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On Location: Teaching Belly Dancing on Noordam

Belly Dancer Lorna Gow sailed on Noordam as part of the line’s On Location enrichment program. She blogged about her experience and shared it with us. Here’s her first entry. Thanks, Lorna!

So, my ‘normal’ job is that of a bellydancer on the Nile, Cairo. Granted there are perhaps few that would call this ‘normal’ but there you go. That’s what I do.

My UK agent, Taste of Cairo, contacted me 4 weeks ago and asked if I would like a wee holiday away from my normal Cairo job. The contract was to be bellydancer on a cruise ship, the MS Noordam, part of the Holland America line for 12 days. Sailing Rhodes, Egypt, Crete, Athens, Santorini, Katakolon and ending my contact in Venice. All I had to do was teach an Arabic lesson, 7 bellydance lessons and perform 4 times total over the 12 days. A busman’s holiday (ok- so more like a boatwoman’s holiday!)

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I have to admit, it took me a week to decide whether to take the job or not.

I know reading this you are probably surprised that it took so long… a 5 star cruise in Europe…What on earth is there to think about?

The truth is I am a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to doing new things, meeting new people and travelling alone.

Honest. I am.

I know, I know… I gave up my entire life in Scotland and moved to Egypt over seven years ago to be a bellydancer here, how could I possibly be scared of doing new things. In fact, what could be braver? Truth is, I suspect if I had had the slightest idea of how difficult things were going to be here in Egypt, Getting work and work papers, living through a revolution, just day to day living at times, if I had known all that, I am sure I would not have made that move! Plus of course, in the beginning when I was young and naive, I really thought I was just coming here to Cairo for 6 months and then returning to my friends and family and dance business back in Edinburgh! 6 months, oh how the fates have enjoyed that wee joke. I am glad I did it, of course, but I do sometimes wonder how different my life would have been if I hadn’t. It certainly wouldn’t have been as interesting or as challenging! Being a Bellydancer in Cairo now defines me.

Anyway, even though I was so scared about doing something new, I decided, after a ‘get a grip of yourself woman, its a 5 star cruise on the Med!!!!’ talk from my friend Ellie, to bite the bullet and go.

After all, How bad could it be? The ship had a pool, and a gym and I would have lots of time to catch up on outstanding emails and work I had to do (oh how much I laugh at that idea in hindsight now!!), and it would be nice to get a break from Cairo pollution and chaos for a little while!

I flew to Rhodes (via Athens) 2 weeks ago, and then the adventures began…

To read Lorna’s blog click here.

Experiences such as having a belly dancer onboard are part of Holland America Line’s new On Location program. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time on board as enriching as visiting the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

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