Posts Tagged ‘Spring classes’

Springtime backing into Belly Dance…..

March 30, 2010

Here we go.  I wasn’t so sure about teaching again so soon after the holidays.  The publishing of “The Zar Tales” and then throwing myself into “White Cranes of Heaven” before the proofs were done on the first…well…I had plenty to do.

Then I met a local dancer who studied at my first studio …the one I started at 6 years ago.  Damn….you never can really get away from dance….except with two broken legs and then you can dance from a wheelchair.

But whatever  you are doing in life, even things that are good and building…the call of dancing usually out shouts them all.

Tonight I got an email from Audra Simmons in Toronto, who owns Dark Side Studio.  I took an intensive 4 hour class in Montreal last year and I consider the expense of the trip and the class well worth it.  I would do it again, but I remember Canadian winter and these bones took two months to warm up.

Audra agrees: there is nothing better than the enthusiasm and bright eyes of beginners….and the benefits fall to the teacher, too.  Those ‘aha moments!’ when things fall into place and the new dancer finds that she can actually DO something…and repeat it!

Although I walked around the early part of the Spring Festival Saturday in a kimono and obi….with cherry blossoms in my hair, people knew me locally as a belly dance teacher, though only doing so for a year.  Sala, one of my original students came up and said that she was going to call me this week because she was really thinking of coming back.  That is welcome news, because Sala was my original student when I came back from Montreal  and we bonded from the first.  She’s Hawaiian and has her own cultural technique that will bring good things to the class for all of us.  Another committed student is more advanced and when I say committed…the fire is there.  I love that because I remember how it smolders.  It can take you a long way in classes…because the classes never seem to end.

(I am also sick of the company of men: I want the tribal comfort of women around me right now.  I want the comfort of laughter, of gossip, of hugs and stories about their lives.  I want to sample their cooking and have them sample mine.  I am sick of setting table for men, who don’t know what a saucer is for, who don’t help clean up.  I want women at my table and drinking my tea.  I want their advice about life.)

I am going to do something different this time:  I threw too much at the former students I think.  When I look at the schedule of zones, movements, parts of choreography, I can wince now.  I was covering too much.  I think this can …with new students…lead to fatigue.  And fatigue leads to discomfort…and discomfort leads to ‘oh, what the hell.’

There are a few new older women (more my age) in the class…or a few who say they want to start.  I think that I have to be careful here:  We all get sore in the beginning…but not everyone wants to dive in and explore how MUCH they can learn about belly dance.  It’s intense, and I forget the early years.  Some will want to just use the classes as exercise classes.  That is fine I think now.  Some, at least the more advanced, will want to further their interests in belly dance proper.  Weddings, etc…performances that are fun to exhibit their new abilities.

I want to keep this fun.  And so what if new dancers do it wrong.  I have to loosen up myself.  I can be a Nazi at times…and this isn’t pleasant for anyone around me.

We are going to dance not only to belly dance music, too.  I put on Bonnie Raitt today….”Luck of the Draw” was one song…and you can dance to it.  There are others…Melissa Etheridge will be good for openers….Yeah…that will kill us all!

For starters, I have to get back into the groove of it, too.  Movement has been constricted for me for the past three months.  I haven’t done much, but today just worked through some painful routines.  This is necessary because they are the core movements that I use in class.

But this time…this time….we are going to also concentrate on arms.  Audra did a lovely “arm dance” to Sigur Ros’ “Ara batur” and it’s emotional and intense.  Dancing from only the upper zone of arms and head isn’t easy.  But once done, and done with a fullness of expression….it is something that you keep…and incorporate into the movement below.

So, Audra!  I might have looked like I was asleep at the wheel in Montreal…but you burned in my brain something that haunts and teases….and is very, very useful.

A fine gift that keeps on giving to others.

I have a full month before classes start, and I am going to be ready.  Because I love it as much as the bright eyed newbies.  I think we are all newbies in heart and inspiration.

Teela (who is Lady Nyo with a hip scarf)

%d bloggers like this: