10,000 Hours with Myrna Sahji Jenkins

Myrna, I love to hear about stories of people mastering a skill and achieving a dream. What was it like dedicating over 10,000 hours to Belly dancing?

AttachmentThey were the best 10,000 hours of my life. There wasn’t anything extraneous about the time spent because I am happiest when I amAttachment dancing. It hadn’t even occurred to me that the preconceived notion I had to “grind” morning until night for x amount of years so that I could be creative and innovative with my craft was a well studied theory placed in Cover of "Outliers: The Story of Success&...Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and again in Robert Greene’s Mastery. I admit that I was going out on a limb when I started and I questioned myself often, but the works of these two men solidified my resolve and gave much meaning to the time spent. I am sure I will be nostalgic for that period of time where it was simply my mirror and myself communicating about the curves of my body and the sway of my hips. Only the walls in my home can share the story of the dedication I put into my work.

What inspired you to do this?

When I turned 18 I saw a woman named Rachel Brice Belly Dance in a way that wasn’t frivolous, flirtatious or unnecessarily flashy like much of the commercial Belly Dance presented to America. Her serpentine movements were sinuous, sensual and obviously feminine, but they were also strong and proud and it brought me to tears. I balled like a baby and I began to teach myself that very night.

Attachment1How were you able to train uninterrupted for such a long period of time? Where you working at the time?

Passion. I worked just enough to remain in the world and have a semblance of a life. That work however was not important, it fed the needs of my body but dancing fed my soul.

How did you get into modeling?

When I felt I was as good as I needed to be to perform I knew that I needed to branch out and promote myself. I bought the time of a local photographer and the shoot went so well that what was supposed to be a two hour shoot turned into a 12 hour training session. My many years of dancing, it would seem, had dramatically heightened my body awareness in front of the camera. I feel in control and very able in front Attachment2of a camera.

Are there any movies or photography work on the horizon?

I’m not sure about traditional acting but I do plan on releasing Belly Dance and Burlesque videos ranging from entertainment to instructional purposes. I have a flood of photographs constantly being released that can be found on my Instagram page kisskillbangbang.

Where can we find out more about you?

I just made a twitter account @SahjiMH (Sahji x Mata Hari) where I will keep friends, family, fans and followers updated on my journey and I’m pretty active on instagram. I have a lot of cool ideas for instagram specifically that I am dying to share with the world.

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