Category: sonia burns

How did I get here? (for my thoughts)

(Photo by: Ania Polonsky)

So, How did this all come to be?
I want to make sure I do not forget how all of this came to be. I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile…
Summer (August) of 2010, I just graduated from MCAD with a BFA in photography. And as soon as I graduated, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with photography. I was very confused on where my art stood, my senior project was the complete opposite of everything I had done the last 3 years of college. I had a rough time transitioning from commercial/fashion (in a fine art college) to more a “fine artist”. It was a struggle to take the model out of the picture… I felt like the last 3 years was a waste of artwork I wanted to delete all my fashion files, I really did cut everything out.
None the less I didn’t even want to pick up a camera for ANYTHING. I didn’t want to think about concepts… So, it kind of left me with nothing, and had no plans after graduating… I was not inspired by anything for 3 months, especially not being connected with the MCAD art community (aka walls of mcad)… But I tried to look up paintings, but nothing was inspiring me to create art… I was just kind-of living… The only glimpse of inspiration was Fiona Apple, and Orion Rigel Dommisse… But I couldn’t make anything out of it. On top of this I was deeply affected by close-friend being sick, in which I didn’t realize for awhile, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. Dealing with that eventually put me into a depression. I got a temporary job in August, but I was still extremely unhappy…
But my boyfriend and I always goto the Renaissance Festival every year. He loves it there-and actually got me hooked. I always couldn’t wait to see the belly dancers, I always thought they were so sexy! But I never thought anything past that. This would be our 3rd year going and I wanted to start building a costume…
Fast-forward, I couldn’t stop watching the belly dancers with the snakes, but again nothing special-just mesmerized. I stepped into a belly dancer costume hunt, I thought everything in there was soooo pretty!!! So I ended up putting on a top and belt, Very spontaneous purchase ($275)! I bought it on the spot.
A week later, I find the first dancer that I actually enjoyed watching (and trust me, I went through a LOT of ren fest dancers-keep in mind I didn’t know belly dancers preformed out side of Ren Fest)… But, Sonia Burns was Gorgeous! The gem!
Its this video to exact, that I could NOT stop watching:
1 weeks later, its like midnight, and a little teenage voice whispered in my ear “if you’re going to be a belly dancer at Ren Fest, you can’t be a poser ;)” again very teenage way of thinking…
So, I look up belly dance classes realize there’s a class starting the very next day @ 11AM. I said, why the hell not?! I’ll just pay for 1 class, if i dont like it i never have to step foot in class again… And I kept telling myself that. Plus, I wanted to give myself some self-confidence, and it was really about building back up my self-confidence by getting in touch with my inner “Queen Sheva”, and for a little bit of exercise and just to give myself something to do. It had NOTHING to do with performing, nor did I ever plan on performing.
It was October 2nd, 2010 my first belly dance class with Aalim School of Dance with Mirah Ammal. It was a great introductory to the art (especially showing us proper belly dancer – dance position). But I still wasn’t sure about it, so, I decided to wait, and then that week I looked up physique and bellydancers… which lead me to a guy posting a video of Rachel Brice and all the ab muscle she uses in her craft:
I immediately purchased her Serpentine DVD that very same night..
I remember listening to a lot of Pentaphobe. And thinking THESE DANCERS (aka tribal fusion) get it, and I GET IT. i’ve always imagined black metal music being slow, I know it wasn’t a metal song they were dancing to. But I GOT it, and I was thinking “OMG there are dancers expressing exactly what I hear in a song”
And then I was like I can REALLY do this now….
So, I also signed up at the Cassandra School. My first teacher being Melanie Meyer. In the big studio. I enjoyed going to class, and it was my light! Of course, researching and watching all different dancers followed!
Then the holidays came, and I told myself I’ll wait until Spring (without all the snow) to start dancing again. That did not hold up once dance classes were back in session. I was MORE than ready to go back to dance class and could not wait a moment longer.
I am currently studying with Sarah Jones-Larson at Cassandra and Lesley Inman at BoHo U. I have so much to explore, and I have to teach myself to enjoy the process and take one step at a time.

Belly dance saved me, gave me life, a voice, and a place for art. I see myself as an artist, not a dancer or photographer. Belly dance gave me infinite space to create. I’m continuously evolving. And as I always say, “I’m just an artist. I have concepts, and I simply use a medium to express it.”


HOMAGE: to the first belly dancer to ever inspire me, Sonia Burns

The very first belly dancer that made me say “wow! I have to take lessons now”, I had looked everyyywhere online to find an inspiring dancer… It took me a really long time, so if it weren’t for Sonia, I would not be writing this blog right now…
So thank you for being so beautiful, Sonia.

And the very first video that inspired me….
She had a true presence that I had never seen before that made me really think this is truly an art form that I could possibly do…

And now that i look back on it, its looking very tribal fusion to me…. *YES*

Another video I would watch…

Another video I would watch…..