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)

         

          

Fitness through Dance and Fitness to Support Dance

I have been studying different forms of dance since the age of 5 yrs old. Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Salsa, Hip Hop, Belly Dance and Flamenco. In the latter part of my dance training it has mostly been Belly Dance and Flamenco.

There was a time where I could do it and nothing phased me. Later I ever so slightly felt it draining me a little more than usual. I never really had injuries from dancing.  As I got older I realized running/jogging and dancing was not going to be what would help me to lose weight anymore. I started to train in the gym seriously with a trainer and then became a trainer.

Once I lost 15-20lbs I noticed differences in my dancing.  Not only was i lighter, but I had developed more muscle in my body. As a result, in bellydance, there were moves like undulations for example that I could execute with little effort, where I know I used to have to use more energy to create certain movements. They became more easy and fluid. With Flamenco, I noticed footwork became easier because i was lighter and also it was stronger because of the amount of muscle being put into it.

Now, what I am finding, and it has been brought to my attention by a friend in my flamenco world that dancers from about 35 yrs+ in age may be in need of more than just dance. There are dancers that lack a strong core, or good muscle development to support the impact created through footwork. Some surprisingly do not have a lot of body awareness and so are not aware of how to get the energy out from their core to their extremities to create energy into the arms, and hands. Because of this they can not create a full package. Because of certain muscle imbalances, injuries either related to dance or outside dance develop and then cause a dancer to have to take time off. (For a dancer to spend any time not dancing is never a good feeling!)

My Flamenco Dance Teacher also recognized there may be a need for some type of fitness class offered for flamenco dancers to increase their strength. Whether its a class or one on one training this is a specialized niche that seems to need some help.

Yes dance of any kind can have great fitness benefits, but sometimes the body requires more to support further improvements to advance to higher levels of proficiency. Or if someone wants to continue dancing for recreation, proper strengthening of the body can further allow a dancer to dance well into their later years.

If you are a dancer and are interested in learning more stay tuned. I will share more!

Alternatively, you can also contact me.