January 10


Strength in Numbers

By Celeste DeCamps

January 10, 2014

belly dancers, empowerment, femininity, Sisterhood

Belly dancers come in all shapes and sizes. I have been backstage with other dancers as they bemoan their body parts. Yet, when they go onstage, an amazing transformation will happen. They are suddenly beautiful and in control. They believe in their dance and their confidence shows thru. They come offstage, breathless, but empowered. That high of performing, being applauded, being appreciated, took away all the angst they had just moments before. Why can’t we hold onto that? It’s there for all of us. It’s a mindset we don’t allow ourselves to have. When we do, it’s for very short periods of time. For some of us, it never happens. We can’t move gracefully, we can’t be sexy, why? Is it because if we don’t look like a super model, we’re not allowed to feel and be beautiful?  Is that our reality? Who determines that? Society, our family, our friends, or is it us? We control our feelings and our attitudes. We control our thought process. If we give up that control and give it to someone else, who’s at fault? We have more power than we know. Just a shift in attitude can change a situation on a dime.

So many women I speak to have disconnected themselves from their body. We are employees, a mother, a wife, but not a woman anymore.When did we lose our femininity? We take care of our jobs, our family, our home, but not ourselves. When do we dance and play? When do we feel sexy, and comfortable with our bodies? When do we stop comparing ourselves to everyone else? Why are we in competition with each other? Where did the sisterhood go? Why is working with other women so miserable? I’ve heard women say that they would rather work with a man than a woman. How sad is that? We can’t make ourselves the enemy. We need to support and encourage each other. To be in competition with each other is counter productive.

I worked for a number of years in the wine and spirit industry as a distributor. I sold wine and spirits to restaurants in Manhattan. I was quite fortunate to work with a group of women that were in their own right, strong, smart, talented and successful. Our manager was a woman as well. We had one man on our team. He was amazing. We were constantly at the top of our division in terms of volume and distribution. Many times beating out the other all male teams. We worked well together and encouraged each other. We proved over and over again how combining our strengths made us a stronger team. We were not being men, we were being women. We had compassion for each other as we dealt with the stress and pressure of work and family. We were supportive instead of combative. It made a huge difference in the workplace and it showed with our success.

Women are a powerful force in this world. We have to recognize that in each other and see it in ourselves. Let’s bring the sisterhood back.



About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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