Where are you from?
I am based in Toronto, but my ethnic background is Bangladeshi, and I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi and eventually Canada.
Who do you dance with (Soloist/Company/Studio affiliation)?
Currently I perform as a solo artist and with my dance troupe, Dance Sister Dance. DSD is my passion and my dance baby. Past dance companies include Alhambra Dance, Arabesque Earthshakers, Divine Heritage Artistry, Rainbow Ballroom and 16- Piece Orchestra.
How long have you been dancing?
Since I was about 5. I started with Bharatnatyam classes and Bangladeshi folk dances, and developed interest in Ballroom, Latin, Bollywood, Bellydance and Polynesian dance as I grew older. So in total I have been dancing professionally for 13 years but dancing from the heart for almost 30 years. 🙂
What is your favourite music?
So hard to choose! I love listening to a piece of music that moves me on any level. I enjoy Classical, Arabic, Rock, Cuban, Funk, Bollywood, Disco, R n B, Jazz, Mariachi, Hip Hop, Folk, Persian, Country, Opera, Klezmer, Blues, Gospel, Latin, Musical Theatre, Hawaiian, Turkish and the list keeps growing!
Favourite costume piece?
It is still a bra and belt set!
Feeding the desire to buy jewellery, belts, anything that can be used in a costume for troupe or solo. Isn’t that every bellydancer’s vice? 🙂
Striving for creating a safe space for myself and the people I interact with. I am not always successful, but I learn from each experience and try not to repeat the same mistakes. It fills me with contentment and humility when I see how a safe space can really allow individuals and groups of people to flourish and thrive.
New choreography ideas include experimenting with fantasy genres, fairytales, and folk dances.
I feel the most connected to Bellydance. It is soft and strong all at once. There is a powerful joy in being able to move from a deep center. One develops a relationship with gravity in a whole new way. I am still working on it. After having a baby, there are now fascinating new ways that I am connecting with my muscles, my intentions and my center. Bellydance grounds me and frees me in the same instant.
Who inspires you?
Everyone! Teachers, students, colleagues, audience members, beginners and pros! I find something unique in everyone I have worked with or have had the pleasure to observe in performance. Everyone tells a story with their dance and I always feel compelled to move with them and come away with ideas for future projects.