I'm excited to post our first 10 Question Quickie interview. Every few weeks we'll get to meet (or get to know better) some of our class dance-mates.
The lovely Laura Everett will kick things off for us. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet, then I'm glad you found this post. For those of you that do know her, you might still learn a few new things about her. Please feel free to comment, ask or just say hi to her right here on the blog. Now on to Laura.
Name: Laura Everett
Family Status: Married; no kids
1. What first attracted you to bellydancing?
The first time I ever saw a "bellydancer" was on a video for a U2
concert, they had a dancer come out to "bellydance" during Mysterious
Ways. I later found out that she was a modern/jazz dancer and
choreographer - but to my untrained eyes, that was bellydance. I loved
her grace and movement and vowed to learn how to look like that! I
would "practice" along with the music video and a book that I had
found at Barnes and Noble. (I don't even want to imagine what my
technique looked like!) Several months later I went to a renaissance
festival and saw a menagerie of bellydancers-- there was a cane piece,
a tribal duet, a snake dancer, a sword solo, and a few caberet pieces.
I was in classes the very next week! From that point on, I was truly
2. How long have you been studying bellydance?
The first classes I took were in 1998.
3. Why do you continue to study it?
Sometimes, I don't know. My answer changes depending on where I'm at
with my self-image, my career, and my dance abilities. I love the
music, the culture, and the history of the Middle East. I love the
Arabic language. I am constantly challenged to make my body stronger,
defter, quicker and more expressive in dance -- and at this point, I
can't imagine NOT studying it!
4. What is most challenging about it?
Right now, I am most challenged to connect with the audience (I'm
pretty introverted, especially when I am dancing). From a technical
point of view, I'm working on building layering into my muscle memory.
I can execute "drills", but I can't "dance" layers as smoothly as I
would like to.
I would like to both create and embrace more opportunities to perform
(festivals, restaurants, haflas/open stage, you name it). I hope also
to master the challenges that i discussed in the previous question --
I'm sure that once I "get there", there will be additional challenges
6. What/who is your inspiration at the moment?
I am always inspired by Aziza. I absolutely love Asharah's blog (and
her dancing, of course, is phenomenal). Recently, I've been inspired
by my troupe mates as well: the Desert Petals. All 6 of them have
unique qualities as dancers, and as women that I hope to learn and
7. Do you find that it has presented challenges with family and friends or do you feel you have support?
I feel like I have a lot of support in that my family and friends say
"go for it", and my husband hasn't complained about being a
"bellydance widow". I would love to see them come to more of my
performances, though. :)
8. What has bellydance changed for you?
I laughed a little when I read this question. I can easily say that it
has changed my life - Bellydance led me to study Arabic, which
contributed to my undergraduate double major in Middle Eastern Studies
and Government, and a subsequent MA in Near Eastern Studies. I'm not
using my degrees in my career, but it opened the door to working at
the University in a field that resonates with me. Belly dance helps
keep my academic pursuits close to my heart, even though I know I will
not be a "true" academic in the traditional sense of the word. I'm
also (very casually) playing with the idea of writing a novel set
primarily in the Middle East, and the writing I have done on it so far
is very heavily informed by my education.
9. Where do you see yourself going with bellydance?
I imagine myself bellydancing until my body physically will not allow
me to do so. I am excited about the opportunities open to me with my
participation in the troupe, and I intend to develop my solo skills as
well. I'm still learning about what types of venues are available for
me -- so this answer may become more refined with time and experience.
10. What other hobbies or passions do you enjoy and do you have time for them?
I enjoy reading immensely, and writing as well. I do have time to read
but less time to write. I also enjoy video games, but I definitely
haven't had much time for that!
What (one) word would you use to sum up what bellydance means to you?
(Tough one!) Grace. or Joy.
Briefly share something about yourself that we wouldn't know from a simple conversation/interview with you.
I have a strange, absurd love of office supplies. Particularly, colored pens.