Just days after my New Year’s gig was cancelled due to renewed government restrictions on social gatherings, I walked to the top of the island for lunch as I’d done several times and would do many times more. After this lunch I felt the urge to move and shake off the heaviness of pigging out. Conveniently, I happened to be wearing my RakasaFit™ gear. I swear, I didn’t plan this, and yet somehow I suspect my mischievous subconscious participated.

Fallou saw my gaze at the empty space across from where we’d gathered and asked if I wanted to go dance…

Center and right painting by Pape. Left painting by Fallou.

Throughout my life I’ve envisioned a place where community replaces commercialism — where varieties of dance, music, art, and food are being made everywhere, all the time. I have found this place on Gorée Island and it’s been an immeasurable gift to spend the past four weeks living this existence and learning so much from it.

Think it’s only for women? An account of youth participation in belly dance and an opportunity to question the stereotypes.

One of the public agencies I reached out to this week replied that she was interested in broader age/gender appeal than what belly dance can offer. Presumably, she’s suggesting that belly dance is primarily for women. Well hm, really? I had to pause. I’m fully prepared to accept what is and what isn’t, but something about the statement wasn’t aligning with my reality. For example, whenever children are present at my shows, they’re usually the first to participate.

Suzanna performing at Costas Opa in Seattle, WA — USA

Over my…

The second of five articles documenting a journey to Senegal in West Africa, November 2017. To begin with the first article, go here >

. . .

Tilapia, common fish in Senegal

Like fish unable to see our water, we spend most of our day-to-day lives unaware of the basic elements that shape our sense of “normal” until they all change. Arriving in Senegal, finally, after more than 24 hours traveling from across the world, is a mind-warping experience. Another dimension, altogether off the matrix. To describe it is to describe all that is not present; the disappearance of all that is assumed. …

The first of five articles documenting a journey to Senegal in West Africa, November 2017.

. . .

In three days I travel to Senegal, a place that has shaped my life perhaps more than anything else. This will be my fifth trip, yet a long overdue trip that has become a reality only through faith and courage, looking past various obstacles and reasons why I can’t, and just doing it anyway. My first journey to Senegal was twenty years ago. On this 20th anniversary I am joined by my 19-year-old daughter, whose father is Senegalese. This is her third…


World traveler, dancer, teacher, producer, and global community builder. Connect with events and classes at PlanetSuzanna.com or RakasaFit.com.

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