Suhaila often talks about the lifestyle of an artist. Every day activities and errands can suddenly take on a whole new meaning when looked at in a new way. Walking from your home to your car is a simple often mindless task, but if we are open to see new things, we might find a scene, face, expression, color or smell that is interesting. Those small moments and impulses can start to build and contribute to a wider and richer way of viewing the world around us.

In Level 3 of Suhaila’s format, students study approaching the dance creatively as an artist. . . some students were asked to contribute a response to the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Laura Lopez-Ayllon wrote about the lifestyle of an artist:

Being an artist is a lifestyle.

Art is my process and my outcome. It is who I am.

Not only is art my creations, my choreography, my improvisations, my sketches, or my writing, art is a way of seeing, experiencing, relating and expressing life.

Art is my connection.

I am a spiritual being, that is my truth. The way my spirituality is expressed is through my art.

Most of the time my art is my dance, but it is not limited to class or performance.

My art is my process. It is the way I dress, the color I paint my nails, how I do my hair, the books I read, the music I listen to, the food I eat, the flowers I buy, the trips I take, the walks I go on, the pictures I take, the words I post on FaceBook, the friends I have.

My relationships and my connections are all expressions of who I am.

I am a belly dancer, I am a dancer, I am an artist, I am a spiritual being.

When I cook, I cook as a dancer, food to fuel my movement.

When I watch TV, I watch TV as an artist, I watch shows that inspire me to create.

Everything affects me which affects my art. Each small detail of my life supports my connection to art, which is a connection to the divine.

Recovery is part of our Today’s Word: Sometimes We Have Something to Say series in which we discuss in brief the common themes and questions facing dancers.