Holly Ferreira
Holly Ferreira

Holly Ferreira, Teacher, Dancer

“The beginning of this journey started as a form of exercise. I hear that a lot from women that started their first Belly Dance class. None of us who end up falling in love with the dance has ANY IDEA what is in store for them. It starts of like a new relationship, you love everything about it, can't get enough of it. I am normally a very shy introvert, but there was something about this dance I fell in love with. It has been like a marriage in many ways. I loved being naive in the beginning because you're shielded to the many realities.

I know the exact moment when it changed from Belly Dance to my calling in life. I had about 30 women come to class from The Amos House. They had a certain budget but that was irrelevant to me. I just wanted them to do something different. They arrived and I was overwhelmed by the emotions I was feeling. Part of me was scared of how many women were in class, also I realized all these women were going through things I didn't understand, nor had ever experienced. But they were there, and at the time my business and dance partner was there as a buffer to the chaos that could have happened. So we began. It was magic to see their faces change, their overall spirits changed. And all they needed to know was that we were there for them. The respect they had for us was amazing. I am a hugger...always have been. So when they were leaving I gave them all a hug and told them to "be safe". Some of them were accepting of the hug and some were not, but did it anyways. The second week, they all came and were so willing to dance now.....and at the end, all lined up for a hug and a connection of hearts. I knew I couldn't understand what they were going through but I wanted them to know I cared about them.

After that, I knew what I wanted to do with this dance. I wanted to use it as a tool to empower women, inspire them to be strong, and to live out their dreams. I didn't realize how much I lost my spirit until I found this dance. A lot of women lose themselves in life, either with a career, motherhood, or just lack of passion. I want to help them find that again. There is nothing like watching a woman gain her power, or lose herself, even if it's just for an hour. It's something you don't see very often.

So with that I have a big responsibility. I have to embrace my strengths, faults, and everything in between. Women need to feel safe and loved. I have worked very hard to create an atmosphere for them to let go. No egos, no judging. I can be tough because when I learned, my teacher never let me have excuses. She always pushed me through my fears.

After all these years, 11 to be exact, I have done fundraisers, helped teenagers be responsible with their sensuality, and empowered women. I have learned so much from so many and I have to pass it on.....I have been very blessed to show my art in galleries and as I stepped into the art world, I met so many talented, beautiful people. I would never have done any of this if I did not find Belly Dance. It's so much more than a dance, it's a way of connecting and changing the world.

I am ready for the next step, whatever that may be and have been pleasantly humbled in many ways to appreciate the next stage of this journey. I'm starting a new discussion circle about the Honest Truth of Motherhood because women NEED THIS.... it starts next month at the Heart Center in Warren RI. I continue teaching but now it's about bringing out the magic in every woman. I would love to make a DVD and share with the world. Sit down and write a book, about how joy, love, jealousy, humility, the light, the dark, are all important to bring you to your most powerful being.” 

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