Inspire Belly Dance: Libertad, From Poverty To A Dream Of An Entertainment Career Realized
Los Angeles-based belly dancer, Libertad Green, has faced many obstacles on the path to becoming who she is today. Raised in a Southern Virginia home without running water or power, she was also diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease at age eleven, making the possibility of a career in dance seem like a fairy tale.
"I used to cry when I watched dance shows on TV, because I thought it was something I would never be able to do," said Libertad.
Libertad's mom had other plans. She had dreamed of trying belly dance for years, and in December of 2006, finally convinced her daughter to try it out through an instructional DVD. The connection was instant.
"If it was not for my mother, I doubt I would ever have started," Libertad said. "It feels like second-nature to me, and, of all the dances I perform, belly dancing is the dance with which I am most comfortable."
While belly dancing has been a comfort to Libertad, she almost considered quitting after living through a nightmare. After belly dancing in a local restaurant, the owner sexually assaulted her, a night she’ll never forget.
"Sexual assault is not something I believe you ever 'get over,' but I continued dancing and I refuse to let people like that ruin my life or career," said Libertad.
In addition to overcoming that traumatic experience, she often encounters people who associate belly dancing with stripping, which can make it difficult as she works her way into being a respected actress, dancer and model. She refuses to let their criticism affect her.
"Small-minded people who think I am less than a lady because I dance, model and/or act are not people I want to be associated with," Libertad said. "Don't worry about what other people think, and enjoy the dance for how it makes YOU feel!"
Luckily, she has plenty of support from her family. Libertad cites her mother as the biggest inspiration in her life, but she is grateful to her entire family for their acceptance. Libertad spreads this love and support by performing for charities whenever possible, including Channel It, Heifer International, Marinello Beauty School and the State of the Art Ball.
"I dance for events that represent a good cause whenever I get the chance. I also like to post videos regularly, of myself performing and sometimes teaching," said Libertad.
Her love of dance has taken her on stage, television, around the nation, and out to sea as well. She's performed on both coasts, in Texas, and aboard the Carnival Destiny. You may have even seen her on shows such as Glee, or as a fencer in Cut Copy’s music video for "Need You Now".
Ultimately, the support of the community is what Libertad would like to see grow. Hopefully she will see all of her wishes come true.
"As dancers, we need to support each other and not tear each other down! I have seen and experienced way too much of this in the years since I started dancing," said Libertad.