Hello again Gorgeous,
Previously, in Chapter Six of My Journey…
I was driven to prove both the naysayers wrong and to myself that I CAN have credibility in both worlds. So, I entered the Bellydancer of the Year Competition. Déjà vu struck as I made it to the finals but didn’t place. My performance was described by one judge as Haitian Voodoo.
Here is Chapter Seven…
I returned home from the Bellydancer of the F*ckin’ Year competition and decided that I was gonna be super, laser focused on studying, training, and winning competitions. I know, I know… I sound competitive, right? Well, that’s cuz’ I am. But it’s truly because I’m competitive with myself and maybe mixed with a little envy too (wink). I know one thing’s for sure though… I ain’t winning the “Miss Congeniality” award! (Why does that award even exist?)
Anyway, for the next 3 years I worked really hard. I studied, trained, and entered 7 bellydance competitions. I was busy. At one of the competitions, I was hit with a truth smack that totally changed my dancing forever…
It was the Bellydance Entertainer of the Year competition in Reno, NV. There was a woman from CA that I knew who was vending at the event (damn I forgot her name). Anyway, we were talking and I was complaining to her that although I made it to the finals, I was still worried that I wouldn’t place (remember, I’m trying to prevent déjà vu again). I was whining like a baby about how much money I spent on flights, hotel, entry fee, yada, yada; how if I didn’t win or even place, it would’ve all been a waste of time and money. Well, she lit her cigarette, took a puff, and said, “Oreet, you are an amazing dancer and your east coast style gives you a competitive edge. But, you gotta calm the f*ck down!” I was like, “Yeah I know, I’m trying, but I easily get emotional.” “No sweetie”, she barked, “Your dancing! We don’t need so many spins, shimmies and jumps… less is more!” I immediately rewound back to the “Voodoo” episode 2 years back and thought, “Maybe that judge WAS right”. I thanked her for her gift of truth and got to work (It’s killing me that I can’t I remember her name).
The finals were happening in 2 hours and I decided to revamp my performance; changing all double turns to singles, leaps to extensions, and the timing from double to half time. I needed to enjoy the slowness, embrace the simplicity, and just DANCE.
Well, that truth smack paid off cuz’ I WON that sucka! Yours truly was crowned Bellydance Entertainer of the Year 2006.
I continued this new concept of “calming the f*ck down”, and ended up winning 5 competitions out of the 7 that I entered. I felt pretty damn accomplished. By the end I had the following titles under my belt: Boston Bellydance Diva, Jewel of the Nile, Bellydance Entertainer of the Year, Middle Eastern Dance Champion of North America, and got my ass back a 2nd time and won Bellydancer of the Year!
So, do I have cred now? Yeah… I guess. But there was always more to strive for and new sh*t to figure out. Like… why am I actually doing all this? And what the heck was my WHY?
Stay tuned for the next chapter of my journey about the contemporary dance company that I have always dreamed about dancing for and the pivotal moment that made me realize that “I made it”!