Are we Drama Queen’s by Nature?

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Are drama queens born not made? Was I a little drama queen when I was little…I don’t think so because my parents had the paddle of dread. Does this title only have to do with girls and not boys? I don’t think hormones or gender has anything to do with emotional outbursts but more to do with attitudes, circumstances and stress. In my twenties, people used to tell me I was the easiest going person they knew. Travel twenty something years into the future and now I am a bit of a neurotic, paranoid and worn out dancer that looks a little tattered. It’s not just life but the choices I made, the consequences of those choices and the people that were apart of those choices.  I think all the above helped to develop the drama queen but I was the artist, the sculptured figure and choreographer of my dance destiny.

In the beginning of my dance career, it seemed that the magical and wonderful world of dance offered me choices only dreams are made of. But as the years past, I realized that I was amongst many dancers who were choosing to become belly dancers too, in other words it’s only a matter of time before heads roll and tongues wag. I can remember the high school drama of, “Oh, she’s just jealous,” and the comments of, “They just don’t like me,” being common among the girls I went to school with. In theater we learn about drama in the acting sense but what about outside the theater? The more theatrical an actor is, the more drama he or she emotes so would this mean that since we are on stage, then we emote this drama off stage as well? It’s the embellishment of emotions and reactions to life that makes a drama queen even more over the top but in saying this…too many drama queens grouped together can suck the air out of any room.

I love attractive people and most of my friends are beautiful so perhaps there’s this part of me that believes success is part of a package deal. I really think a person has to work hard at being ugly. For example, my daughter’s biological father could be a Brad Pitt stand in but by the time I had Savanah, you couldn’t pay me to stay with him. He had exhausted even the most obvious and simplest elements of attraction. So is a beautiful person more prone to become a drama queen? In many ways I think it’s a mindset of persistent opinions, a slight passive aggressive trait and self importance. Well…okay beautiful people tend to get away with more crap then the average person. In my book I write about a beautiful dance friend of mine that I used to do shows with at restaurants and nightclubs and I found that sometimes I was invisible. Holding my ground sometimes felt like I was in a world of unfair standards and I finally understood I either had to focus on my dancing or crawl back under my rock.

One time we walked into a huge room of excited patrons waiting for a Persian singer to perform. The atmosphere was electric and we found that our music was already with the DJ and we were up next. The concert hostess unfortunately didn’t know how to manage things well and everything was chaotic and off schedule. If we wouldn’t have walked into the concert hall at the time we did, we wouldn’t have known we were up to dance. This group knew my friend well and everyone was yelling her name. A few people asked me who I was as we passed by but I didn’t have time to talk because our music was starting which was odd especially since we weren’t introduced properly to the crowd. I ran up to the stage and started to perform, a little out of breath with a frenzy kind of energy that started to take over me. All I knew was that I was so happy to be on stage, it was heaven, it was divine inspiration and all eyes were upon us. We ended with a drum solo that was from one of Hossam Ramzy’s CDs. We rocked the concert hall; I mean how can you not with his music?!! Everyone was yelling and I ended with a Turkish drop. Did they applaud…I can only vaguely remember but when we ran back through the crowd people were yelling at me, touching me as I went by, smiling their approval. It was the first time I felt like my dance spoke louder then any anxiety or insecurity I had. After that experience I realized that my insecurity of feeling inadequate could have brought out the drama queen in me. I don’t act out, I become quiet and self absorbed with a despondent manner to my mood. So my next question…is ego another facet of a drama queen or is it created through insecure thoughts that are backed by shallow achievements? Let’s face it, success comes and goes like the wind, what steadies us is the building blocks of our foundation.

I wonder how different a drama queen is from an egotistical person or are they cousins. Maybe they are opposite sides of the same coin and then there is a possibility of them being the same coin. There is such a thing as drama therapy. It’s a therapeutic remedy that includes, role playing, theater games, group dynamic games, mime and puppetry. The whole point of this kind of therapy is to help a person solve problems, discover hidden truths about themselves, catharsis (emotional release) and unhealthy patterns. By the way, Aristotle was the originator of this term called catharsis. There’s a good book out on the subject of drama therapy called “Drama as Therapy: Theory, practice and research,”by Phil Jones. It would be interesting as dancers if we looked at our habitual hehavior and characteristic in a way that allows for self evaluation. After the last show I produced I spent a year doing just this. It’s so important to stay healthy in this business so we don’t go off the deep end head first.

Let’s take the drama queen a little further…so what if we come across a well trained and proficient drama queen who has the passive-aggressive behavior down. I talked to my psychologist friend and she told me it’s a misused word that has become very popular in the last couple of years. I even remember hearing it on the “The Real Housewives of New York City” series where they used it multiple times through out that particular season. Some descriptions state that the passive-aggressive personality is a result from being discouraged to not show emotions growing up or it simply wasn’t allowed.  Another definition states that a passive-aggressive person acts out by procrastinating or by showing resentment after the fact. They don’t take responsibility for their actions and they turn the tables on others. Can any of you remember shows, or any projects that you took on with this type of personality? There seems to be various degrees of this type of personality and it seems to fit as part of the description of a drama queen.

I was thinking back to some experiences I have had with different dancers through out the last five years and I realize that dance can’t be a band aid or quick fix for emotional problems. Oh, and I am including myself here so please no emails from dancers thinking I’m pointing a finger. If there’s anybody who’s in the forefront of this statement…I’m willing to put myself here first. If we keep our sanity only in the office or work place and allow ourselves to go bonkers in our dance careers then I think we defeat our purpose for dancing. Belly dance is a therapy for the body, mind, soul and emotions and if we leverage it as a measuring stick to see how far we can go without taking care of ourselves then we will find that down the line we will be worse for the wear. Years ago, I had a plant maintenance business that did well but I was constantly running ahead of a large invisible rolling rock just slightly behind me and a few times it came a little too close for comfort. I was constantly traveling in my car and since I wasn’t listening to the signs to slow down, the Universe decided to do me a big favor by getting my attention through an accident. It got my attention and shortly after that I realized I had no time for myself and that the only person that was really suffering was me. I was exhausted and tired all the time due to my business, studio and then I danced on the weekends and then the gigs… Needless to say I wasn’t centered and my emotional state suffered at a cost not only to myself but to my family. Students seemed to sense I was down for the count and some liked seeing me there while others were amazing and pulled me up from my bootstraps. Sometimes when  you are in a leadership role students don’t understand you are just as human as they are. I finally said to my daughter, I’m ready for a break. So I focused on my dancing in a way that made sense for me, and Hip Phylosophy became a prominent curriculum that sustains itself by continually giving me joy and inspiration. My dance became my muse and the drama queen in me became less and less recognizable. Letting the plant maintenance and studio go were blessings in disguise.

How can we get along and keep a peaceful relationship with each other? I think in the end we can have opinions without agendas, ideas without criticism and be the consummate supporter of individual creativity instead of opposing each others inspiration. The drama queen only thinks of herself, her problems and life’s ill-fated deck of cards dealt her way. Life is a game of chance but if we play with a positive attitude then maybe we can find that even if we don’t always win, we can at least be thankful we are in a position to play. Sometimes being at the table of life is enough.

Trail Blazing Diet News

Onto the diet news…no cheese, bread and at this point I’m doing okay. I’m staying away from fries and enjoying salads more. I have lettuce growing in the back yard and it’s wonderful. I still can’t dance yet, the chiropractor says no but I’m crossing my fingers for next week. Once I can dance again and keep up with my walks I think I’ll see changes. Also talked to my aunt who’s a nurse about the thyroid and she suggested I look into thyroid pills for help. Once I get them I’ll share what they are. Menopause or not, I’m on my way and ready to lose weight! Thanks for all your help and I am also looking into everything you all suggested. Thank you all for your support!!

Look for my book “The Divine Unrest”!!! Coming soon!!!




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About Leyla Najma

Lifelong professional Belly Dancer dedicated to providing “Belly Dance Instruction That Is Easy To Understand And Learn That Connects The Dots”


2 Responses to “Are we Drama Queen’s by Nature?”
  1. Amy says:

    I always love your insight into life. You share so much with all of us and I truly appreciate it, and you, for being so fearless. It is your honesty that empowers others. Thank you so much for all your honesty and inspiration.

    • Leyla Najma says:

      Hello Amy,

      Thank you for commenting in…I think that belly dance has made me think about life and how the two relate. In many ways life has given me my share of humble pie. In the end if we can enjoy each other and laugh then I think that’s what belly dance has always been about. Have a wonderful weekend and remember to laugh, giggle and smile!

      Many Hugs and Blessings,