May 13, 2010

Room for Extra Practice

I often get people who ask for additional resources so they can study belly dance at home. I think for some people, this is a great way to review and expand on material used during class. Now I'll the first one to point out that take a class in person is the best way to learn this dance form, but I do agree that a little homework and video watching can really help solidify what you learn in class.

So, I've added a link to some DVDs that you can check out on Amazon on the right hand side of this page (see bottom), so you can see some titles I would recommended for basic belly dance moves. Also, check out these videos on YouTube/Expert Village

Tara Termini has a nice breakdown of basic movements, in an easy to understand format.

Sahira is a dancer out of Houston, and has great basic belly dance clips that also include explanations on how a movement changes from tribal to cabaret styles.

You can also check out a show on FitTV called Shimmy which shows a variety of movement, although the explanations aren't as detailed as I would prefer.

So, enjoy watching and shopping and be careful, there may be a quiz later in class!

Happy shimmies.

May 3, 2010

The Artists Way for Dancers

So, if you've read any of my previous posts, you'll notice several references to The Artist's Way. Written by Julia Cameron, the book provides a 12 week (or 12 step) program to help you either heal your creative child, or move towards more clarity and direction in your artistic life. As someone who really appreciates a well-written and organized system of thinking, this book is artfully crafted and really does take you down the path to re-thinking what you are doing creatively.

I completed the book with a group last fall, and I'm in the process of finishing it again this next month. The second time around, I had not planned to dive back in but I did! By default, I ended up in charge of a Meet-up group with about 150 members, all focused around this book and artistic philosophy. And, at the urging of the group, I officially started facilitating a study group on the topic.

Facilitation is not a new technique for me. I used to do this in a previous job/life and really enjoyed helping groups move forward. So, although it seems like the members of the group are getting the benefit of my experience, I really am the one who is blessed by their stories, their presence and their ideas and thoughts.

Call me crazy but I want to do this all again but this time with a smaller group of belly dancers. For me, this book came at a crucial time in my dance life and provided me with an outlet to grieve one former dance life and at the same time embrace another one. It has also really helped me look at other areas of my life, my job, my finances, my time and my relationships.

So, I'm looking for people who want to start this process. Yes, it is a commitment (14 weeks total), yes it takes time on a daily basis and will require some soul searching along the way. But, if you commit to the process you will see changes in your life and in your dance. My goal is to start in June, and the day of the week is flexible. I'm thinking Thursday nights...for two hours. We can meet a library, coffee shop or a home depending upon who is interested in attending. If you're interested and willing, drop me a note and we'll chat more!

I am going to charge for this series ($75) to cover the cost of materials, handouts I've prepared and to cover my facilitation fees. I also believe that if people invest money in a class or event they are far more likely to follow through with attendance. That being said, if you are interested but short on cash...just let me know. We can do a payment plan or work something else out!

P.S. If you want to buy the book I've included links on the bottom of the blog so you can see which one I'm referencing. You'll need the book, the workbook and journal are optional and you don't have to do Amazon, most book stores have it, even Half Price Books!