Is it impossible?

I get students telling me that they are completely uncoordinated and could “never” belly dance. They feel it is “impossible” for them because they have a pre-conceived (and often inaccurate) idea of firstly what it is to belly dance, and secondly what they are capable of. Nobody can start something and be fantastic at it straight away! It takes time to get the skills and build them up until you feel confident. Women particularly, are very hard on themselves and I can see when they start to think too much or having negative thoughts – because it reflects on their dancing, posture and the way they move. Often this stems from a time when they were young when someone called them ‘uncordinated’ or ‘clumsy’ and that formed a part of their self-belief or how they picture themselves.

This is all untrue! All you need are a few basic things:
1. a willingness to give it a go even if you don’t get it right
2. patience
3. the right teacher

Then the “impossible” becomes “I’m possible”!!

Charni from Belly Dance Lessons Online agrees that Audrey Hepburn, while being a very classy lady is absolutly spot on when she says "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"

Charni from Belly Dance Lessons Online agrees that Audrey Hepburn, while being a very classy lady is absolutly spot on when she says “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”


“Stop, stop, stop all the dancing”

I have come across this video which is called “Stop stop stop” by The Hollies, first released in 1966. It’s all about them watching a belly dancer perform…

“See the girl with cymbals on her fingers
Entering through the door
Ruby glistening from her naval
Shimmering around the floor”

They go on to say it is all too much and they need time to breathe. At one point the singer gets too close to the dancer (in fact gets a hold of her) and is kicked out the door. So much wrong yet right at the same time! The version below is performed by “Boiled in Lead” complete with animation.

“Is your belly dance studio on Charni Road?”

I have had a few emails asking me whether my name is Charni or if I use the name because my studio is on Charni Road in Mumbai, India. I can unequivocally say that when I was born, my Mother called me Charni, it was lucky, as I then did not have to come up with a stage name! I have not actually been to India, though I would love to one day, and when I do, I will most certainly visit Charni Road!

Charni Road Railway Station in Mumbei India

Charni of Belly Dance Lessons Online would like to be standing here one day!

Charni Road is a railway station on the Western Line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway near the Girgaum Chowpatti beach and Marine Drive promenade, which is a major tourist destination in Mumbai. It is not actually a road itself as the railway station is located on Marhashi Karve Road, a very busy street full of shops, hotels and restaurants. Charni Road can also refer to the surrounding neighbourhood, just to make it a little confusing!

To help solve this mystery, according to this fascinating Facebook page I found, Charni Road Station is located near land that used to be used for grazing lands for cattle and horses (Charne in Marathi means to graze) It seems that in 1838, the British rulers introduced a ‘grazing fee’ which several cattle-owners could not afford (those pesky British lol! I must have a word with my ancestors!).¬†Therefore, Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy spent INR20,000 of his own money (yay!) to buy some grasslands near the seafront at Thakurdwar and did not charge a fee for grazing, helping both the farmers and the cattle. People started referring to the area as “Charni” meaning grazing. So when a railway station was constructed there it was called Charni Road.

Today Charni Road area is well-known for its Chawls (interesting apartment buildings), wholesale diamond markets (Opera House), clothes, cafés, traditional Maharashtrian culture (Girgaon), and tall skyscrapers.

A view of Charni Road

A view of Charni Road

I hope that answers your questions, I would love it if someone from the Charni Road area sent me pictures as extra motivation for me to come! I can then film something for Belly Dance Lessons Online live at the station!