Tuesday, January 26, 2021

My favorite prop wings!

Hello all! Usually I am so inspired to write, but always at the WRONG times! I get my best inspiration during my long drives to teach in my hometown of New Rochelle or to a performance in Westchester or NYC! I should probably get a tape recorder. Now that I actually have time to sit and write, let me tell you what has been going on in the busy life of mine. As most of you have already read in past articles I have a CRAZY life. I am a mother of 3 boys moved to NW CT from lower Westchester NY but still have most of my business ties there. I travel back and forth at least 1x a week to teach bellydance, perform at various locations or both! I am currently going for my CT real estate license while trying to set up new classes in my area of CT and starting my own event planning company while being a stay at home mom! Phew just saying it out load leaves me breathless! People ask me all the time why my husband and I decided to move so far. It is just far enough to change the environment we wanted to raise our kids. They still have a bit of city spunk, but in a more rural atmosphere. They are exposed to a more easy going way of living. Not so rushed or stressed. There is plenty of nature around us to keep us exploring our part of CT for years to come. Hiking, boating, fishing, biking, crafts, farms…endless! It is not so far away where we can not make it to family with in a little over an hour. My husband and I go back and forth as to which lifestyle suits us best. On one hand we are nature lovers and love outdoors activities. On the other we still are very much a part of the NYC nightlife! I guess for now our roots are here doing what is best for the family and our hearts take us to NYC when ever possible.

My bellydance brings me to NY often. I volunteer for various charity events that come up, because it makes me feel good to help the communities how ever I can. I hope the good karma will return to me some day. In doing these charity events I learn it isn’t always about shameless promotion of yourself, but helping the cause you are there for. Hopefully People will remember my show and my name and will want to look me up to learn more about my style of dance. I am not a good self promoter. I don’t like to force feed people my resume and list all of my achievements on my intro. If people really care they will find out. Just as I have in the past with some of my favorite dancers…Suhaila, Ansuya, Sera Solstice, Leila Harem, Shabnab, Neon etc!
I have been exposed to many different styles of bellydance and I think I can tell who is a GREAT dancer and who is just EHH. What I am so tired of seeing is EHH dancers thinking that because they have been dancing for years it gives them a free pass! Years of training can not make someone a great dancer. Some dancers train and even teach for decades and in my opinion are not very good. Some people were just naturally born dancers, some people were not. Especially with such an expressive form of dance. You may see them as being great Jazz, or ballroom dancers, technical but bellydancer…not so much. What I don’t like to see is the disrespect of other dancers! Whether I think a bellydancers performance was horrible or not, I will give her my attention, clap and smile. ESPECIALLY if she appears to be enjoying herself and is leaving it all out there on the dance floor! Everyone deserves their moment. Who are you to ruin it with your frowns and snickers? It takes an extreme amount of courage to put yourself out there raw and vulnerable for all to see. One at least deserves applause for that! I have had people tell me during a dancers show “you could totally out dance her or She sucks compared to you” I always tell them 1st you are bias. 2 that I try to avoid getting up with other dancers because I am a professional and it is not fair to have 2 dancers on the floor. But if a dancer invites me I won’t deny her, but I tone it down as to not try and show her up. 3. even if she is horrible, I tell them a GREAT dancer is always respectful of other dancers and the different styles. When people don’t know the difference between different styles it is hard for them to gauge what is a good show or not. They are expecting them all to be the same. I try to educate them as much as I can in 5 min time span lol. I also respect a dancer who dances with her heart and put her all into her performance then a dancer who looks bored and just going through the motions for a pay check.
I am disappointed to see dancers be rude to other dancers. I guess not everyone was taught to be respectful. If one hears their teacher trashing another professional dancer, it just lets them know that such rude behavior is acceptable. Such childish behavior for women of a certain age. That bad attitude is what has sent so many students to me. I have had girls walk into my studio and thank me for welcoming them and making them feel comfortable. It was not the experience they had with other teachers. Instead of when women inquire about the dance to help them understand what the class is about they were made to feel like fools and basically turned away or were so turned off by the conversation they did not want to join. Others told me of experiences with well known teachers where they were made fun of and embarrassed. Others felt they were not taught new and exciting material. I don’t mind taking the business another has passed up. One mans trash is anothers treasure. What I do mind is the disregard for another human beings feelings! A teachers goal SHOULD BE to produce dancers who will one day become greater then she. People will ask who was your teacher? I will be happy if someone will be able to reply Destiny Maktub! I give my girls ALL of my secrets over time, keeping none for myself! This is the gift I give. I am here to teach, encourage and nurture ANYONE who has the passion and desire to be a bellydancer professional or private.
At a recent event I overheard another “professional” dancer speaking poorly of me and my dance style. How I changed the name of my style so many times the fact I had no formal training etc. I thought it rude, tacky, immature and showed the persons insecurity. As a professional if I have questions about anyones dance, where it originated etc I take them to the dancer herself. I am here to answer what ever questions any dancer may have about me or the style I developed…because yes I had no formal bellydance training. I was blessed with a God given ability that I spent a lot of time evolving and breaking down to teach to others. ( can be found in other article How Bellydance House Fusion was born ) I pride myself on the quality of performances I give. Most being freestyle…whatever I am feeling at the moment.
It is a gift I choose to pass to others without any reservations or worry or fear my students will surpass me! Hence the name change of my style over time.  As I grew and evolved the dance, I came full circle back to the bellydance- club foundation I started with. Ending with Bellydance-House Fusion. In the future one should be more careful about trashing another professional dancer in public. I don’t have to bad mouth a dancer like that…other people see or hear a display like that and form their own opinions about the charachter of a person on their own.
Rule # 1. Dance like no one is watching! Dance with all your heart! Dance like it is the last time you will ever dance! Always give 100%!
Rule # 2 Always keep going NO MATTER WHAT! (injury…work through the pain until the end of the show) You fall (get up) You forget the steps (revert back to your bread & butter moves) Most of all dance with your heart!
Rule # 3 Be HUMBLE! say thank you to compliments and appreciate each as they come…you never know when it could be your last.
Rule # 4 RESPECT all dancers and their styles. Just because they are not your favorite or exciting to you does not mean they are not skilled in their craft. Treat others the way you want to be treated as a dancer. If someone wants to be lower class and insult you or your dance style, Be the better person walk away or simply offer them opportunity to learn about you. Also understand that not everyone has the same moral upbringing and reality is people are cruel…but so is karma (the root of my name ironically) 🙂
These are the things A LEGEND is made of NOT years of experience!
I would love to be able to teach in NY at least 3x a week to keep fit. But since lately all I have is 1x a week… I have to settle for the gym at least
3x a week. 1 hour elliptical min of 500-600 calories & 300 crunches
I refuse to do anything else but elliptical! I get on with my head phones…bellydance & house, techno & trance and run. When I get tired and feel my body giving up…I put on a song that I know means something or has a beat that will carry my body with no effort. I look ahead. Envision that I am on a dance floor dancing my heart out! Push through the pain of the moment. I control my breathing the entire time. In and out through the nose for most of the work out. When I get too exerted, in through the nose out through the mouth. Head up! Good posture. Control! You can do this! Just breath! In through the nose out through the mouth. When I get my composure back and the next song has begun I am running harder to the beat! Dig deep with in for the strength we all have if we choose to unlock it. The minute you lose focus of your breathing, of the rhythm as in dance you will start to fail. Re focus. regain composure. Keep going. Same rules apply. The elliptical is the stage…give it your all…make it a  competition…a show! Believe in yourself like I believe in fairy magic! I sprinkle some fairy dust on you all here and hope it touches each of you and inspires you to follow your dreams! The moment we start to doubt our dreams, they unravel like awakening from a dream one layer at a time.
I have started a new series of lessons
1 Monday a month at Zitoune Moroccan Cuisine
1127 West Boston Post Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543-3331 (914) 835-8350
Includes bellydance lesson appetizer and glass of wine $35.
Please call restaurant or myself to inquire about dates & time.
Every Tuesday 7 PM at Rangoli Indian Cuisine
615 Main Street, New Rochelle, NY (914) 235-1306
Includes bellydance lesson, appetizer sampler, mango lassi or glass or wine $25
Please understand I drive a great distance to continue teaching in Westchester. Please respect my time.
If anyone is interested in forming classes in your area and have a group of 5 or more get in touch with me. It makes a great ladies night!
We dance. We eat. We drink. We talk and swap stories. It is a unique experience. My classes are never just classes. Until next time…Follow your dreams! Be kind to others!
“Dance Like No One is Watching” TM
~Destiny Maktub