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Talea JajelI have always danced. When I was very young, I took ballet and tap. I was in Pom Pons and cheer leading in school. I started belly dancing when I was nineteen. Belly dance was a perfect fit. It has grace and fluidity yet it still has precision and depth.
It has been the only exercise that I have done consistently throughout my life. I have danced when I was sad and when I was happy. I have danced through marriages and divorces, births and deaths, times of upheaval and times of tranquility. Dance has been my meditation, my alone time, and it has been my celebration and party time. It helps me focus and blank out at the same instant.
I have studied with Dahlena, Ibrahim 'Bobby' Farrah, Morocco, Bert Balladine, Jodette, Margo, Elena Lentini , Cassandra, Jasmin Jahal, and Hadia. I have danced in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and Kansas. I have performed with live music as well as recorded music. Dance helps me appreciate the beauty of movement, music, and the human body. I believe there are NO perfect body types for belly dance, just as there is no perfect age, or ethnicity, or even gender for a belly dancer.
I prefer to say I dance in the Arabic style. To me that means that I try to study and emulate many different styles of the many different Arabic speaking countries. I try to be knowledgeable about what I do. I study not only with professional dancers but I have an extensive dvd and video library (as my pocket and my husband will attest too.) I try to credit each country with its own music, its own style, and costume, both the ethnic or folk costumes and the professional or night club costumes.
I will continue to study, to push myself, and stretch myself in dance. It helps me become a better person. It lets me see that there are differences and still similarities. I tell students there are very few things in belly dance that can be considered 'Wrong'. I believe that, there are just many ways of doing the same thing.
I love to dress up and perform. I love to go over and over the dance until I could do it in my sleep and I sweat buckets. I have learned to love to improvise. I love to share what I know. I love to learn new things. I love to be a visual representation of the music. I love to DANCE.