Mahafsoun is a Persian belly dancer, alternative model, performer and artist living in Vancouver BC, Canada. As well as all of this she loves Ancient Egyptian mythology and spirituality, photography and couldn’t see herself living without doing anything artistic. Keep reading to find out more about Mahafsoun.[caption id="attachment_68763" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Photography by Mahafsoun[/caption]Tell us about your career as a model. How did you get started?I started as a belly dancer, dancing mainly to metal and alternative music. I always loved photography, styling and doing makeup on myself, so I started to get in touch with local photographers to arrange fantasy/gothic photo shoots. It was a local photographer that first suggested the idea to me, which made me realize that I love doing photo shoots. Especially themed ones. It later became a source of funding for my projects as I started to get hired as a model locally, and internationally for promotional projects.Did you always want to be a model or did you have other career aspirations when you were growing up? Not at all. I actually wanted to grow up and be an actor. HahaSlowly I drifted away from that dream when I was in high school, and in 2010 I fell in love with belly dance. Modelling just became this thing I do on the side. Not at all the main thing I do. Growing up, I never imagined having nice photos taken of me.Do you love any one genre of modelling more than another?Absolutely! I really love fantasy/epic/detailed shoots. I have a strange imagination, so doing simple things no longer makes me satisfied. However, in the beginning, I had to do simple bridal looks and "t-shirt with jeans" looks often just to gain experience being on a photo shoot set.As well as being a model you also have an eclectic list of hobbies belly dancer, performer, pianist, singer, and artist. What do you think you’d be doing if you hadn’t fallen for each of these passions?To be honest, I have no idea what else I'd be doing. I would be doing at least one of those things. Maybe photography, nature photography. Although my artistic work didn't drift me away from my non-artistic career and education plans.Although to be honest I can't imagine not doing anything artistic in life. It's one of the few things that makes me feel truly happy.You’ve been belly dancing since you were fifteen. How did you first find belly dance? How much has your style and skill changed over the years?I started to love belly dance through my interest in Ancient Egyptian mythology and spirituality. I loved the connection.When I first started, like anyone, much of what I did was stiff and "unsure". I just did it and hoped that it looks good. Through time I started to record myself and my practice sessions, study all my moves and learn what looks good and what doesn't, to try and improve myself as a dancer. I also started to focus a bit more on my health to keep my body in a healthy shape, meaning to move more and make sure that my muscles were ready for dancing. Although to be honest it's hard since so much of what I do depends on me being by the computer and editing, publishing, replying to people. So, it's not as easy as it sounds to stay as active as I wish.You’re a lover of Oriental Dance forms, apart from Belly Dancing, which other styles do you love?Belly dance is the only one I have done in my YouTube videos, but I also adore traditional and modern Iranian dancing, and Azerbaijani dance.The reason why I have only ever done belly dancing in my videos is because I don't think my Persian and Azeri moves are quite there yet. Haha Maybe one day when I improve, I will make some videos that are not belly dance videos.[caption id="attachment_68762" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Photography by Mahafsoun[/caption]What do you do when you aren’t modelling or dancing?I'm either with my family, or I am editing photo shoots, videos and publishing them. I'm also keeping in touch with collaborators and friends/followers.What do you consider your biggest career highlights so far? Performing with one of my favourite bands - Moonspell. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with them twice already. Also late last year I had the honour of being a part of their new album "Extinct", and documentary "Road to Extinction" which will be released later this year. It's been such a pride and pleasure performing and collaborating with these amazing people that I see as my brothers.Before we go, do you have any tips for new models that find you inspiring?First, thank you so much if you enjoy what I do! I'm only doing what I love, and if someone finds that inspiring, then they are inspiring me in return.I think my best tip is to tell people to do only what they are comfortable with. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't try new things and step out of your comfort zone... but it means that it's wise to listen to your gut and stick to what you truly believe in doing. Know what you want as an artist and don't settle for something that makes you feel unsure. Learn to say no early in your life and career. You will get a lot of great offers, but also lots of unnecessary ones. It sounds cheesy, but if you're honest with yourself on what you want, you will save yourself a lot of trouble in the future and can continue focusing on your dreams, rather than worrying over anything else.And love yourself. There is still discrimination, even in the alternative modelling world. It's important to know that the beauty of the alternative scene is that there is room for every kind of beauty, and every kind of beauty will have its own admirers.Any final words?Thank you so much for this interview, Rebel Circus, and for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to your audience! For more information, my photo shoots and more, visit my Facebook page.There you have it! Before you go don’t forget to check out the gallery below for some of Mahafsoun’s favourite looks! Let us know in a comment below which is your favourite.