What happens when a belly dancer can't dance? I ran into this situation recently when medical leave threatened to cut my dance career short - momentarily at least.
In bed, rest mandatory by my doctor, and no possibility of dancing in sight, is an easy situation that promotes depression.
For many dancers, dance is a way to forget the troubles of the world, immerse yourself in the moment and experience feelings of profound satisfaction - even euphoria.
To be without this routine, especially one with direct consequences to one's physical well being (as it is a form of routine exercise), can leave one feeling empty and confused.
The good news is that there are dancers in the same boat that can empathize and the belly dance community is one, in my opinion, that is extremely supportive.
So what can you do besides dance? Look up, life has both good and bad. Let's look at the good together for a moment:
Reach out to members of your dance community and socialize. Step away from the stage for a bit and enjoy a moment of coffee with people that share similar interests.
Recently I met up with a dancer friend and one of the waiters from a restaurant I dance at. It was great fun socializing and laughing. Plus, if you find it difficult to make friends, getting to know people with similar interests is a great start.
2. Work on your music. The right music for your routines is a combination of both a personal choice that moves your spirit enough to dance and the location you are dancing. For example, is the music right for a particular culture? Is it for a family restaurant or night club? Music makes a difference and I've learned the hard way that it takes many many hours of soulful music search to listen to every song, imagine if it will work with your style, like it enough to move you, and compare it with the theme of your gig. Not to mention researching any words in the song that your probably not a native speaker in. Take this time to research and select your music.
3. If your like me, and love to paint, go for it. The painting here is a painting I made of a belly dancer in a half, modern galabeya. I had a lot of fun painting it. I find painting is just as expressive as dance.
4. Work on your website. Writing is a form of therapy and another great form of expression.
How do you deal with your off times? Write to me, I'd love to hear your thoughts.