Here are lessons I took from the Hafla:
1. If it’s not being done, do it yourself–
Toni Morrison said she started her first book because she wanted to read it. One of the greatest idea generators and sources of inspiration can come from noting what services or programs are not available to you or your community. Part of Brandy’s motivation for the Hafla was the fact that many bellydancers (or practitioners of raks sharqui) of color were being ignored by the majority bellydance community. So if sisters weren’t doing it for themselves it wouldn’t get done.
2. Be inclusive–
Make everyone welcome. On the program there were dancers of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages and genders. Most were practitioners of raks sharqui, but some were not. I was completely inspired not only to continue my dance journey but to perform. I will definitely invite you to my dance debut!
3. Work your ass off–
When something is your baby, there are no excuses, nobody else to put the blame on. All is on your shoulders, so make sure you have the vision, the heart and the drive to pull off your endeavor. This is true whether you are planning a program, staffing a show, marketing an MLM–whatever. It’s on you, to hold to your standards of quality, care, creativity and value. Aspire higher, not just do the minimum to squeak by. Make people love what you do so they keep coming back for more.