes ago.
Perhaps you want to be part of a community of other people who have various passions for dance. Perhaps you want to add to the community, to share in the experience.
No matter what your motivation is, all I can do is “hang out my shingle” to advertise what I hope you find if you join with me. In the spaces where I am the care-taker, I want to extend an invitation of No Pressure, No Shame. The invitation comes with no further strings attached, only this: Only you can decide what pressure to exert on your own behalf. Only you can decide what participation level you are interested in. I can only offer a path on which you can travel if you’d like to join me. And I only ask that we share in the value of No Shame. Participation is voluntary and it is my sincerest hope that it is both encouraging and welcoming.