Alla Ponomareva: What do you do in Korea?
Rosalie Knaack: I am teaching English at JoongBu University, and I just graduated with an MA in ceramic design from Kongju University.
AP: How long have you been doing it?
RK: I’ve been working and studying here in Korea for almost nine years.
AP: When did you first get into Belly Dancing?
RK: I took my first classes with my best friend 10 years ago for just a month or two before coming to Korea. I was sad that I didn’t try it before because it was so much fun. I finally started up again last year.
AP: How long would you say you’ve been doing it?
RK: I’ve been dancing at KAIST in the culture class under Dominika’s instruction for a little over a year, so in total I’ve done it for around a year and a half. It’s not a long time to learn a dance style, but thankfully I have several years of other dance experience to draw on.
AP: What is your favorite style?
AP: Who is your favorite dancer?
RK: I’m a fan of Rachel Brice. She’s arguably the most famous tribal fusion dancer. Her control and skill are impressive, to say the least.
AP: What exactly do you like about it?
RK: Belly dance is a unique way to stretch the limits of my control over my body while feeling beautiful and strong. Learning new moves is a challenge, and the reward is when I can successfully incorporate them in choreography. After class I feel tired and sore, but rather than a depressing hour at the gym, it was a joyful hour of dance.
AP: How do you compare Belly Dancing to other styles of dance?
RK: Belly dance is different from other dance styles because I experience it as a celebration of femininity and being comfortable in my skin. We spend so much time being self conscious of our bodies, but when dancing I can accept myself as I am and appreciate the things my body can do. In other dance forms I was too short or too round, but in belly dance none of those things matter.
AP: What would you recommend someone who is curious about giving it a try?
RK: Do it! Find a class and give it a try. If you can’t find a class, you can find videos online, though videos don’t give you the sense of community you can get when you dance together. Be patient with yourself; it can take some time to get the basics. Most importantly, use your dance as a time to love yourself and your body.
Looking to fill the following categories:
In LOVE for/since
First: LOVE Yourself – a portrait
Unconditional LOVE – a pet story
Grow, laugh, LOVE – a kid’s story.
A City of LOVEly places
A little LOVE goes a long way – A home-cooked meal