Today’s guest post is by Laylianah!

Like many people, I suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, but I don’t typically broadcast it as a teacher for two reasons:

1) To avoid the well meaning “have you tried this” (I assure you, I have) or “just think positive!” (I assure you, if I were capable of doing that, I would be)

2) I want my classes to be safe places for myself and others who may be going through similar issues.

It’s times like these that you become the most thankful for things that you would normally take for granted. The health crisis has allowed me to become even more grateful for all of you, my students.

Teaching is what keeps me sane. When I get stuck in a dark place, you all give me a reason to pull myself out and keep going. And 9 times out of 10 I feel much better after class. You may have noticed you feel better after class too. Belly dance will do that. There’s science to support that somewhere.

So thank you to all of you! And to those of you who are dealing with depression and it seems to have gotten worse since all this started, I get it. But please be extra patient with yourself! That is entirely normal under the circumstances. When you feel like you can, try dancing with me and know that you are not alone!



Oreet, the creator of SharQui – The bellydance workout®, is an award winning performer, a sought after choreographer, teacher and fitness presenter. As a performer and teacher Oreet combines passion, grace, athleticism and hip precision in order to give a refined performance. Along with teaching, Oreet certifies dancers and fitness professionals in the SharQui format, the ONLY fitness accredited bellydance fitness workout in the world, has been introducing it internationally as well. She holds the titles Bellydancer of the Year 2007, Entertainer of the Year 2006, Jewel of the Nile 2006, Bellydance Diva 2005 and is the reigning Middle Eastern Dance Champion of North America. Due to the popularity of the SharQui format on the east coast Oreet has recently expanded to San Francisco and the west coast.