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Dilara Sultan is one of us: a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur. She’s a girl next door whose neighborhood happens to contain pretty much the whole world. Her journey through the world of Oriental dance is not unusual, starting out as entranced and earnest beginner. Yet her fascination with the form, the music, and the culture surrounding belly dance has lead her to discover new opportunities for the musicians, instructors, and dancers that enliven this ancient art. Through her network of companies, Dilara facilitates new relationships – reaching across global boundaries to forge collaborations that further expand and enrich the Oriental Dance community.
Almost 10 years ago, a family vacation introduced her to belly dancing. "We were eating at a middle eastern restaurant," she recalls, "and a band began to play. Soon the most beautiful dancer came out to entertain the crowd. She was so graceful, so delightful, and I was in awe. I turned to my husband and said, 'That’s what I want to be when I grow up!' My family giggled – but that became a goal for me..."
She began the foundation for HipMix.net in 2007, one of her primary goals was to create an online social network that would help to introduce newcomers to belly dancing communities in their regions.
"As I continued to study, I began to find some things in me that I had lost: an appreciation of who I am, an exploration of what I want, and a new respect for my body. My kids had begun school and my role of wife and mom was changing. With a little bit of me-time being added back into my life, I filled it with the positive energy that oriental dance gave me."
"It has become a wonderful journey," reflects Dilara. "I have met some amazing dancers along the way, and I am able to call each one a friend. I have met and learned from some of the best dancers in the USA, Germany, Turkey, the UK. Now I am thrilled to apply this passion to help musicians and dancers all over the world to find the same fulfillment and growth (both personally and professionally) that I have experienced."