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Meet Valentina Giraldo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valentina Giraldo.

Hi Valentina, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started “belly dancing” at the age of ten. Bellydancing is the commercial term for Raks Sharki (Arabic for the dance of the orient) which originates in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MENAT) region. It is so much more than just belly dancing. I don’t know where my love for it sparked but it’s one of those loves that comes into your world and shakes everything up. Nothing was ever the same after I took my first belly dance class. My entire world changed. From that point on, this art form became a part of my identity.

I began to see the world with different eyes. I have grown intrapersonally through this dance. I have become more aware of myself and others around me. At the age of 18, I decided to move to Argentina and study dance in an academic setting. This move was monumental for me. It showed me that I am capable of accomplishing anything I can dream of. This move began my journey to a full career in dance.

Along my journey, I began discovering that my love was not just for the dance itself but the socio-cultural aspects as well. As a woman, I found myself dancing for freedom, dancing as a method to embrace who I am. There’s something so powerful and liberating about breaking down walls and social expectations through the art of movement.

I went on to study Psychology at the University of Central Florida, which only added value to my craft. My studies began to order themselves towards women’s mental health and cultural phenomenons.

As of today, I am a proud dancer and business owner. As much as I am working in the commercial dance scene (such as dancing at events like weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, etc.), I am also constantly working on different types of projects that give back to this art form. I am finding ways to enrich my dance and knowledge by intermixing my two worlds: education and art of movement.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been far from smooth. I have dealt with so many setbacks. I think it was even harder for me because I matured as a woman through this dance. Most of my crucial years of developing into an adult were through dance. Even though I learned the value of myself at such a young age, it did not come easy at all. As someone who is pursuing a career in the arts, I have heard so many individuals tell me this art is only temporary. This art won’t make me a decent living. This art won’t be enough to support me, I need something else. Yet, you know what the crazy thing is? I am convinced that I am the one who decides what I make out of this, out of my dream, and out of this world. I think I am courageous and strong for pursuing the risky path. I am strong for deciding to put myself before my fears. This road is not for everyone. It’s a scary one but, I would not change a thing about it.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am currently based out of South Florida as a professional bellydancer. I am currently focusing on event entertainment. I dance at weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, restaurants, and more. I specialize in creating wonderful family-friendly shows while maintaining the essence of MENAT dance. I also form part of a wonderful entertainment company called Your Exquisite Entertainment. I feel that what sets me apart from others is my intense passion for this art and my work ethic. The love I have for my career is something I do not take for granted and it is something that I cannot ever take my mind off of, for better or for worse. My love for this art is incomparable and although the relationship is not all butterflies and rainbows if it was any other way, I do not think I would be the dancer I am today.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success to me is defined by happiness. The feeling of being able to wake up every morning and do what I love is priceless. I consider myself successful because I found the one thing that fills my soul while simultaneously making a business out of it. Life is too short not to invest fully in myself and in my dream.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photocredits: Tyler Mominey – Images.TJM Instagram:@images.tjm The Alchemist Media Instagram: @thealchemistmedia Jay Lopez photo & films Instagram: @Jaylopezphotofilms Sina Malek Photography

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