Category: teachers

my list of teachers

Here is the list of My teachers that have made an influence in my practice (I will be adding periodically to this list):

1st teacher ever * Mirah Ammal
Level 1 Fall 2010 – Aalim School of Dance
Performance Classes, Summer 2011 – Aalim School of Dance

*Melanie Meyer
Level 1 Fall 2010 – The Cassandra School

*Sarah Jones-Larson
Level 1 Winter, Spring, Summer 2011 – The Cassandra School

*Deb Rubin
Upper Body Therapeutics Workshop Winter 2010

*Zoe Jakes
Drills, Musicality Workshop Spring 2011

Burlesque Bellydance (1 drop in), Summer 2011

Level 1 Funkstyle Belly Dance, Summer 2011

Level 1 Tribal Fusion Winter, Spring, Summer 2011-2012  – BoHo U

*Ashley Lopez
Layers, & Combos Workshop, Summer 2011

*Jolie Roberson
Burlesque Fusion Workshop, Summer 2011

*Sofia Tribal
Monthly ATS, Workshops 2012


How did I get here? (for my thoughts)

(Photo by: Ania Polonsky)

So, How did this all come to be?
I want to make sure I do not forget how all of this came to be. I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile…
Summer (August) of 2010, I just graduated from MCAD with a BFA in photography. And as soon as I graduated, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with photography. I was very confused on where my art stood, my senior project was the complete opposite of everything I had done the last 3 years of college. I had a rough time transitioning from commercial/fashion (in a fine art college) to more a “fine artist”. It was a struggle to take the model out of the picture… I felt like the last 3 years was a waste of artwork I wanted to delete all my fashion files, I really did cut everything out.
None the less I didn’t even want to pick up a camera for ANYTHING. I didn’t want to think about concepts… So, it kind of left me with nothing, and had no plans after graduating… I was not inspired by anything for 3 months, especially not being connected with the MCAD art community (aka walls of mcad)… But I tried to look up paintings, but nothing was inspiring me to create art… I was just kind-of living… The only glimpse of inspiration was Fiona Apple, and Orion Rigel Dommisse… But I couldn’t make anything out of it. On top of this I was deeply affected by close-friend being sick, in which I didn’t realize for awhile, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. Dealing with that eventually put me into a depression. I got a temporary job in August, but I was still extremely unhappy…
But my boyfriend and I always goto the Renaissance Festival every year. He loves it there-and actually got me hooked. I always couldn’t wait to see the belly dancers, I always thought they were so sexy! But I never thought anything past that. This would be our 3rd year going and I wanted to start building a costume…
Fast-forward, I couldn’t stop watching the belly dancers with the snakes, but again nothing special-just mesmerized. I stepped into a belly dancer costume hunt, I thought everything in there was soooo pretty!!! So I ended up putting on a top and belt, Very spontaneous purchase ($275)! I bought it on the spot.
A week later, I find the first dancer that I actually enjoyed watching (and trust me, I went through a LOT of ren fest dancers-keep in mind I didn’t know belly dancers preformed out side of Ren Fest)… But, Sonia Burns was Gorgeous! The gem!
Its this video to exact, that I could NOT stop watching:
1 weeks later, its like midnight, and a little teenage voice whispered in my ear “if you’re going to be a belly dancer at Ren Fest, you can’t be a poser ;)” again very teenage way of thinking…
So, I look up belly dance classes realize there’s a class starting the very next day @ 11AM. I said, why the hell not?! I’ll just pay for 1 class, if i dont like it i never have to step foot in class again… And I kept telling myself that. Plus, I wanted to give myself some self-confidence, and it was really about building back up my self-confidence by getting in touch with my inner “Queen Sheva”, and for a little bit of exercise and just to give myself something to do. It had NOTHING to do with performing, nor did I ever plan on performing.
It was October 2nd, 2010 my first belly dance class with Aalim School of Dance with Mirah Ammal. It was a great introductory to the art (especially showing us proper belly dancer – dance position). But I still wasn’t sure about it, so, I decided to wait, and then that week I looked up physique and bellydancers… which lead me to a guy posting a video of Rachel Brice and all the ab muscle she uses in her craft:
I immediately purchased her Serpentine DVD that very same night..
I remember listening to a lot of Pentaphobe. And thinking THESE DANCERS (aka tribal fusion) get it, and I GET IT. i’ve always imagined black metal music being slow, I know it wasn’t a metal song they were dancing to. But I GOT it, and I was thinking “OMG there are dancers expressing exactly what I hear in a song”
And then I was like I can REALLY do this now….
So, I also signed up at the Cassandra School. My first teacher being Melanie Meyer. In the big studio. I enjoyed going to class, and it was my light! Of course, researching and watching all different dancers followed!
Then the holidays came, and I told myself I’ll wait until Spring (without all the snow) to start dancing again. That did not hold up once dance classes were back in session. I was MORE than ready to go back to dance class and could not wait a moment longer.
I am currently studying with Sarah Jones-Larson at Cassandra and Lesley Inman at BoHo U. I have so much to explore, and I have to teach myself to enjoy the process and take one step at a time.

Belly dance saved me, gave me life, a voice, and a place for art. I see myself as an artist, not a dancer or photographer. Belly dance gave me infinite space to create. I’m continuously evolving. And as I always say, “I’m just an artist. I have concepts, and I simply use a medium to express it.”

My first Workshop w/ D. Rubin

What I’ve Learned today:

I’m TIRED. Haha. I took the Dance Therapeutics for Upper body & Healthy Backbends.
I took it because, its one part of my body but I need more work on…
What I’ve learned…. We described what we loved about our favorite dancers, and that we can be all those adjectives as well. That felt really good.
And she asked us why we love dancing, what our goals are, what makes us unique, ext… It was really really nice to have that. starting out.
*I can be just as inspiring as my favorite dancers are to me.
*Yoga Practice, Yoga Practice, Yoga Practice. That was 3/4’s of the class. Getting that flexibility and relaxation in the body. *Left hand behind your back, roll left shoulder in circles. Left hand behind your back (lower back, all the way up to the upper back), press hard on neck muscle where its tight, move head side to side (left, right, left). You should feel a stretch in the muscle. Should circles while doing this.
*Healthy back bends involve a tight/stable lower abs, and keep your chin forward so your head is stable as well. The flexibility in the bend is should be within the chest to mid-abs. You get out of a back bend by moving your head forward first, then the rest of the body will follow. On your knees, breathe in shoulders back/extend head/neck, breathe out shoulders forward… each time move back a little bit. — Afterwards go into child’s pose.
*Snake arms, I was on the right track by extending the shoulder and pulling in the shoulders.
Interesting insight: Crazy things they didn’t think they could do during a performance that they didn’t prepare their bodies for on stage.
*During your practice, you must drill, drill, drill, everyday to keep up with it. If someone doesn’t do shimmies every wk she looses it. Its body memory. She said some of the most inspiring dancers, also friends, work their asses off (100 shimmies, ext). Remember that. Continue to drill. Put on some music and drill.
Quote of the Day: “Use your Yoga practice while dancing!”