Two (I clear) and relabel the test tubes, put the plates in the 30 degree incubator, turn off the light and lock the door to the mount Sinai lab. My dad picks me up, andwe drive to the shop that my belly dancing teacher runs. Her husband and my father stay in the small lining room, drinking Turkish coffee and chatting while she takes me into the little enchanted room of hip scarves, earrings, head pieces, veils, finger cymbals,and tribal and traditional costumes. We choose atraditional Persian-looking teal and gold costume for me, the beautiful skirt embroidered with a lotus. To be creative we drape gold necklaces from the center top piece to the back. Next, we choose agold chiffon veil. I let my long hair down.
Walking into the lining room to show my father, I shyly unwrap the veil from my body, ...view middle of the document...
coli DNA and Iigating it through electrophoresis. I am able to tune out any distractions and find it peaceful to focus on the task at hand. It is fascinating tothink how a million different complicated molecular processes are tiny expressions that combine to form the complex language of life, feeing able to speak that language gives me a sense of pride and empowerment. I realize that just as in dance,here too there is an unveiling, But here it is the contents of my mind that are repealed.
The language of belly dancing, in contrast,is asilent celebration of a woman's body and her connection to ancestors, nature, and life. This is a language that I am equally proud to speak, Belly dancing brings me back to my roots, When I dance, Ifeel connected to my Persian ancestors,and Iam remembering and honoring their existence through the movement of my body. I think of my Aunt Touran in home videos tenderly holding my father as a child. I imagine grown-ups watchingbelly dancers at family events and parties. So belly dancing not only reminds me of my heritage, but also of the joys of being with family. When ever or wherever Ihear Middle Eastern music, my body instantly reacts—excitement rushes through my veins, my eyes widen, and I smile. I love the intricate motion of my hands when dancing, the tension I hold in them; in the full body movement there is sensuality and grace.
Biological research and belly dancing may seem like am unusual combination, but to me it makes perfect sense. Belly dancing offers me a figurative entranceway to my past, and science offers me greater insight into the basics of life and the potential of the future. It is in balancing these two contrasting passions that Ican discover who I am and what makes me happy. There is an unveiling to my own self; discovering what my body can do and what my mind can create. I feel my whole body dances cohesively and fervently with movements of the past and