If you had met Bijan Qutub 3 years ago, he would be unrecognizable today. A well spoken and athletic 22 year old, the young man conquered crippling social anxiety, criticism, and his own weight problem to get to where he is, completely dedicating himself to his craft. He is also on the way to being the first male Jordanian to become a professional ballet dancer, and to ever accomplish such a feat.
Having started dancing ballet three years ago at the Dance School of the National Center of Culture and Arts (NCCA), at 19, Bijan was one of the ballerinas of all ages that came through the doors of the Royal Cultural Center, rushing to prepare for their performance of Coppelia. The classical ballet was performed by the ballet students and the MISK Dance Company of the NCCA.
Her Royal Highness Princess Ayah bint Al Faisal of Jordan, deputizing for Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein, officially launched the Ballet Coppelia on Wednesday, 22nd of October, an event which raised the bar for ballet performances in the Kingdom. So much so, that an extra performance was added due to the audiences demands. Rania Kamhawi, Director of the Dance School at the NCCA, expressed her hopes for the progress of performing arts in Jordan, saying that "we have succeeded in making dance professional and having it be taken seriously". The program has also been successful in empowering girls and young women, as the rigors of training build important personal skills, according to Sevetlana Tahboub, the MISK Dance Company's manager.
"It looks effortless but what makes it look so easy is how hard we train" Bijan says. Ballet is more than a physical challenge; it is also a mental one. "Ballet teaches you discipline, self confidence, teamwork, punctuality, and respect, and it definitely changed my life" he explains.