A few years back, on one of my other significant birthdays, we booked a favourite restaurant called the Little Moorish. Sadly it is no more. But on this night the owner had brought in a traditional belly dancer. Somehwere along the way I was asked to dance or stand with her as she dancered her way around me. Later in conversation we discovered that this dancer had begun belly dancing as a form of therapy, a way of recovering from a difficult past. For this woman, belly dancing was all about life itself, and it was a way of healing the past, engaging the present and preparing for the future. She danced really well. I noted that her style was very traditional, not the sort of westernised style we often see, which was refreshing. And she had found expression and self-confidence. For her, the therapy of dancing was transformative. I’ve never seen belly dance quite the same way again.



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