Episode 5: Jumana Al Refai - The World Through the Eyes of a Dancer
“Always be curious, always want to continue to research and ask questions and never be satisfied with the answers.”
Jumana Al Refai is a professionally trained dancer and choreographer in ballet and modern dance. She has over 20 years of experience and has trained, performed, and worked with internationally recognized dancers and choreographers. She holds a BFA in dance from the George Mason University’s School of Dance and completed her training with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater school recently in New York City. Today, she teaches and choreographs students of different ages and dance experience in Kuwait, where she is originally from. Her path of deciding to become a professional dancer and pursuing it with determination and without looking back is seriously inspiring, especially coming from a country where contemporary dance isn’t a part of the surrounding culture.
In this conversation, Jumana and I talk as two dancers living in countries where it is not traditional to study dance. We talk about how she’s gotten to where she is in her professional career, where she hopes to go as a dancer working mainly in the Middle East, musicality and the different ways her multi-cultural background play a role in her work, being an active, awesome hijabi woman working in the arts, and dance as a way of connecting and relating to the people around you- both in your community and the wider world. Jumana has a bright, open curious spirit and is full of wisdom and advice that she has collected through her own experiences thus far in life.