There are some really crazy people in this world. They dream a dream and chase it relentlessly. They dare to challenge the norms and insist on creating their own path. And it is these crazy men and women who experience real joy and fulfillment in their lives.
Recently we met a woman who found her calling at the young age of 8, chased her dream like crazy, followed it around the world and turned her passion into a success story. A girl from an obscure little town in Germany who is now a world wide sensation.
COCO – a name that resonates sensuality, a woman who celebrates the beauty of the female form, an accomplished artist who travels the world, helping women rediscover themselves.
Her Bellydance performances blend the mysteries of the Oriental world with contemporary entertainment. Apart from performing for clients such as Hilton, L’Oréal, BMW, Bayer and E.ON, she has also appeared in a number of film and TV productions. Having studied oriental Bellydance in Europe and the Middle East, currently Coco lives in Berlin, Germany.
Here’s an interaction which left us inspired and hopefully will inspire you too.
Describe ‘COCO’ in one word.
When did you discover your passion for Dance?
As long as I can remember I have always loved dancing, it makes me feel passionate and alive.
What has been the best moment of your life so far?
There have been so many amazing moments in my life. Moments that I share with my man, the love of my life, moments of total bliss in just being, energetic performances, the glow on the faces of my students as they discover how beautiful they are.
Travels to magical places all over the world, deep heartfelt friendships, collaborations that flow effortlessly and create more than everybody could have imagined… I can’t just pick a single moment.
What would you be if you were not an Artist?
Besides building my dance career I also obtained a diploma in Architecture. I have always loved Architecture. I have so many other interests as there are many fascinating things in the world. But I had to choose where to dedicate my life fully, as you can’t be a part time architect or a part time dancer if you want to create real magic.
But the great thing about my life is that I create it consciously every day, so my career always fits to what I want to do in life. I follow my passion and hope to inspire as many women as possible to do the same. I found that once you tune into what you truly love, everything flows effortlessly. But it hasn’t always been that way. I used to be desperate over large periods of my life.
Watch Video : Coco’s Bellydance show at the Eurocup, O2 World Arena, Berlin
Why did you choose to learn and teach Belly Dance of all dance forms?
Because it’s so sensuous and holds a lot of tension. It has this aura of mystery, spirituality and ancient female knowledge that drew me into it. I had my first Bellydance performance in primary school at the age of 8, but it was not easy to find teachers in the small German town where I grew up. So I went to Ballet classes, later also Jazz-Dance and Modern-Dance until I found my first Arabic teacher.
I quickly discovered that this truly was my dance and started to travel to Cairo, the cradle of the highly artistic and fascinating Egyptian Bellydance. I went there every year to observe and take lessons with the best Bellydancers, eager to find the secret that made those dancers so special – the essence of Bellydance.
What I found there and in my studies of contemporary dance and bodywork here in Europe is what I teach now in my classes: the Essence of Belly dance. In the Essence of Bellydance we reconnect to our body on a deeper level and dance from the inside out. We awaken our pelvic floor and connect it seamlessly with the rest of our body. It’s a very personal way of moving that stimulates our body, mind and soul.
I just started licensing my method, so I can reach more women all over the world. The first teachers were my long term students who will also take over my classes in Berlin as I move to Spain to live at the Ocean.
Due to many requests, we are planing to open the teacher training to teachers from all over the world in 2014.
What does Dance do to an individual?
Depending on what dance you choose and how passionate you are about it, it does different things. From bringing you into a good mood and training your brain over shaping your body and improving your overall health, it can also lead you to a personal transformation. To a shift in perspective that can change your life. This is what dance does to me and how I am working with it in my coaching, classes and workshops.
In addtion to the Essence of Bellydance I have created a method called Sensuous Dance Workout, which has Bellydance elements but is much freer and sexier. It’s a dance you do for yourself as a woman, to shape your body from head to toe while you discover your sensuousness and subconscious layers of your personality. It connects your to your inner self and can be deeply freeing and transformational. I call it the wild path to enlightment.
I have just produced a wonderful “Sensuous Dance Workout Double-DVD” so every woman can dance with me in her living room.
Why is it important for a woman to discover her sensuality?
Simply put: because it’s fun! All women are highly sensual beings. But due to our upbringing we neglect this playful part of ourselves. We are used to thinking that sensuousness is only necessary in the bedroom, where we all want to be good lovers. And on the other hand we are trained to work nonstop to skyrocket our careers while being the best mothers and wifes on earth.
Taking the time to open our senses, feel the energy around us, feel our body, smell the roses or massage ourselves with our favorite oil seems like a waste of time or even egoistic.
Watch Video: Performing at the FADY MAALOUF Concert, Tempodrom, Berlin
That is why so many women are stressed or even depressed and burned out. Those women do everything they can but never can do enough to feel satisfied or safe and happy with their lives.
But the truth is: the more you see that your life is there for you to enjoy and you treat it that way, the more you are able to make it a joy for everybody in your life, from your family, to your coworkers to random people you meet on the street.
A radiant and happy woman is an inspiration to everybody. And she gets more done, as she has more energy and more love to share. Only she can change the world for the better. There is not such a thing as loving others without first being able to love yourself. I have seen this in my own life and see it daily in the lives of my clients.
Why do you think most women resist discovering their sensual side?
At the surface: they think they have no time, but on the inside: they are afraid of letting go and just be in the moment. They are afraid of loosing control over their life. I know it, because I have been there too.
I was raised in a very competitive household, we were trained to be the best. So whenever I was playing, my father asked me, how will that improve your future? Confronted with this question I always had the feeling that everything in life didn’t make any sense. If I would always live for the future, I would never be able to enjoy the moment. That thought depressed me for a long time. I saw everybody around me just working for their future without ever cherishing the fruit of their labor. Having fun just for the sake of having fun was deemed as decadent.
Life seemed like a never ending list of chores you had to accomplish. I always thought, once I get this done, I will be happy and can finally rest and enjoy, but the fact was that as soon as I accomplished one thing, I saw the mass of other things I had to do. I was afraid of a life full of chores and fears of not “getting it right”. But fortunately I didn’t give up to search for a solution and freed myself to discover the sensuous life full of pleasure and effortlessness.
What do you do when you are not Dancing?
I love to discover the world: to read, to think, to travel and to try out everything that comes into my mind. I also love to connect with people, experience interesting relationships and learn about us humans as a species.
I love to discover myself with various kinds of psychological techniques, sports and bodywork, I love to experience and learn about spirituality, I love to get massages, to cook and to eat… Life is so good!
When will you come to India?
I was in India for 3 weeks in January 2012. I visited Indore, Delhi and Agra. I taught daily workshops and did shows at selected events and at the Arabic Food Festival that the Sayaji Hotel initiated for my shows. I loved the Indian audience, they were highly energetic, loving and well educated on dance, especially on the spiritual aspect of it. I also loved my students who were so dedicated to learn every single thing and so enthusiastic about music and fun.
I’m grateful to my lovely organizers Neeraj Goel and the lovely Aditi Kale from the Saregama Music School, Indore who organized everything brilliantly and made my stay in India an amazing experience.
The one thing you want to say to women in India
In my workshops in India I have noticed that the young girls are in good shape while the married women tend to neglect their body. So the following advice is very dear to my heart: don’t stop moving your body when you are pregnant. Sensuous Dance and Bellydance are designed for women, and the pelvic floor integration is a key aspect of being a woman.
Both dance forms are great to connect with yourself as your body changes and are very healthy for the baby. They will also help you have an easy birth and adjust to the changes in your body, mind and soul afterwards.
And: you are wonderful! Right now, exactly as you are. Take time to enjoy it. If you want to join my free online dance classes or subscribe to my free tips for a sensuous life, come over to www.sensuousmind.com
And here’s a sneak preview of my upcoming DVD, just for you…I’m looking forward to meet you!