Dancing underwater in Egypt … a “witchcraft” experience that promotes women’s freedom

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Dancing in itself is undoubtedly an unparalleled pleasure, but when underwater, the experience gives you a different sense of freedom.

In a unique experience, women can practice underwater dancing in Egypt to help them relax, connect with nature and discover their true potential.

In an interview with CNN in Arabic, Raghda Ezz El-Din, one of the founders of Blue Odysea, which offers water experiences that allow people to dance and express their emotions in a state of deep relaxation and enjoyment, explains that she does not had nothing to do with dance at all.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of speech
Credit: Taimour Othman

“I have been freediving professionally since 2016 and had absolutely nothing to do with dance,” she says. “I always wanted to be able to dance, but until a few years back I took no dance lessons. I never felt safe dancing and always felt so heavy that I could not move my body the way I wanted to.”

In 2017, Ezz El Din began taking modern dance classes as a hobby and a fun way to practice.

One day, her dance instructor, Dalia El-Abed, sent her a viral video of the submarine Julie Gautier dancing underwater.

Ezz El-Din remembers, “I cried as I watched her move with such gentleness that I had never seen before.”

This clip was a source of inspiration for Ezz El Din, and completely changed her view of free diving.

“It was no longer about reaching great depths or breaking records, it was about exploring a way to move in an environment where the laws of gravity no longer weigh us down,” she says.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of speech
Credit: Taimour Othman

This transformation was so liberating for her that she began her journey by exploring how she wanted her body to move underwater, and the more she let go of herself, the more graceful and connected she would be with the water element. .

And when she saw a video filmed by one of her friends during her underwater dance experience, she said, “I saw my body move in a way I could only imagine in my dreams,” as she put it.

She and dance instructor Al-Abed decided to combine their experiences and organize an underwater dance workshop, where the first would lead the scuba diving training and the second would lead the dance lessons.

The duo did not have a reference to base their lessons on, so they had to draw on the knowledge they gained as they progressed through the lessons.

“Experience has shown me the endless possibilities of combining dance and free diving, and it takes a lot of research, work and dedication to build a robust and accessible underwater dance program,” says Ezz El Din.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of expression
Credit: Taimour Othman

She first met Ezz El Din, her co-project partner, Majdoleen Nader, at the dance center, where she taught adult ballet, and decided to join her class.

Nader comes from a ballet and contemporary background and has nothing to do with water, but has long suffered from water phobia. , due to his fear of water.

And when Nader heard about Ezz El-Din’s workshop, she decided to join it and collaborate with it, she said.

“We complemented each other as we exchanged knowledge between a professional dancer who does not trust water and a professional diver with very limited dance experience,” says Ezz El-Din. “We created the perfect combination that allowed us to build a beginner’s curriculum.”

Over the past two years, the duo has been working with adults as well as teenage girls while updating and developing their first underwater dance curriculum.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of speech
Credit: Taimour Othman

Regarding the characteristics that characterize the experience of dancing underwater, Ezz El-Din explains: “Water is the secret of life, without it there would be no life on earth, so it should not be surprising to anyone that being in water has a strong impact on our bodies, which are made up of 60% from the water, ”she said, adding:“ When we dive into the water, we feel sensory deprivation, which means our senses are not distracted by sounds, pictures and smells. ”

“This is a huge contrast to our daily lives, where we are constantly exposed to images, sounds and information that consume our brain’s ability to process, in a way, our minds are always so stressed that they have to decode and understand a lot of information.”

“Once we’re in the water, it all goes away and we get peace with ourselves,” she explains.

For her, diving is the fastest way to reach a state of deep meditation, pointing out that the comfort that can take 30 minutes to reach while meditating on land is the same as you feel after just a few seconds during the water, and says it is “truly magical.”

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of speech
Credit: Taimour Othman

In addition, water is the only natural environment where we do not have weight, and since we do not have the opportunity to go to space yet, we can only experience this level of freedom from our weight in water.

Ezz El-Din points to our negative habits of sitting at the desk for a long time and not moving in the right way, in addition to mental stress, adding that walking in the water is one of the solutions.

“Only then can we detach ourselves and begin to feel more about our body and be more aware of our stress areas,” she adds.

With deep breathing and simple movements, these tensions can be released, which is what makes many people feel lighter as soon as they get out of the water.

Ezzeldin’s approach uses massage and reflexology techniques to help participants relax.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of expression
Credit: Taimour Othman

Ezz El Din sees water as a very feminine element and describes it as soft but also powerful.

“When people relax in the water, whether they are women or men, they begin to connect with their feminine energy and move through grace,” she explains.

“Unfortunately, over the centuries, our society has suppressed female energy and encouraged the harder masculine side of our being,” she adds.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of speech
Credit: Taimour Othman

She points out that the key is balance, as we must always be in contact with the two energies, and that is what water helps us with.

From Ezzedine’s point of view, when a woman comes in contact with the water, something like magic happens, her inner feminine spirit blossoms and begins to feel and move with a lot of grace and softness.

“I’ve seen women start so shy and secluded on land that they transform completely underwater! And they really become a different, or rather a more powerful version of themselves, simply because they begin to express their true inner core. ,” she says.

“This is our role, to create this safe environment where every woman feels free to express herself without having to think about what others think of them,” she claims.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of speech
Credit: Taimour Othman

Egyptian photographer Taymour Othman documented the underwater dance experience presented by “Blue Odysea”.

He explains to CNN in Arabic that during the documentation process, it is preferable to have a low-current environment with a clear sky so that light can easily pass through the water surface, which helps a lot in preserving the color effect below the sea surface.

Osman explains that since the experience includes free diving, it becomes easy to communicate with the women before diving into the snorkeling session, adding that if he needs to deliver an important message to the dancer, diving movements help him a lot.

The challenges during underwater photography sessions are two things, the first is that his level as a diver does not give him more than 90 to 120 seconds of dynamic movement, forcing him to rise much to the surface, and the second is that he has to resume the image from 4 to 5 times Just to make sure he has the image he is looking for, according to the Egyptian photographer.

Underwater dancing in Egypt .. an experience "charming" Promotes women's freedom of expression
Credit: Taimour Othman

As for the requirements of the underwater dance experience, they are simply nothing as you do not need a sports background or a specific physical condition, but all you need is the desire to try, confidence and impartiality, according to Ezz El-Din.

This Blue Odyssey experience can be experienced all over Egypt, from the northern shores of the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

“We have also arranged some experiences in Cairo, so we always try to find beautiful places that provide the privacy and comfort needed for our experience,” adds Ezz El-Din.