Okama Ekpe Brook was born in Ekori, Nigeria. She grew up with the essence of community music and dance and developed a natural affinity for the art form. As an international instructor, her passion has enabled her to use it as a medium for intercultural communication, peace-building, and connecting people. Her specialty in belly dance helps to empower women and girls by rebuilding their confidence through realignment of the body, mind and spirit. The melodic, rhythmic nature of the movements rendered in an ambience of free space often combine to produce an amazing change in people who become truly alive after the experience. The women become reawakened individuals, and combined with a willingness to work hard; women can rise to a full partnership with their male counterparts and take on more active leadership roles in society. Girls are empowered to be in tune with themselves and to protect their body as the ultimate temple. Once this empowerment is embedded in the inner and outer-self, girls and women are more likely to help release the full potential of boys and men by allowing them to become the poetry of art, enabling new transformations to take place.
Okama started to belly dance in 2001 after giving birth to her first son through caesarian section. Having always been physically fit, she was distraught at her new body structure. After undergoing a 360 degree overhaul during 9 months of pregnancy and a difficult delivery, her lower abdominal muscles had collapsed beyond control. After researching about various exercise routines and finally being convinced about the transformational nature of belly dance by her good friend and mentor, Ms. Bouthena, a professional Moroccan belly dancer, she took up the dance 13 years ago and the rest is history. She has performed and taught in Lao DPR, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Canada, and Curacao. Since 2012, she has been teaching belly dance and African fusion at the National Institute of Arts, NIA and held many performances including for the Captain Oliver’s Annual Regatta, Byblos Lounge, Rotary International Peace Day event, Beyond Writing Foundation’s Multicultural Night, NIA Recital, etc. Okama is the founder of the Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance, a board member of Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise, player in the F.C.Soualiga Women’s Soccer Team and coach of the RISC Takers U-7 Soccer Club.
She won the intermediate level competition at the Asia Pacific Dance explosion 2008 context in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has also trained students for participation in various contests, hosted performances and shows to raise funds for charities in Laos, Sri Lanka, and Canada and performed at several motivational events. She founded her ‘Empower Dance Ensemble’ in 2008 and in 2014, the Belly Dancers SXM. She is excited about sharing her experiences with you.