WATCH: Belly dancer Yousha Hussain breaks taboos in Pakistan around professional dance

·1-min read

In Pakistan, Yousha Hussain has a unique passion - he is training to be a belly dancer.

The 22-year-old says he grew up watching Hindi movies, particularly the songs accompanied by dances. And he was inspired by Indian belly dancer Eshan Hilal.

But he has faced a lot of opposition when he expressed his intention to become a professional dancer as Pakistan’s society is deeply conservative where dancing and singing are frowned upon.

“[Dancing] is a big taboo in Pakistan," Hussain said.

"Whether you are a boy or a girl, no one would like you to become a dancer. It is extremely difficult to take this up as a profession. I am doing it, I know how hard it is here. I can’t tell you what kind of taunts I have heard.“

His father was vehemently opposed to him taking up dancing as a profession.

“In the beginning, it was very tough. My dad was unhappy with me," he said.

"He did not talk to me for one long year. He even beat me up for wanting to become a dancer. The support that I needed was not there initially.”

But his father finally relented when he performed on TV shows and gained a little recognition.