I have been belly dancing in San Antonio professionally for quite some time now and the more you become involved in the dance community the bigger your goals are… that is at least my case.
On my very first bellydance class I knew that I wanted to do this professionally for a living. I just knew it. I never questioned my thought on it, I simply went with it. I followed my bliss. I knew upon further research that it is not a luxurious career. I read articles and personal blogs from dancers who were higher on the pyramid and talked about what being a professional dancer requires and what it took to get there as well as the sacrifices one has to make.
At the time I was doing marketing for small businesses and event planning. I had planned launch events, charity events, mixers, grand openings and even dog events. I had helped businesses get their Facebook pages started and help them understand how social media is important. I was a socialite, an event marketing guru and the life of the party. I would not only create these event but I would attend other events held by various networking groups.
I enjoyed it but I never thought of it as something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So when bellydancing required sacrifices one of them was pulling away from the socialite life, the constant networking, the dinner mixers, and the works, my answer was a simple YES I can do that.
Every dancer has different goals, every dancer’s journey is different. My goals require most of my time and my mula. Bellydance is a big investment, my costumes are expensive they cost between $500 – $1600, (My costumes are either custom made or from a high end designers) Why so much? It’s quality, you can’t show up at a professional competition wearing a cheap coin belt and something you found in a costume store of New Orleans. Dancing is a business just like any other. I have to maintain my site, I have to do my own search engine optimization, I have to keep in shape, I have to make time to train, I have to do my own choreographies, I have to edit my own music, I have to buy special make up like you have to buy office supplies. I have to invest in my education and all of this takes time, effort, love and lots of commitment. For example these last few months have been dedicated to any upcoming competitions.
Where am I going with this….
I realized that because I say I love dancing and I love my career that it may seem effortless or even less of a career, but it is just as much of a career and a business than any job in the world.
Over the weekend I asked myself, “ How is it that I have so many people on my personal fb and have reached my max of friends but not everyone is on my business page? ” (What fb calls a fan page)
Some of the people that haven’t liked it in fact are some people that I have helped out before or I believed to be friends with…. Yet they didn’t care to just give my business a like. I don’t take it personally but I did give it a second thought and it just dawned on me that perhaps not everyone is aware of how serious I am about my career in dance. I also get several invites during the day from friends who have some time off or days off but I feel like a broken record… I have to choreograph, I have to edit, I have a competition coming up, I really have to practice. So I decided to just turn my phone to silent or airplane mode when I am in my studio, teaching, when I am on my computer working, or when I am resting.
After 600+ words the bottom line is… Yes my dance is my passion but it is also my career and it deserves the same respect your work hours do. I hope this clarifies my absence at times.