The Laws Of Belly Dancing
For years, Rachel Galoob Ortega earned a six-figure salary as an attorney. But Ortega now spends her days enjoying what she describes as her real passion: belly dancing. "Saphira," as she is known to audiences, explains her career shift and what drew her to the craft, as recently featured in The Washington Post Magazine.
The following is an excerpt from the Washington Post Magazine article.
An Advocate for the Shimmy
A belly dancer with two law degrees comes to the defense of an ancient art form
The belly dancer known as Saphira sweeps onto the dance floor, a pink scarf flowing behind her upraised arms. She's wearing false eyelashes and heavy eyeliner, a pumpkin-orange bra top with gold and pink beads and sequins, and long swirling layers of a pink-and-orange skirt. Tall and big-boned, she has a soft belly that is bared and shaking along with her hips as she improvises to the live band -- a drummer and keyboardist -- at Casablanca, a Moroccan restaurant in Alexandria.
Saphira doesn't really look like someone who once worked as a full-time Washington lawyer named Rachael Galoob Ortega. But she has two law degrees, including one from Georgetown, and used to spend her days laboring over regulatory analysis for communications companies. Now this 38-year-old self-proclaimed "Jewish girl from Oklahoma" shimmies for a living, running a Clarendon belly-dancing school, Saffron Dance, in addition to giving occasional performances. She also has become, in true Washington fashion, a public advocate for belly dance, which, she says, "allows for the discovery of your body and your spirit in a way that I've never seen anything else do."
Read the whole thing.