Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions?
- HOW do I make this movement happen in my body?
- HOW do I know if I am doing it right?
- HOW do I explain this to my students?
- WHAT am I supposed to do if certain movements hurt me when I do them?
No worries. Anatomy of Belly Dance will answer so many of your questions about your own dancing and technique, plus give you powerful and practical tools to help your students to learn while you gain the confidence to stand behind what you teach 150%
I would like to share a couple of quick stories with you that led to the evolution of my radically different approach to oriental dance, teaching dance and the creation of my Instructor Training Courses …. After more than 20 years as a full time dancer/dance teacher, I decided that I would recycle myself and undertake a new career as a massage therapist. So, I moved back to Canada and resettled in Vancouver where I began my new journey. Even though it broke my heart to even think about leaving my dance life behind me, I knew that change was important for me at that time. However, as things turned out, the dancers in North America and Europe were not going to let me stop dancing or teaching. So, I sorted out my schedule and found a way to fit in teaching one or two classes per week in Vancouver. This helped me in my studies and enabled me to stay healthy during my 3-year training. I was also free to travel back to Europe and around North America to teach workshops during my summer vacations. Because I love dance so much, I was thrilled to have this chance to continue my first career and to do so with DANCERS as my new employers!! Who could ask for anything more? This worked better for me than I could have ever imagined!
I finished my training and embarked on new career as a therapist. Thanks to my training in anatomy, kinesiology and therapeutic exercise, I had the delight of learning about my body from the inside out and was able to develop a very intimate understanding of every tiny and subtle movement of my oriental dance technique. I also began to apply this knowledge to my teaching skills by showing my students how to find and feel the muscles that create the movements. The more I taught in this way, the clearer things became for my students AND for me. I began to discover the path of least resistance to create our movement repertoire and the simplest and most tangible explanations for my students. This has been a long and magical exploration that continues to surprise me and to make life easier for my students and all over the world.
Story number 2 begins in Calgary, where I had moved to teach at the Rocky Mountain Academy of Massage Therapy. Within a couple of years I was very busy juggling my career as a therapist and massage therapy instructor with my classes and dance companies in both Egyptian and flamenco dance. One day I received an invitation from the Dance Department of the University of Calgary to attend a very special workshop designed for dance teachers. The instructor was a former professional dancer from Europe had decided to become a therapist after a dance injury that had interrupted his career, was cured by an osteopath in one treatment. This full-day workshop was full of fabulous information and l was very happy to learn from and exchange information with this wonderful fellow dancer turned therapist. However, the thing that made the greatest impression on me during that day was the fact that every instructor there could not only understand the terminology and information presented by this wonderful teacher, but also discuss the intricacies of anatomy and dance movement with him as an equal!!! This is when I realized what an amazing idea it would be to share the gift of this knowledge with belly dancers by adding this information to the instructor training that I was developing at the time. In retrospect, a solid and practical understanding of anatomy is even more relevant for our dance form than many other forms of dance, because the majority of our movements happen between the knees and shoulders and are often very subtle and difficult to see by an untrained eye and even more difficult to figure out how to do. I know that this knowledge has revolutionized my world of dance and the worlds of those who have completed their instructor training with me, as well as their students!
The other really valuable bonus of understanding the body’s joints and muscles is to make sure that we avoid injury when we dance. I had personally experienced the healing power of belly dance very early in my journey, after a very serious tailbone injury in my second year of university. This resulted in constant, gripping low back pain and spasm that was so severe, I could hardly walk, could not do yoga and could not even try to do any of my other dance classes, but my belly dance class actually took away my pain and very quickly allowed me to regain full use of my body in all of my activities with NO PAIN. I didn’t understand why this had happened then, but since becoming a therapist, I do understand exactly how this happened. I have since gained so much MORE respect and appreciation for our beautiful dance! Not only is it beautiful to behold and divine to do, it is perhaps the only form of dance that does NOT create injury in our bodies if practiced like the Egyptian ladies who created it. Also the most common complaints experienced with the practice of belly dance such as low back pain, knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain and neck pain can be completely avoided by using my technique as the foundation of your dance. However, if a different approach to technique has already created any of these problems in your body, don’t worry. If you adopt and use my technique, you will actually eliminate and heal these pains and problems.
WOW!!! As if this is not enough of a bonus, I even have waaaay more fun when I dance now!! All of these were entirely unexpected gifts that I received by choosing my new career and not abandoning my previous one! This was really a FUSION MADE IN HEAVEN and one that I would love to share with you all! I also invite to have a read through my article "But I only teach beginners" and give this article some noticeable reflection. Just click here to read.
So, how can YOU start your journey into the Anatomy of Belly Dance?
Option 1: Join us for my upcoming Anatomy of Dance full day workshop in Edmonton, Alberta on February 22, 2013. An even better investment of your time and dance training dollars would be to dive right into the entire 5 days of my combined Level 1 Instructor Training and Weekend Sharqi, Baladi and Folkloric workshops; complete with fabulous Gala Performance from February 21 to 25. For full details just click on Events Info in the side bar, Schedule in the menu bar above or this link
Option 2: Begin your studies from the comfort of your own home with my 4 DVD “Ultimate Oriental Belly Dance System”. This set was designed to give you really great information including body alignment, safe and effective dance warms ups, wonderful technique, two choreographies to apply the techniques directly into a basic then an intermediate dance and finishing up with a full body tour of really effective stretches. These 4 DVDs will keep you busy for months with really great information and prepare you for my upcoming Body Logic for Belly Dance on line video programme.
So, in closing, if it hurts DON’T DO IT and may your dancing bring you JOY and keep your body HAPPY and HEALTHY always!!