The following is a post by Gabriela, a performer at Belly Motions.

As a child I always wanted to be a dancer…but nothing ever fit…

I loved to watch others dance; I admired their amazing dance abilities unique choreographies and dreamed of being part of a dance team.  So I tried ballet, hip-hop, tango and even salsa but never lasted more than two months. I remember being in middle school and constantly trying out for the cheer leading team…always to get rejected. This was a constant discouragement, I could not find a dance style that was ME… something that I was GOOD at…something to be PROUD of…until I took a Belly Dance class…

One day, I stumbled upon a Belly Dance advertisement. I had always been so intrigued and curious about Belly Dance. The only movements I knew of were a few figure eights Shakira would perform in her music videos.  I recall thinking to myself, “Should I try a class?”

At first I was nervous and scared; I really did not know what to expect. Would Belly Dance be too hard for me? Would it just be another failed attempt at becoming a dancer? All these doubts came to mind but I put them aside and took a risk at what I believed to be my final attempt at dance.

Performing the Sword Dance at Sawa Restaurant

I was thirteen years old when I took my first Belly Dance class at Winston Park in Kendall on a Monday night… and I’ve never been the same since! It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I knew instantly that Belly Dance was something I could dedicate my time to no matter how difficult it may get. A few years later I discovered Belly Motions as I wanted to take my dancing to the next level. This was one of the best decisions of my life. 

It was Belly Motions that allowed me to grow as a dancer, an artist and a true professional. Today, at 20 years old, I am proud to say that I am part of the Belly Motions team and owe a big “thank you” and hug to my mentor (and who I like to consider my big sister) Portia Lange!

Nowadays, I love to dance more than ever!  I enjoy taking weekly classes and workshops at the studio and especially enjoy performing almost every Saturday night at Sawa Restaurant in the Village of Merrick ParkCheck out this month’s Sawa Performance Schedule!

Through Belly Dance I have found my passion…my dance!