Continuing “Belly” Ed, Part 2
You’re probably thinking the internationally-touring instructors stop taking workshops or classes because they’re already so amazing… right? I mean, they’re the real “professionals” we all aspire to be, so they must know it all… right?
I haven’t met one who doesn’t continue to take classes, attend workshops or take private lessons whenever they can smash it into their schedules. And they don’t just take belly dance classes & workshops… most of them study multiple styles of dance!
Why do they do this? To get even BETTER at their craft! But why do they study dances besides belly dance? For inspiration… cross-training & health benefits… to create fusion forms… to get back to their roots…
Two of these well-known ladies were kind enough to share their thoughts with me. Here’s what they had to say.
(she’s the good-looking one on the right… which means I’m the “Sweaty Betty” on the left…)
I was training very religiously and consistently… with Suhaila (Salimpour)… Last year, I decided to learn orientale style belly dance and studied quite a bit with Shabnam. I have been taking private lessons at least 2-3 times a year with Nanna Candelaria, and I attend her classes every now and then as well.
Every once in a while I am able to take workshop from an instructor. I also continually train at least once a year with Colleena Shakti, and in between seeing her, I take Odissi classes in the bay area. I also attend classical adult ballet classes as much as I can.
(Director of the Bellydance Superstars, photo by David Sorcher)
(How do I know Sabah attends workshops? I saw her at last year’s workshop with Amel Tafsout in Chicago!)
I strongly believe that all dancers, no matter where they are in career, are eternal students. I try to attend as many dance classes/workshops as I can. The hard part is that it’s not always easy to plan my schedule around when my favorite teachers are in town. However, I feel I can learn something in any class, whether it’s a beginner workshop or a master class with one of my idols. Workshops I have attended recently included Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, Bozenka, Tamalyn Dallal, Jillina, Dahlena, and Mahmoud Reda. I also try to go to ballet, fly yoga, aerial yoga, floor barre, or other dance classes whenever I have time as well.
So what am I trying to say? Well, apparently it takes more than just mastering what you already know to get *better*. You have to push yourself… physically AND mentally! I can vouch that it’s easy to get comfortable, and I’ve been guilty of being lazy with my craft from time to time. One way to get out of that comfy rut? Take a workshop or go on a dance retreat! If the professionals do it, then maybe we all should, too.
Stay tuned for Part 3… Continuing Ed on a Budget!