The following is a Q & A session with Victoria
What brought you to the art of Bellydance?
I began Bellydancing at the Egyptian Dance Academy during a time in my life when I felt I need to rebuild and find myself. I had just gone through one of my most difficult years and Bellydancing felt like an escape from the reality of it. I had always wanted to try Bellydancing; however I was always waiting and waiting for others to join me. Then on my 23rd birthday I decided to take my first ever class. I have been hooked ever since. I began taking classes once a week, then twice, then as an unlimited student. I attended class at our Danforth location, as well as at our other studio location at the time near Yonge and Eglinton.
What or who has inspired you over the years?
I’ve been inspired by numerous and various things over the years. My instructors were (and still are) my biggest inspiration. Their love for this art is something that I found to be contagious, and something that I try to bring into my classes each and every time I step into the studio. I also find myself becoming inspired by my students, and their energy and emotions that they bring into the space. My students motivate me to keep challenging myself so in turn I can challenge them. My personal growth leads to theirs, and vice versa. I am also inspired by other forms of art, and I try to find ways to create new unities between them. Finally, my Greek culture has inspired me to study further and further the various forms of Bellydance, including Egyptian Raks Sharqi, as well as Turkish and Greek style Tsifteteli.
What are some future goals you have for yourself?
I plan to continue teaching first and foremost, and train with the various Master instructors of this art. I love to choreograph for myself and for my students, so I hope to have future opportunities to challenge myself in this manner. When I choreograph for my students I have to consider my artistic interpretation as well as their personal style and vision. It’s a process that I love mostly because I get to know my students in new ways – as emerging artists!
Quick fire questions:
- Favourite costume: A black oriental two piece that once was Joharah’s of BellyUp Oakville. When I wear it I feel like a queen!
- Favourite song: Tahktil Shebat (Arabic) and Ta Mavra Matia Sou (Greek)
- Favourite style: I honestly can’t chose just one, but I am focusing on classical and modern Tsifteteli right now.
- Favourite prop: Just one? I love props… If I have to narrow it down, I would have to pick dancing with Sword, or dancing with Goblets.
- Most memorable moment: My first ever improvisation with Dr. George Sawa at a hafla hosted by the Egyptian Dance Academy back in 2011/2012
- Who would you like to study with next? Fifi Abdou. Or mama Fifi as my students know I love to call her by. That would be a dream come true.