Name: Meera Mittal
Profession: Social worker
Hobbies: salsa dancing, painting, hiking, fishing, cooking, reading
How long have you been studying bellydance: about 3 years
When did you first see bellydance? What were your first impressions?
I had not really seen bellydance before my first class. Once I started classes, we would sometimes watch instructional and performance dvd’s of different groups. My first impressions of it were that it was beautiful and strong, sometimes sensual and very grounded. I was impressed by the confidence that exuded from the dancers.
What motivated you to finally take your first bellydance class?
I wanted to try a new dance form and it was offered at my university. It just sounded like fun!
It was exciting and challenging, and of course, a blast. We started with just a couple of concepts and I remember loving the music, too. The movements felt a little awkward at first, but it was fun at the same time and I couldn’t wait for the next class.
I have gained more confidence in myself and in my body image. I have benefited from befriending all the amazing women I have had the honor to dance with and being part of a “sisterhood”. And I have learned what it really means to connect with my fellow dancers on a deeper level.
What is your favorite move or concept you have learned so far and why?
I can’t say I have a favorite move or concept, but I do really enjoy all slow moves. I love the awareness that is involved—you can really feel the entire movement, not a moment of it slips by, and I feel really integrated with the music.
Any advice for other students who are just starting out?
I think one of the most important things that I’ve learned and that new belly dancers should keep in mind, is that everyone’s body is different and beautiful in its own way, and because of that, movements will be expressed slightly differently for each dancer, and that’s part of what makes ATS so wonderful.
The world of belly dance is huge and diverse! Although ATS is my favorite, it’s also fun to explore everything else that is out there (thanks, youtube!). I had no idea what all was out there when I first started classes, and it’s been quite the fun learning experience ever since.
Thanks for sharing your story, Meera (and the pictures of your world travels are an added treat!)
Do you want to be in a future Student Spotlight? Get in touch and share your bellydance story with your dance sisters!