x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

A dancer's approach to the ebb and flow of life

Life Lessons: Sonia Sabri says don't take life for granted ahead of her troupe's performances in the UAE.

Sonia Sabri. Courtesy photo
Sonia Sabri. Courtesy photo

Sonia Sabri, director of the UK dance company Kathakbox, will present Urban Kathak, which unites poetry, movement and hip-hop, at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre on February 26 and at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre on February 28.

1. Don't panic. The solution to a problem can usually be found within the problem. I learnt this for myself only in the past couple of years. In the past I would always stress myself over a problem to the extent of becoming completely dysfunctional with worry. I have since found that by analysing a problem it would actually help me discover the solution from within itself. My energy has changed from focussing on the problem to focussing on the solution.

2. Believe in yourself. It's very important for your self-esteem and success in life to learn to appreciate your own qualities and work to develop them further. By not believing in yourself, the world can feed off this as a weakness and can make you feel even more worthless. By believing in what you have to offer, you can only gain respect and positive attention and energy.

3. Never take anything for granted. We can easily become comfortable with ideas, conveniences, promises, people, et cetera, to the extent we begin to expect things. Taking things for granted makes you vulnerable. You are in a much happier place when you know anything can change at any time.

4. Be grateful for what you have. It's so easy to believe the grass is always greener. Life is all about perception. I remember feeling envious, from a very young age, of the girls in my class who had nicer pencil cases than me or who were taller than me, and this comparison of myself to others continued into early adulthood over completely petty things. You may think that the person next to you has so much more than you, yet that person may feel the same envy about you.

5. Never run the rat race. On many occasions I was told to run with the crowd. But instead of trying to fit in, I decided to do things my own way even when people sometimes disagreed.

As told to Jemma Nicholls