I talked all about “why belly dance” and realized I never really shared my story with you about how I got into belly dance and how it developed for me. This is the short version of a lot of years.
Once upon a time when I was still working as a Medical Secretary at Women’s College Hospital, there was a very well known Belly Dance School in Toronto called Arabesque Academy which at the time was located on my walk from the subway to the hospital. One day I said to my best friend and a close work friend, lets go try belly dance! The work friend bailed on us, but my best friend went with me. After one class we were hooked!! This came at the perfect time for me because the guy i was dating had just broke up with me and I needed somewhere or something to help me through the healing process. Belly dance was perfect for that.
We took classes for a few years, did recitals, made other friends there, and then started an amateur dance troupe for fun. Over the years I trained with a few different dancers at this school. Later I ventured out and studied with Roula Said at Om Laila, and at what was once Hannan’s Belly Dance Studio and later became Egyptian Dance Academy.
Somewhere along the way I went back to University for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. My friends there got wind of the fact that I was learning to belly dance and asked if I would teach them. So i figured, sure, I could show them some basics, and i wouldn’t charge a lot, but enough to make sure i could pay rent for a studio on the University Campus. People loved it, and if i remember correctly, I taught them more than once.
It was at that point that I realized, maybe i wanted to get a bit more serious about belly dancing and teaching belly dance. I told my significant other at that point that i was thinking about trying to find a belly dance/middle eastern dance teacher certification. I found this amazing internationally renowned dancer on google – Hadia. She had a 3 level middle eastern dance teacher training course. Level 1 was all the way out in Victoria, B.C. I told my best friend about it and asked her if she wanted to go. We went out there together. It was one of the best things I ever did. Over the years, I continued to complete level 2 and then level 3 to get the whole certification. I also spent two weeks during two summers in her intensive Professional Course. It was hard work, and I felt most dancers were more advanced than me at least the first year. But I toughed it out, and feel I gained so much. I also had fun travelling to different parts of Canada to do this!
I went on to teach actual belly dance course sessions and workshops and developed my own dance troupe in to a company later on with Belly Dancers and Flamenco Dancers. Everyone’s lives got busy, so i shut down the dance company. Off and on i would go back to either teaching belly dance or performing belly dance. I don’t perform belly dance that often any more. Last time was at a Purim Event a couple years ago, and most recent as a birthday gift to a close flamenco friend of mine this past weekend.
I also off and on taught some drop in classes at a private gym I was doing personal training out of. After another long break, I am bringing belly dance back under my Fitness Business – KellyKinetics.
I am very excited to bring it back!!
I will be offering a short bellydance teaser class at:
CAMH’s “One Brave Night Fundraiser
“http://give.camh.ca/site/TR/OBN/OneBraveNight?px=1184442&pg=personal&fr_id=1130 – visit and help me donate to a great cause.
And I plan to run a free Intro Belly dance workshop on Wednesday May 15th from 12:00-1:30pm – I will be providing a link to sign up for that soon!
Hope to see you there!