Published in the August 2005 SAMEDA Papyrus
For those of you who don't know her yet, let me please introduce you to Sakti Rinek - a vivacious and adventurous person, an international dancer, and an instructor. Sakti is also a vendor of exquisite Middle Eastern dancewear. I first met Sakti over four years ago when she presented an Oriental Dance workshop featuring instruction on Egyptian dance technique and choreography to Warda's classic song "Harramt Ahebbak." Sakti demonstrated a wonderful fluid style, with sassy moves. I was thrilled and eagerly awaited her return to San Diego from New Mexico.
Each summer since her return from living and performing in Cairo (from 1991-1995), Sakti has taught an annual Middle Eastern Dance workshop in San Diego. Her workshop includes instruction on Egyptian Saidi, Cabaret, Ghawazee, Arabic Gypsy Flamenco and more. This year Sakti will be teaching in September at the Dancing Unlimited Studio featuring Egyptian dance technique, hip articulations, steps and combinations, various shimmies and layering with shimmies.
While discussing Sakti's background, I learned she began to dance in her early 20's while raising her two young sons. Sakti was recovering from a car accident and believed that dance would expedite her recovery. Sakti quickly became 'hooked' with belly dancing and began performing full shows within five months. She has never stopped since.
Sakti has been dancing over 28 years and has toured Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan. She has toured Germany 17 times and has toured Switzerland twice. Sakti will be returning to Switzerland in 2005. The Association of German Oriental Dancers requested Sakti to instruct and perform at conventions in Zeven, Dusseldorf and Kassel.
One of Sakti's most treasured moments in Egypt was when she watched Sohair Zaki perform on the Sunset Ship. Although Sohair does not usually allow anyone to dance during her show, on that night she motioned for Sakti to get up and dance. Sohair gently took off Sakti's shawl unveiling her to Cairo and they both danced. Sohair, with a twinkle in her eye, bowed out and let Sakti perform to her orchestra. Later Sohair Zaki told Sakti "you good dancer." This was extremely encouraging and gave Sakti the determination to fulfill her dream to perform in Egypt. Since then, Sakti's dance technique and style has received great praise from the famous Egyptian choreographer Hassan Afifi. Sakti continues to receive international recognition and has appeared on television in Israel, Japan and the United States.
In 2000, the International Academy of Middle Eastern dance nominated Sakti for the Modern Egyptian Dancer category for the 2000 Awards of Bellydance. She continues to be recognized for her extraordinary dance technique. Currently, Sakti teaches five group classes a week, private classes and performs regularly at various venues. When Sakti does not perform, she spends time with her newly-wed husband Jack and family.