5 Years

Everything in life comes full circle. Tonight, I was at my favorite Turkish restaurant in CT, having mezze and saying goodbye to my friend Candice, and suddenly it hit me – almost exactly 5 years ago, give or take a couple of days, I was at that same restaurant, performing my first belly dance solo in public.

At that time, I was fresh out of college and I’d only been studying belly dance less than 3 years. I’m sure I was nowhere near ready to perform in public, but my teacher believed in me enough to push me out of my comfort zone and get me in front of a crowd. The anticipation drove me crazy all day. Would my audience like me? Would there be a huge crowd? Would I fall flat on my ass? Would I have a wardrobe malfunction? Would my first time performing also be my last? I never really considered myself the “put on a showy costume and perform for a huge crowd” type!

I stood there in the dingy Ladies’ room, pinning my costume bra into place for security. Safety pins, don’t fail me! I was wearing my first Turkish bedlah – it was copper and gold and came with a “Wonder Woman” head band. Even though I knew deep down that I looked like Princess Leia in slightly more sparkly drag, I thought I was hot stuff. But I still laughed for a minute and thought to myself, “What exactly do you think you’re doing, anyway?”

My music came on. As my teacher told me, I waited in the wings for my music to build up before bounding onstage (best piece of advice she EVER gave me!) I got out there, danced, and the rest was history. That night, I drove home with a huge grin on my face – and the feeling that this was the beginning of a new era. I was officially bitten by the bug!

It’s amazing to look back on yourself 5 years ago and think how little you knew back then. Even more amazing to realize that in another 5 years, you’ll repeat the cycle. I’ve come a long way since my days of waiting in dingy bathrooms and wearing cheesy student-quality bedlah – but the butterflies haven’t gone away. And all of my gigs still leave me thinking, “The best is yet to come.”

Orlando belly dancer, Carrara Nour
Orlando belly dancer, Carrara Nour

About Carrara: Carrara is a professional belly dancer offering elegant, authentic entertainment for weddings and upscale corporate and private events in Central Florida (Orlando, Melbourne, Daytona). Learn more about Carrara or follow her on Twitter @CarraraNour.

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