The bass vibrating in my chest, the beat controlling my arms and legs like a marionette doll, the melody and harmony changing roughly every three and a half minutes - dancing gives me a natural high, whether choreographed or improvised, onstage or on the street. Coming to Jordan, I didn’t know if I would be able to continue dancing.
Soon, however, I found two spaces that have truly connected me to the creative community in Amman.
House of Dreaming
Susan always says that she doesn’t own the house; rather, the house owns her. The House of Dreaming, located in Jabal Al-Weibdeh, fully encompasses the meaning of a creative, community space. The House is open to anyone with a vision to create and showcase art. On a Tuesday afternoon, I walked through an art installation on the role of women and youth in the ongoing Sudanese revolution. On Saturday morning, I joined a yoga class on the roof. On Wednesday evening, I attended an open mic night full of talented poets, musicians, and dancers. The House of Dreaming allows people to keep on dreaming.
Tempo Dance Studio
One of several dance studios in Amman, Tempo offers a wide variety of classes from break dancing to salsa to dabkeh (a Levantine folk dance). I attend the hip hop classes and belly dancing with a friend of mine from the program, and it is something I look forward to every week. Any feelings of lethargy or stress subside almost immediately after the warmup music blasts through the studio speakers. Beyond the physical and mental health benefits, I’ve made great friends with both expats and locals through dancing here.
As a dancer, these are the spaces I have sought out. I am sure that similar creative outlets exist for painters, videographers, photographers, models, singers, musicians, and other artists. Regardless, I highly recommend anyone find these spaces and join these communities. They are small and intimate, in Jordan at least, but certainly thriving.