As in any art form, there is great scope for personal interpretation. Encouraged by the hypnotic beat of Middle Eastern rhythms, a dancer can explore many moods while performing. Sensual and flexible, slow or quick, authoritative and disciplined, potent and passionate, playful and coquettish~~the choice is hers!

The layering of movements and music to form patterns within choreography is interrelated. The dancer is the visual expression of each instrument. When performing to live music, the dancer and musicians communicate their visions to each other. Movements weave, reflecting the mood of the music, to create a visual tapestry of sight and sound beguiling the audience.

What makes a good dancer, you may ask?

As with any discipline, technique and musical knowledge is vital. Being able to call up from memory a series of steps to enhance the music is essential. It will open the door to electrifying performances.

However, technique is not all.

The beauty of Raqs Sharqi is its accessibility to the majority of women and the possibility for improvisation. It is a dance of sensation and sentiment. It is the visual communication of the music. Rather than just meandering through steps, the Rakkasah, dancer, is the definitive interpreter of this extraordinary language.

By listening to your innate inner voice, many women can locate the passion and mystery that stirs the soul. Finding a piece of music that moves you will make you conscious of the Arabic phrase min albee, or dancing from my heart. Eternally linked, the music and dance sustain each other.

What separates a good dancer from an exceptional one?

It is being able to discover this wellspring. It is being able to draw from it, never dancing too much or too little. It is moving instinctively, like breathing, allowing the music to guide you. It is communicating the joy of this Dance to all who are watching, whether they number in the thousands or are just a few close friends. It is opening your heart, dancing from your soul, and captivating your audience with a glimpse of your distinctive vision as a woman and a dancer.

It is releasing the mystery possessed by every woman who has ever participated in this Dance. Each woman brings a quality that is unique to her...a mosaic of passion and emotion gathered over years through her varied experiences. You are the mystery and heart of Raqs Sharqi. Only you can share the hidden, secret part of yourself...the joy, the sorrow, the love, the passion, the sensuality, the dignity that makes you distinctly feminine.

When you dance, you continue the tradition of the Ancients.

You are as important a part of the joy and celebration of this art as the women dancing in the Nile breeze.

You are Egyptian Dance! The Heart of Raqs Sharqi.