Belly Dance – My Story

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!

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Why Bellydance?

WHY Belly Dance?!

Why would someone want to belly dance you may ask?

Well, there are so many reasons why people should bellydance!

If you are worried about it being a sexual thing, don’t worry, its less sexual than it is sensual in its movements. Originally the history of belly dance started as a dance developed by women for women.

Although there are misconceptions about what belly dance really is, be assured, and anyone can correct me, but it only became sexualized by men. Funnily enough, now belly dance has taken the entire world by storm and there are amazing male belly dancers as well. That being said, I welcome everyone into my classes.

If you are worried about showing your midsection? Guess what?! You don’t have to unless you feel comfortable doing so. In belly dance classes, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. You can wear a full length tank top or t-shirt, or you can wear something showing your midsection. The main thing is, no matter the level of coverage, it should be form fitting so as your belly dance instructor, I can properly see your body movements.

If you decide to start performing in small student shows or even professionally one day, that’s another level and even there, there are options on coverage level. Main point here is, do not let this stop you from learning. I want my students to be comfortable coming to class.

Besides being really fun… I share a list of other reasons to belly dance. Some may come with an explanation.

  1. learning about how your body moves and feels

Starting your fitness journey doesn’t always need to start in the gym.

The way i teach belly dance (based on Hadia’s Amazing Body Logic System), you learn what muscles create certain belly dance moves, how these muscles are meant to work to create those movements and in turn you develop a greater sense of body awareness. So many people’s brains are detached from their bodies. I help you reconnect mind and body through belly dance. The methods I use to teach with, also provide the body with a nice massage!

   2. learning what it can do for your overall mind, body and soul.

Once you start to see how my methods to teach this dance art work, and you get more comfortable and confident in your abilities, you will see how belly dance starts to collectively affect your mind body and soul positively. I haven’t met a person yet, including myself, that this has not happened to.


3. learning that every person’s body, mind and soul is unique and so belly dance will empower each of you in a different way     

I think this is self explanatory. Every individual is unique. I expect feedback on this to be very different for everyone .

    4. learning about your strengths and weaknesses and having the courage to work on weaknesses in order to build them into strengths

Learning anything new will allow this to happen, but I find learning how your body works is an excellent avenue for this type of growth.

    5.            getting a great workout in a fun, safe and friendly environment

   6. allowing yourself to learn about a new culture while having fun and making friends

7.   allowing yourself to use your body for something it was built to do BELLY DANCE

If you want to bring fitness and health, joy and empowerment into your life, then come out and learn what belly dance can do for you!

Teaching at Carmen Romero’s Dance Studio

   If this convinces you to come try out a class, I invite you to a free demo class on:

Wednesday May 15th @12-1:30 pm at Training Spaces, 567 College Street West, Toronto, ON

          To reserve your spot in this free trial class please visit

https://live.vcita.com/site/kellykinetics or email kelly@kellykineticsonline.com to confirm you spot in this class

KellyKinetics ( aka Caliana – Alhambra Dance Hafla)

         

          

Spring Updates

Happy April!!

Photo Credit – pablo-guerrero-from unsplash

Spring has finally sprung, and things at KellyKinetics are in full swing.

I have been getting myself reorganized and ready to bring the best of myself to you.

While I have been working towards developing my business, my source of part-time income as a contract employee has suddenly changed. My wish to be fully running on KellyKinetics has arrived, just way sooner than I anticipated!

Tax season is here! Have you done yours already, or have you not even started. Take this as a reminder that it is time to start if you haven’t already.

What’s happening now?

With Spring’s arrival, it’s time to think about new beginnings as the birds, flowers, trees and grass come back to life!

If your goal is to look and feel great for summer, the time to start is now!  Really the time to start for summer bodies is December/January…. But most people don’t realize that. A Lot of people wait until June, and then expect a miracle! Forget that…it is not realistic. I work on realistic goals with people. The next best time to start working on that body is March/April. Contact me to start with an initial consultation.  If you have other aspects of your life you want to work on, you can book a free 30 min call with me that will help me learn how best to help you.

There will be a variety of different emails and blogs you will see in any given month. Watch for them, there will be some great stuff coming your way.

I am currently working on the development of my new website, I have a 6 month plan for completion and by September it should be available.

What’s coming up next Month?!

I am working on developing some free introductory Bellydance classes and Beginner Bootcamps for people to try out and with interest I will start full sessions. Watch for emails and announcements regarding these. Likely as we are already into April, you can expect some starting in May. I will offer these free classes out of a variety of locations so you can choose where is best for you. Be sure to tell family, friends, and coworkers. The more the merrier!

I also plan to run a Mother’s Day promotion as of May 1st on personal training. Be sure to watch for it. If you’re mom needs to work on their health, this is the perfect gift to help them. If you are a mother who wants to work on goals and be a positive role model in your children’s lives give yourself a gift or ask for this as a gift.

Stay Connected!

You have access to me here, through email (by joining my emailing list), my facebook page, and instagram page. If you are a twitter fanatic, I am there too! Just look for KellyKinetics. Follow me. Invite your friends, family and coworkers to my pages as well.

I won’t keep you any longer, most people don’t have time to read a lengthy novel! Haha

Have a Great Day, and I look forward to sharing much more with you.

Kelly

Facebook Live Interview

Its been a while since i have written anything in my blog. Yet again, there is a ton going on! I am working hard towards developing the online side of my KellyKinetics business. I am working with 2 different coaches whose focuses are different so that I can progress my business in the best possible way. One is Cherene Francis a phenomenal Branding and Marketing Coach and the other is RU Anderson an amazing Personal Trainer who took the years of trial and error to develop a successful system for trainers to be successful online coaches.

On February 7th I will be a Guest Speaker and have a vendor booth at an event called Get Your Sexy Back.

Here is the eventbrite link to the event and here is the live facebook interview.

If you come out you will hear me talk in more depth about obstacles I have overcome in life which have got me to where I am today in the position to help women reach their goals. I will also have some great freebies to give away. There will be many excellent speakers and vendors. But there will also be entertainment and more! I can’t wait! Hope to see you there.

Facebook Live Interview

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/get-your-sexy-back-2019-tickets-54412420013?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing

Mind Body Connection

I love the above pic!

A big part of what I try to accomplish when I train people is to ensure they achieve a mind body connection. Too many people walk through life totally disconnected from their body. I force people to reconnect and develop a relationship between their mind and body which ends up being really good for the soul too!

I ask, “where are you feeling this?”, “can you feel your ___________ working?”, “How did that feel?” This forces people  to start making that connection. If they didn’t notice during the first set, I ask them to pay attention in their second and third sets.

In addition, me asking them these questions allows me to also tweak an exercise based on what they are or are not feeling. In some cases, I may need to add an activation exercise so clients learn to feel what a particular muscle feels like in isolation before putting it to use in a fully integrated exercise.

Going through the motions is not enough to gain results. You must be mindful in everything in order to reap the greatest benefits.

You know you are fully connected when you can create an intense full activation of a muscle by doing a particular movement even without any weights at all! You have reached a “higher level of kung-fu” when you can turn muscles off and on at the flip of a switch. Now imagine that activation with weights…holy, moly!!!!

Take a moment…..

If you don’t have a trainer, are you aware of what muscles you should be recruiting for every exercise and how to best recruit/activate that muscle?

Are you mindful in your workouts/training?

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration through Flamenco Guitar

There was another guitarist whose piece touched me on a massive emotional level….

In August I went to see a Tablao performance that was just guitarists.

As much as I love flamenco, am passionate about it, and will dance it to the day I die, in shows in the past, if a guitarist had a solo within a show, for some odd reason I would be bored, and would use that time to shut my eyes and listen and wonder when it would be over. I must have gone through some kind of transformation during my rising from the ashes, because when I heard about this series of Tablaos in Toronto with the last one being 4 guitarists, I was like….well…I am going to go, and open myself up to this experience.

What came out of this?!?!? An AMAZING thing!

I was totally enthralled with each and every one of the four guitarists. Each had their own style, each played different Palos (styles of flamenco song), and in the end they did a group piece. The best part is that they only all got together fairly close to that performance to get ready.

 

They all played beautifully, and for the first time in my whole flamenco existence (19 years) I was not bored by just listening and watching flamenco guitar. Quite the contrary! I was fascinated by how each guitarist would sit in their chair and prop their guitar ever so slightly different from the next. I was fascinated by their facial expression and how their fingers moved so quickly with the guitar strings. I was fascinated by how the quality of sound varied from guitar to guitar and artist to artist.

There was one guitarist who I hadn’t seen in years, who was just on the verge of considering becoming professional at the same time I was about to get serious pushing to become professional in flamenco dance (except he pursued it and I took a break to pursue fitness as a career).  I was pleasantly surprised to see his development over the years.

There was another guitarist whose piece touched me on a massive emotional level….

This had never happened to me before. Even though I had never danced a solea, I knew of the Solea Palo. And I knew right away this was what he was playing. Deep feelings arose from inside of me, and I started to feel small tears well up in my eyes. I realized that everything I had experienced over the past 6-12 month or more was getting played about in this guitarist’s solea solo that night!

I knew immediately that I had to do a solea solo myself, and that I needed to tell this guitarist about the inspiration he was to me.

I am now working towards my solea solo and have surrounded myself with positive people who support me in this project. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!

My last comment is, that as far as flamenco music and dance, until this moment in time with the inspiration, I never really understood the slower flamenco Palos. I admired the dancers who performed this type of dance, but I didn’t understand them. I much preferred the Tangos, Rumbas, Alegrias, Bulerias, Tanguillos. But I have reached a turning point. Life has opened my heart up to the heavier darker flamenco palos, and I embrace it. Its the first time i will truly have to share emotion through flamenco with my audience. It freaks me out a little bit, because what if I truly go down the emotional rabbit hole???? What if i have a full choreography, but on the day of performance, I totally feel the emotions and i lose it???!! OMG!!!! OMG!!!! OMG!!!! Hopefully I know the compas (Rhythm) well enough to take myself through and dance something regardless of if I remember the choreography or not! HAHHAHA

 

Arising from the Ashes : Flamenco

Arising from the ashes back in July, really ruffled a lot of “feathers” in me as a woman reaching mid-life. Perhaps you could even say I experienced a serious mid-life crisis! Doesn’t matter to me what you call it…hahah!

Fact is, I went down a dark path, somehow I found my way out even though i got very lost in a world i didn’t know, and because it all happened I am new and improved!

I have found a new zest for life, new found artistic creativity, and am open to all the positive energy that wants to surround me. When you are open to different energies it is what you attract. No more darkness for me…perhaps at that point in my life, I welcomed the unknown darkness because its something I never experienced before and as someone said to me recently,

Flamenco Juerga

maybe i felt guilt for something else I had done and felt it necessary to punish myself. When they said that to me, in my head I was like OMG!! They could be SOOOO right!

SOMETIMES actions we take are totally subconscious.

I am always willing to be open to new experiences…but there is a point when enough is enough and you have to know when to get out or you truly will be lead astray.  I had a moment like that, I was like….

Whoa….this just happened and this was scary…. i can’t let anything affect my ability to dance! %$%&@&$%@ THIS @@%$%@&&&!!!!

For the longest while, still being in “the darkness” was affecting my ability to concentrate in flamenco dance, it was affecting my willingness to push and create a short bit of choreography for a solo in the recital in June, and i hated this feeling. I didn’t know what to do. But I still kept going to class.

Once I put an end to “the darkness”, all of a sudden the light shone! And i mean did it ever shine!!!!

I decided to put any further energy whether positive or negative into the remainder of my flamenco classes in the last couple weeks leading up to our student recital!

And oh boy…..the light and the fire went WHOOSH inside of me ….and emanated out. My red dress…the yellow shawl….. it was the best performance I ever had. It was only the beginning of more!