Amina Sahar – An auburn flower in dance ….
An interview with Amina Sahar
Amina Sahar has been a SAMEDA member for over 5 years. She is an active, lovely and blossoming artist in the dance community who performs in a variety of venues. She is an auburn flower in dance...
Amina began dancing as a child, with emphasis in ballet, tap and jazz dance. She stopped dancing a few years ago and began to search for a fun way to lose weight. A friend suggested belly dancing, and Amina decided to give it a try. The rest is history. The dance captivated her heart and her journey of dance began.
Looking back, Amina credits good fortune from a friend’s recommendation for a good instructor – Ninah Sahar. After speaking with Ninah, Amina became enthused and recalls “I attended my first class. It was a little intimidating since all the other students had been taking lessons for quite awhile with Ninah. My past dance experience helped me to have a sense of what some of the moves are, a body wave in jazz is similar to a camel or undulation. Ninah was very patient and took the time to explain how to refine the moves to Middle Eastern dance.”
Amina said Ninah Sahar had an impression upon her dance skills, and describes “I was very fascinated, and still am, to hear about and see the different folkloric styles. Ninah has such vast knowledge about dance styles, I enjoyed listening to where they come from and the meaning behind the moves. It prompted me to learn more about the history and to learn the moves as well.”
After taking classes for a few months, Amina signed up to perform at the San Diego Fair, through Ninah Sahar. Amina performed choreography to “Wladelo Salame”. Ironically, Amina’s first performance as a Middle Eastern Dance artist was at the same venue where, at 3 years old, she graced the stage for the first time. Amina laughs “It seems fitting that my first bellydance performance was at the same place that I had my very first dance performance.”
When asked about her most memorable show, Amina said “the most memorable show I have done so far was the performance on the Carnival Elation cruise ship on a cruise to Cabo. That whole weekend was memorable with being rerouted due to a hurricane, trying to find rehearsal space on the cruise ship, dancing with the movement of the ship, and the wonderful show. It was a wonderful time to get to know my fellow dancers better and I cherish those memories. Especially watching Lucia’s impromptu dance on the promenade deck after our show while a ship’s musician played Lynyrd Skynyrd!” (Editors’ note: yes, a carpe diem moment J )
Through her Middle Eastern dance journey, Amina has enjoyed studying folkloric, oriental and fusion styles. Currently, she is enrolled in the apprenticeship program with DaVid of Scandinavia and comments “I feel like my dancing is moving onto a new level that I have never reached in any other style. It’s a challenge and I love having to step out of my comfort zone of letting ballet/jazz take over my bellydance every so often.”
Amina enjoys using all props like cane, veil, Isis wings, sword and enjoys using the challenges of balancing a lit candle tray on her head during her performances. Amina laughs “I like the danger and thrill of it. I think it’s also a little rebellion in me because my husband is a firefighter and it puts him on edge.”
Amina has an impressive education, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in Theatre with emphasis in Stage Management and Dance. She recently graduated from Cuyamaca College with an Associate of Science degree in Paralegal Studies and maintained standing on the Dean’s List. When not performing, Amina enjoys her internship at the San Diego District Attorney’s office.
Amina describes her balanced life as “My husband, Mike, is always my top priority and I avoid “over committing” myself to dancing. Mike and I hike, camp, kayak, dog walk and spend time together. He enjoys the healthy aspect of belly dance and proudly shares ‘my wife is a belly dancer’. Amina enjoys the balance of home, work and dance in her life. Her future goals include “to become an accomplished, polished dancer, membership in a professional troupe, and to become a paralegal at the District Attorney’s office”. Most importantly, Amina aspires “to share her life with Mike, doing the things we enjoy.. my husband, belly dance, dogs, and friends are the best stress relievers.”
Amina’s comments ‘I love the fact that bellydance is a dance form that embraces the beauty and grace of women, and men, of all ages, physical limitations, and shapes. It’s refreshing to know that there isn’t a weight or age restriction placed on the dancers like there are with other dance forms.