Interview from March 31st 2018.
Born and raised in Berlin, Joanne (27) moved to Hamburg in early 2015 and works
there in the fashion industry. In addition to that dancing and modeling has been part of
her life for many years. In summer of 2017 Joanne completed her Essence of
Bellydance teacher training and since then she ist teaching "Contemporary Oriental
Dance" in Hamburg. For 1,5 years flamenco dance is also her passion.
How did you come in touch with Bellydance and what does it give you?
The first time I saw belly dancing on TV it was a music video by Shakira. From this
moment on I became not only a fan of Shakira, but also a bellydance fan! The graceful,
snake-like movements immediately intrigued me. I often
danced in front of the mirror in my room. At that time it was just for fun.
Dancing made me so happy and still does today!
I learned the right technique much later in Coco's bellydance class. There I
realized that my posture and my well-being was getting better and better because
of the right training.
From the beginning until today I can totally switch off my mind
when I'm dancing. I am connected to myself and my thoughts come to rest. Similar
to meditation or yoga, only better.
You are also modeling and we love your pictures! How did you become a model?
When I was 19 years old I was approached by the owner of a modeling
agency while shopping and I joined her agency. That's how it all started. Funnily enough, before this
time I also liked to do small "photo shoots" by myself. I just set the self-timer on
a digital camera and started practicing poses. The pictures were almost all overexposed
or out of focus.
Today I have hundreds of professional photographs of myself. In some
pictures I hardly recognize myself because of the great styling and professional
editing. I still have fun to transform myself and edit the photos afterwards by
myself. But I have not been in a modeling agency for a long time. Today I organize
my shootings myself. And I discovered a new hobby: dance photo shoots! Since I made
dancing to my profession, I've had some photo shoots on this theme and it's great fun
to dance in front of the camera and not just to pose!
You work in the fashion industy, model and dance how do you find time for it all?
Oh, that's really not easy. That's why I switched to a half-day job in the fashion
industry just over a year ago to have more time for dancing. The modeling is more of a
hobby at the moment.
How did you start and what were the important milestones/turning points in your dance journey?
So it all started with the music of Shakira. The first very important
turning point was when I started learning the right technique in Coco's bellydance
class since summer of 2013. That was the first step to becoming an Essence of Bellydance
teacher, even though I didn't know that back then. The first considerations to make the
education, and make dancing to my profession came to me only 3 years later. And
becoming an Essence of Bellydance teacher in 2017 was the most important milestone
in my dance career so far!
What was the best moment in your dance life so far?
There were several, but one of the best moments was definitely when I passed the
Essence of Bellydance teacher exam and got my certificate. It's now hanging in
a picture frame in my bedroom. Right next to my pin board where I pin my wishes
and goals for the future. So I always have both in sight: what I have already
achieved and what I still want to achieve.
Is there something you regret?
I often regret that I didn't recognize my path much earlier and that I didn't start dancing earlier.
I would be much further in my dance career and also in my personal development.
For a long time I was aimless in my life and didn't know exactly who I am, where I
belong and what I really want.
But of course this phase also shaped me and made me the
person I am today - w ith all my experiences, the good as well as the bad. That's why I'm
also glad and grateful for the fact that I was allowed to experience all this and that
my life has gone as it is now. The music and dancing helped me a lot to find myself
and to enjoy my life.
What 3 tips would you like to share with women who want to pursue a similar dream?
Dear women, don't let your uncertainties stop you and listen to your feminine intuition.
Be brave and pursue your dreams without hesitation. Be every day thankful for all the good,
the beautiful and the positive in your life. For the big things, as well as for the little
things. And last but not least: do not forget that we are all goddesses!
How does a day in your life look like?
In the morning I drive like many other people to work by train. In the early afternoon
my part-time job is over. My afternoons and evenings are different
every day. Sometimes I have a photo shoot or I edit pictures. Of course regular dance
training or yoga are also part of my daily routine, just like answering e-mails,
maintaining my homepage and my social media pages. Every Monday I go to flamenco lessons
in the La Resca flamenco studio. And every Thursday in the same dance studio my oriental
dance lessons take place.
What are the 3 books that shaped your life?
In my childhood and adolescence the fantasy novel series Harry Potter by my namesake
Joanne K. Rowling. Because of this fantastic story I was able to immerse myself in a fantasy
world that I liked so much better then my real world at that time.
On my long journey of self-discovery I was influenced by the books of Sonja Szielinski.
Her life-guidebooks have completely changed my worldview. So that today I only dive
into the fantasy worlds of Harry Potter and Co. for fun.
And last but not least a bit of specialist literature for all flamenco lovers:
El Arte Flamenco - The Basics for Lovers by Gitta Merkle. Because this book
is so beautifully written and illustrated and helped me a lot to understand this
difficult dance better. It has also shaped my dance life.
What is your vision for the future?
I love going to dance workshops and I love learning from so many different,
great women. I will definitely continue to do that! Then I wish that my
oriental dance lessons become even more successful and more women find their way
into my courses. And I want to travel a lot and see the world.
Thank you so much for the interview Joanne! You are an inspiration.
Do you love to dance and want to inspire other women?
Then join our international community of excellent dance teachers and start teaching your own Essence of Bellydance classes.
You can do it!