To me a balanced life includes one where you can express yourself, and for me that is through music and dance. I enjoy all sorts of music, but prefer it if I can dance to it. Arabic music has always moved me, first, over 30 years ago through dance, often called belly dance, but by those closer to the geographical birthplace of this ancient, sensual art, known as ‘Oriental dance’. The rhythms always fascinated me, so my next area of interest became the percussive darabukka or tabla, taking me from slow and smooth, to sharp and exciting within a few moments.
For the last few years I have taken up singing with the Andalus-Arabic choir, which also provokes a variety of emotions – happiness, longing and bliss. There is a wonderful camaraderie between the members, hearing their different stories and sharing performances is uplifting.
A few weeks ago, we travelled to Wollongong to perform at the Illawarra Folk Festival, which was great fun in a beautiful natural setting. I was asked to dance during one of the songs, so doubly joyful. The rest of the choir and the audience also enjoyed it.
So, I think that self-expression and sharing it with others is something we shouldn’t lose sight of, in this busy, increasingly digital world we live in. In fact it is an important part of your life that can keep you healthy.