Talking with Kitana
Kitana is one of HipMix.net's preferred, and favorite, artists for many reasons. Besides having a background in fitness, which adds a unique level to her teaching style, her personal mission embodies the philosophy behind HipMix.net and why we exist.
Like so many, she stumbled upon belly dance, signing up after reading an advertisement in the local newspaper. She may have been a late starter, beginning the workshop two weeks after other students, but that didn't change her love for belly dance.
"Belly dancing makes me feel vibrant," Kitana said. "For me, the dance is spiritual more than it is sexy. It's an extension of what I feel inside and what's inside me is displayed through my portrayal of this dance."
The expression of self through dance is something that continues drawing people to belly dance as a form of exercise, versus others. Kitana began teaching in conjunction with other fitness regimens, and ended up focusing solely on belly dance.
"More people preferred the art of the belly dancing rather than traditional fitness," Kitana said. "This art form is different from traditional methods of aerobics classes that most of the women who take part in it are hooked for life."
So what makes belly dance addictive? Why is belly dance so different from other types of workouts? Kitana let's her students answer that question.
"I can best explain this by using the words of my students 'This is my me time', 'This is my relaxation at the end of my day', 'This is something I'm proud I can do with my daughter'," Kitana said. "As a mother and a wife you sometimes find yourself engulfed in your family that you sometimes forget about yourself."
The ability to focus on themselves is what draws so many women to belly dance. It's a female-empowerment form of exercise, much different than the self-deprecating environment some gyms end up cultivating. Although some environments try to make people feel comfortable working out, nothing celebrates the natural human form like belly dance.
"We must keep in mind that we all come in different shapes and sizes as a dancer," Kitana said.
Though people must love their bodies, fitness is an important component of dance. Although belly dance is not one size fits all, physical strength must be in place in order to showcase a dancer's abilities.
"Fitness and appearance should be very important to a dancer especially if she plans to dance as a professional dancer or teacher," Kitana said. "Each dancer should stand as a representation of what people all over the world would expect to see when they are graced with a performance by a belly dancer."
Kitana is trying to bring belly dance to as many people as possible, regardless of their jean size, or their wallet size. By starting a non-profit foundation called 'The Kitana Foundation for Performing Arts', Kitana hopes to offer awareness seminars and college scholarships for those involved in the world of belly dance.
"I am on a mission to bring as many women back to life and to allow them to see their self-worth," Kitana said. "It's not about money to me. I've always enjoyed helping people."
Visit Kitana's profile to learn more about her as a dancer and a teacher.