Belen Millán Interview – Buenos Aires, Argentina

belen21. How long have you been belly dancing?
I began belly dancing at 11 years old.

2. How did you get into belly dancing?
I got into belly dancing, because my brother’s girlfriend danced belly dancing. She told me that it was wonderful, and a few days later I attended my first class.

3. How often do you teach?
I have my classes two days a week, and I work the 3rd and 4th Saturday each month teaching to the people who come from other provinces and countries. We call that “interior classes”. I also substitute for Amir Thaleb’s classes when he travels, as a substitute.

4. How often do you perform?
Usually I do shows, but more frequently in the provinces when I do workshops.
5. Can you tell us about your local performance venues?
In Buenos Aires I do shows at parties, weddings, birthdays, and sometimes I dance in a restaurant.

6. What is your favorite belly dance style? Why?
I don’t have only one favorite style, but i love Yousy Sharif’s style. Argentinian’s style and the Egyptian style, are really different. I think that you can take something about these styles, but the better style is in yourself. This style will be unique because is your style, maybe you get tips from others dancers, not like a copy, rather you transform it in your dancing tips.

7. Can you describe the popularity of belly dancing in your country?
The belly dance in Argentina is popular, and the belly dancing world here is very big!!! I think that some TV programs help to spread belly dancing, like “The clon”.

8. I feel as though belly dancing in Argentina is very unique and special. What is it about the Argentine style that makes it so different, and why do you think that is?
I think the Argentinian style has a lot of technique, for example i’m insoportable with this hahahha, my students know that and they are happy, I want them to be amazing, they must feel the steps, and the music. Maybe the Argentinian style shows how the Argentinian people are.

9. In the United States those who are not familiar with belly dance have different ideas of what belly dance is. This at times can create misconceptions. How do you think belly dance is perceived where you are from?
In my point of view, there are different ideas of what belly dance is. In Argentina there are a lot of misconceptions too, but there are a few of people who think right things about this dance.

10. How did belly dance affect and/or change your life?
Belly dance changed my life, it’s a turning point in my life. In this moment I can work only with this, and in my country living with art it isn’t an easy work. However, “IF YOU REALLY WANT WITH ALL YOUR HEART, YOU CAN DO IT”.
Sweets and love to everybody!!! ~ Belen Millán

I met Belen at Amir Thaleb’s school. Belen is a wonderful and warm hearted person who is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Thank you so much for this interview and all your help at the dance school! I wish you the best of luck and I hope to cross paths with you again!