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Rafaela Soares came to Dubai from Brazil in 2012 and is a known name among the city's belly dancers. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Adaptability is the name of the game during the pandemic and Rafaela Soares, a professional belly dancer in Dubai, knows this better than many others. Realising the need to reskill herself amid the pandemic, she went on to take courses that enabled her to become a real estate agent and digital trader as well.

Soares, 33, from the city of Curitiba in Brazil, came to Dubai eight years ago and has been a top belly dancer since then. She told Gulf News: “I love dancing and have been professionally dancing in Brazil since 2005. Belly dancing is not only super feminine and a graceful art form, but it is very energetic and dynamic. It is my first love. Even before moving to the UAE, I had performed in Lebanon, Tunisia, Oman. After coming here, I have performed in all the top five-star hotels in Dubai.”

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An accounting graduate, Soares took up an online course in negotiation mastery from Harvard to augment her skills. Image Credit: Supplied

Soares, an accounting graduate from Sacel University in her hometown Curitiba, came down to Dubai in 2012, at the age of 26. She was able to support her family in Brazil with the money she earned here.

“I have my mum and brother in Curitiba and a niece and nephew from a brother who passed away. I have been supporting them. But last year I realised I needed to diversify as I cannot dance forever.”

So using her accounting knowledge, Soares began taking online courses since September 2019. “Dancing is my passion but I don’t want to only depend on it. I am glad I thought of this as the pandemic really dried up dancing assignments.”

Course from Harvard

Soares began studying investment and wealth management to augment her accounting degree. “During the lockdown with no dancing performances, I enrolled in an online 'negotiation mastery' course from Harvard that I completed successfully. That spurred me on and I was also able to complete a wealth management course from Cambridge.”

Soares now is real estate agent and digital trader by day and pursues her belly dancing passion in the evenings. “I teach belly dancing, giving private lessons and also take up the performance assignments that come my way as restaurants have opened up. I love performing,” said Soares.

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Soares says despite her new calling, she still finds time to pursue her old passion - belly dancing - both as a performer and teacher Image Credit: Supplied

Her mantra for life is to wake up with gratitude each day, adapt, diversify and manage life.

“Although I know I cannot dance forever, I never want to forget belly dancing. So when I wake up each day, I first thank God for the wonderful opportunities He has provided me with, then I work out and do my yoga before breakfast.

"During the day, I take up my job as a real estate agent and digital trader very seriously. By evening, I give private belly dancing tuitions and later in the night I go for my performances. I have realised in times like this that knowing more than one thing can help one stay afloat.

"I want to tell people it helps to stay positive always and juggle one’s talent so that one can quickly change direction if life throws a curve ball at you.”