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Soraya, belly dancer & child of the universe

Soraya, Belly Dancer and Child of the Universe.

The belly-button is the centre of the universe,” says belly dancer Soraya.  “Although I was born in Argentina, I feel the whole universe is my country.”

Soraya, 39, came to Cayman four years ago. Since then she has been sharing the mystical secrets of belly dancing, along with many other dance styles, both to children and to adults. She presently teaches a belly dancing class at the Body Sculpture Gym.

Soraya danced almost as soon as she could walk, she said, as if dancing were as natural as breathing.

Both her grandparents on her mother’s side came to Argentina from Syria and one of Soraya’s earliest memories, her earliest, was dancing traditional Arabian dance- one of the historical roots of belly dancing – in the Syrian communities of Buenos Aires.

Her father’s grandparents were Spanish, so that, as she grew up, Soraya drank in the passionate dance traditions of two cultures. Today, her own style and the kind of dance she teaches, borrows from many traditions.

“Belly Dance had its origins in Ancient Egypt. The soft undulations in belly dancing dedicated to the moon means the energy of the woman. The sharp movements of the hip are dedicated to the sun, and they mean the energy of the man.  Belly dance is the art of combining both things,” she said.

Men should do belly dancing too, Soraya says. So far she has had two men learning to belly dance, but she would like to see more.

“It is so important for the man to know about the female part…to understand more about the other sex…how delicate a woman is, and also a woman can use the dance to explore how a man feels,” she said.

Her philosophy, expressed through her dance, is all about being at one with the natural world, and at peace with oneself – she has turned her back on the competitive spirit that rules Western culture.

“Look at nature….The white birds don’t compete with the black birds…they just…are,” she says.

For the last three years, Soraya has been involved with teaching the children at the Lighthouse school.

‘In my mind I think everyone can change. I have faith in the children at the Lighthouse school, and I think they perceive this, because they are always running to me when they see me, saying, ‘Miss Soraya! Miss Soraya!’” she said.

“It’s not necessary change the whole world, but you are the king of your little space, and you need to take care of the people around you. If you do this, the world will change.”

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