Soraya's Explains Belly Dance Karma
While other children were at home with the baby sitter, Soraya was witnessing the world of belly dance firsthand. The dance form is a large part of her heritage, thanks to her parents, and she’s been loving the art since she was three years old.
“My parents took me to countless Middle Eastern weddings and shows. There has never been a time in my life where I was not involved with belly dancing,” Soraya said.
Her life-long exposure to belly dance has imbued her with an idea she calls “Belly Karma.” More than being derived from her practice of passing on belly dance gigs to other belly dancers that she can’t fit into her schedule (without charge), the idea of Belly Karma encompasses her pursuit of bringing the heritage of belly dance with her to every performance.
“It is imperative we pay homage to our beautiful craft by keeping our dance very 'culturally connected' and professional,” said Soraya. “I like to choose shows if I feel the clients and audiences really understand our art form and culture.”
With a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and sociology with an emphasis in Middle Eastern studies, it’s no wonder Soraya can bring the history of belly dance to the stage. When performing for countless Arabic singers and stars, her audience not only gets the authenticity, but appreciates it.
“When I perform for renowned singing stars the crowd is usually 100% Arabian,” said Soraya. “It is great when I hear an Arabian audience going crazy in the crowd when I do certain movements.”
From performances at five star hotels in India, to dancing for King Hassan and the Royal Family of Morroco in their palace, and now on stage in Atlantic City, Soraya has had a career that many belly dancers dream about. Practicing Belly Karma, Soraya has plenty of advice for those who wish to be in the spotlight. At the heart of all of her performances, is the music.
“I love relaxing on stage and listening to every instrument in the music and try to interpret what I hear through a series of movements to take my audiences on a journey,” Soraya said.
As a professional entertainer, Soraya continues to break the cultural misconceptions of belly dance, an effort supported by her husband. Even though his background is not in dance or art, he photographs and videotapes all of Soraya’s shows, reflecting her passion in his records. She believes her love of belly dance alone can transform public opinion of the dance.
“I eat, breath, sleep and live belly dance. It is a part of my soul and I love it,” Soraya said. “If we continue to put our hearts and souls into our dancing, the audiences will love it.”
What’s in Soraya’s practice bag?
An extra pair of Saroyan Zills, safety pins, moisturizer, tissues, Capezio "half soles", a beautiful gold lame hair tie, and a bottle of Fiji water.
She also has Moroccan rose water, essential oils of Lavender, Sandalwood, Egyptian musk and Blue Nile.