Interview from March 30th 2018.
Madeleine (23) is an Essence of Belly dancer teacher, writer and student of languages & cultures.
How did you come in touch with Bellydance and what does it give you?
Well I guess my first time getting in touch with belly dance was when I saw
some of Shakira’s iconic music videos like “Whenever Wherever” and “Hips don’t
lie” on MTV while I tried not to get caught by my Mama, haha. She was very
strict when it came to education besides school, I wasn’t allowed to do very
much. I used to be bullied in school for being the “fat nerdy girl” with braces,
skin and hair acting up… puberty really had its fun with me. I still remember
crying myself to sleep almost every night because I hated my life. I couldn’t
seem to understand why God “punished” me when I just wanted to be free, loved
for who I really am and dance!!! So with 11 years I promised myself that as
soon as I would turn 18 I would no longer dream but make the best out of my
life and body. I started where I was - by dancing to Shakira secretly infront of the
The feeling belly dancing gives me is hard to describe because it means so
much to me. It feels free, light-hearted and being in tune with everything
that I am as a woman. And also a little bit like finally eating that chocolate
cake you have been craving for all day. Belly dancing is like… Love.
How did you start and what were the important milestones/turning points in your dance journey?
I started belly dancing 2014 when I moved for my Russian, French and Portuguese
languages and cultures studies to Gießen. It was a typical oriental belly dance
class focusing less on techniques but more on getting the energy of oriental
belly dance. We occasionally danced on social events as well which was fun, but
I wanted to be more than just a “birthday belly dancer”. The oldest woman
in our group was
69 years old and not only was her belly dancing stunning, her whole body looked
so young, flexible and beautiful! Of course nothing else but belly dancing for
30 years was her secret.
The first turning point of my career was definitely in 2016 when I discovered
Coco and her teacher training. Before the teacher training I was still struggling
with self-doubts since I only had 2 years dance experience – what if I wouldn’t
make it? Those doubts vanished as soon as the teacher training started. I loved every
weekend in Berlin soooo much, every dance lesson was full of life, warmth and
growth externally in belly dance and internally as a woman. It’s softly
challenging in all the good ways. Thank you Coco for creating Essence of Belly
What was the best moment in your dance life so far?
Last year I went to Los Angeles to a belly dance festival as a visitor but somehow
ended up on stage dancing with children to live drummers in between the main acts
becoming the main attraction of that night in my simple blue summer dress, no fancy
make up or jewelry. All the appreciation I got from everyone there felt so unreal to
me. This was the moment I fully realized that I had made my secret childhood dream
You study, teach 2 classes and have just published your first poetry book Roarmance,
how does it all fit together and how do you find time for it all?
The time is there because I make time for it. Somehow, the more I take time for
the people and things I truly love, the more energy, the more time is there.
Life is too short to fill it with half ass things. I want my life to be as
full of Unconditional Love as possible and by doing what I do now I feel Love
even on a “bad day” even when I am alone because I am living my Soul’s Purpose.
Everyone has a different Soul Purpose and the more we live it, the more we glow.
By the way your glow is giving me a tan Coco!
I love it, thank you! Is there something you regret?
No. I don’t like the energy of regretting. It takes precious moments away of the
now. However, whenever I find myself “regretting” or overthinking something, I pray
and count the blessings in my life using the “regretting” energy to create something
with Love in my life right now. Or I just shimmy, shake, twist and slide it away
with my hips.
What 3 tips would you like to share with women who want to pursue a similar dream?
1. Listen to your heart and to the people who have already accomplished a dream
similar to yours. Never take advice or let negativity get close to you from
someone who has no clue about the meaning of your dream for you.
2. Your dreams matter and realizing them will make you truly happy. “Remember
that wherever your heart is, there will you find your treasure.” Paulo Coelho
3. Be unapologetically ambitious in following your dream every day. Even on
a “bad day”, just do it. Your future self will love you for it, trust me. Oh
and don’t forget to pamper yourself on a daily basis while doing so.
How does a day in your life look like?
I hit snooze a couple of times before I finally get up, haha. I always stay
up way too late at night because that’s when I feel most inspired to write.
After a good breakfast and cup of tea with fresh fruits I pray, put on really
loud Hip Hop music and drive à la GTA San Andreas to university. While driving
I always practice my belly moves to the beat – it’s more fun that way. As soon
as I finish my courses I head to the sport campus and teach my modern belly
dance class and meditation in motion.
After those I always feel like walking on cloud 7 since my dance students
leave my classes with big smiles. Depending on the day I am either heading to
the dance studio for Air Hooping (my current dance obsession) with friends or
whatever dance class we feel like that day, to basketball games, food, spa,
movies, basically vibing together doing whatever feels good to the Soul and
Heart. As soon as I get home I prepare myself for the next day and get my
mindset and body right. I put on my favorite music and continue writing on
my second book until I realize it’s already 3 in the morning…
What are the 3 books that shaped your life?
Dr Brian Weiss: Only Love is Real - A Story of Soulmates Reunited
Queen Afua: Heal Thyself for Health and Longevity.
Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist.
I recently published my first book which has been a big childhood
dream of mine. It’s called Roarmance: Poetry and Soulful Writing
and definitely shaped my life into a big heart bubble ever since…
What is your vision for the future?
In the future I see myself sharing my Love for belly dance with
everyone who comes to my classes while expanding my dancing skills and
writing many more books. Since Love and Family mean so much to me nothing
makes my heart shimmy more than the thought of having my own one day with
the man I love, being a good wife and mother.
Thank you so much for the interview Madeleine! 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!