On a different note, I’d like to point out that belly dancing actually requires A LOT of intelligence. So does living in Cairo. Granted, there are many kinds of intelligence, but I’m talking about book smarts. I actually think that academic intelligence can be an asset in this dance. Academics learn how to think abstractly.. They are constantly creating ideas and inventing things. Academics are also highly informed about the contexts in which they operate. When applied to dancing in Cairo, these skills can work miracles.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I expect to be belly dancing in Cairo for the rest of my life. I do realize that this is a short-lived, stressful career, and that I’ll have to have Plan B later on down the line. I know about social security and pensions and all that stuff that I should have when I’m older… and oh yes, kids. But this doesn’t mean that I can’t pursue my dream job while I’m still young and able. I have plenty of time to sit and rot in an office from 9-5, but I just don’t want to do that now. Not when youth, enthusiasm, energy and ability are still on my side.