Updated: Oct 8
My experience traveling to Egypt was one adventure I'll remember and cherish forever! I've always been a huge fan of Egypt ever since I was a kid, but never thought i'd have the opportunity to travel there due to ballet!
Now Egypt and ballet? Who would've thought that these two were relevant and I would be traveling to Egypt for work and not a vacation. To my excitement I was fortunate to have the opportunity to mix both work and pleasure on this week long trip!
Let's start off first on the how and why I was able to make this trip! My director got offered an opportunity to travel & work with Slimnastics Dance Studio, first certified dance studio in Egypt. She first was invited over in summer of 2016 and staged the ballet Snow White for their students and coached as well. She continually got invited and I had the wonderful pleasure to join her in 2018! I assisted with choreography, coaching and bringing the Vaganova Method to Egypt! It was such an honor and experience Ill always remember.
The trip itself was so enriching and dived into a culture so different from America. The city itself was dusty and very hot, and not to mention the time change was something I had to get used to as well.
From the moment I got picked up at the airport, I was welcomed with open arms to meet the director of slimnastics, Passant Esmail, and my home director Katerina. I was told we would be going directly to one of their schools to work on choreography for Beauty and the Beast! Work had already begun and we traveled through the Egyptian scenery. The roads have no rules, cars can drive with or against the traffic, speed bumps were placed throughout the roads due to the lack of stop lights and the speed-limits weren’t a thing.
As I arrived at the first ballet school, I was welcomed into such a friendly environment! The students, staff and parents were so welcoming! Most everyone spoke english as well. We learned choreography and then headed to this amazing restaurant for dinner. The dinner was set on a hill overlooking Cairo! A beautiful view, something I'll never forget! The food was similar to a Mediterranean diet! Plenty of fresh meat, veggies, and of course my favorite hummus!
The next 5 days we worked on choreography, for not only one ballet but two. Beauty & the Beast, and the Little Mermaid. My job was to go over choreography and also help aid my director Katerina, with the younger students! Within the 5 days I was there, we were able to choreograph the base of both ballets! So rewarding by the end of the trip! Katerina was already there a week prior before me choreographing what I would be working on.
We were also able to attend a traditional traveling circus that was visiting the city! It was so much fun!! I felt like I traveled back to the 1800s Barnum & Bailey!
The last night I was there, we also were able to venture into the desert while riding Camels!!! We got the untraditional tourists guide and were treated like the locals! Dashing through alleys and the back side of the desert. As we entered into to Egyptian Desert at 10pm, something not common for the American Citizen. We drank coffee and tea in the desert and overlooked the pyramids!
The last night of my trip was fun and exciting and we raced to the airport early to depart back to America. I am so grateful of the experience and cant wait to go back!