Last week I spent an afternoon with my good friend Jodie who is a newly certified yoga teacher. I am happy to announce we are organizing a collaborative workshop together which we hope will be delivered in May although an exact date has not been decided. The workshop will consist of 2.5 hours of Yoga, Belly Dance and a Chakra meditation. Both of us are Reiki practitioners too so Reiki will be included throughout. This is a tester workshop which we hope to facilitate in our local community centre and if it is successful we hope to continue creating workshops together as well as Reiki gatherings and sacred feminine circles not only in the community centre but perhaps in other venues around Plymouth too eventually.
This workshop will be open to all levels and even though it is targeted to a female audience, men are welcome too because men can belly dance (there are male belly dancers in Turkey).
We are at drafting stage so we are making lots of notes and exchanging ideas but we’ll be promoting the workshop very soon, we’ve already chosen a title and will be creating flyers to promote it.
I am also working very hard on setting up my Kids Yoga & Art workshop (age 7-12) too which I hope to be held at the Yoga Loft once my teaching Insurance is processed. My promo flyers for this are nearly finished and I currently planning a Tween Yoga & Belly Dance workshop for girls (age 9-13) to be facilitated in early summer also.
So, lots to plan and initiate, I’m excited because I finally feel ready within myself, I’m being patient for things to get started and to overcome mini hurdles (like waiting for insurance paper work) but I do believe in divine timing, it will all happen when the time is right. So stay tuned for more updates on my workshops!
During my 10 days up North visiting my family, my best friend gave me the opportunity to perform for an event she hosts every month in Liverpool. The event is called ‘we want Women’ and it is a beautiful showcase of incredible female artists around the North West. Whilst we are seeing more and more women being included in such events like open mic nights, poetry slams and battle of the bands, they are usually always performing last when only a few drunks are remaining at the bar or as interlude acts in between male performers. Female artists have to work twice as hard to prove they are worthy to gig at venues and even then they are still underappreciated. Nic wanted to put a stop to this by creating this event, it represents female empowerment and acknowledges that women are just as incredibly talented and hard working as men and that they deserve a place in the limelight too. I was really proud to be part of this event and this particular dance was meant to be sassy with a piece of music very bass heavy and then a feisty drum solo to finish. Alongside my dance performance we had two spoken word poetesses and numerous yet very different female musicians that sang about love lost, travel, life and world politics.
Please do watch my video and I hope you like it and if you are living in the North West of England/Liverpool please do check out the event ‘We want Women’, Nic is always looking for more women to perform and anyone can come along and support this beautiful monthly show.
My latest bra top has been embellished and I am so happy with it because it feels very Burlesque. As a Tribal Fusion Belly Dancer I have to kinda make my own costumes.
The glitzy and glamorous outfits you see in cabaret belly dance originate from the the styling of old Hollywood when oriental and middle eastern dance forms were brought to the west and it was thought the costumes and dancing needed to be jazzed up and be more provocative, hence the glitter, sequins and over use of shiny material. So in retrospect the so called “traditional” costuming you are exposed to in the media is actually very modern and influenced by western ideals of beauty!
Tribal Fusion belly dance is a new dance form created in the early 90’s yet it appears old and it is inspired by ethnic and tribal dances. The costumes are handmade with junk, broken jewellery, found objects & indigenous items such as bone, feathers, snake skin, amulets & dream-catchers (to name a few) which are sewn to the bra and hip belt to give it that rustic feel and as a homage to travelers, the Romany, tribes, clans and wanderers around the world. Some Tribal Fusion Belly Dancers adorn themselves with symbolic tattoos, wear pagan head dresses or even the Hijab to support their love for cultural & religious diversity and ritualistic dancing that celebrate birth, death, the harvest, rain and the elements of life.
This style is also inspired by the underground arts, cult films and alternative movements, basically anything that sways away from the main stream. Many alternative women are drawn to this form of belly dance because it is liberating.
Much like when Odissi created choreography and outfits centered round a character in a story or poem, Tribal Fusion Belly Dance tries to emulate this concept also. You can see from photos of my current embellished Bra I have been inspired by the film Beetle Juice, the T.V series Penny Dreadful and I wanted to celebrate Samhain (Halloween). The black and white also symbolize the duel personalities within me because I appear gentle & reserved on the surface but I also have a strong alter-ego that is very primal & sensual.
The difference between cabaret belly dance & Tribal Fusion (in my opinion, because I’ve danced both styles) is that with Cabaret I don’t have to “think”, it’s kinda of like dancing just to look pretty, whereas with Tribal Fusion you have to build your character from the ground up and I always visualize myself dancing in a desert, forest or temple in the mountains. It’s about connecting to that wild woman within me and being a bridge between the earth and the heavens; essential I become the embodiment of a goddess.
You can read more about Tribal Fusion here.
On Saturday night I was invited to perform for a corporate party celebrating 10 years of their opening. It has been a while since I have performed due to being busy with other things such as becoming a kids yoga teacher in April, being away in Bulgaria in June and working all summer at a language school as an activity leader. So between April to September I’ve missed the festival season meaning I hadn’t the chance to promote myself this year for belly dance gigs at local events and festivals, which is something I usually do in early Spring.
My belly dance performances had to take a backseat this year but that’s OK, everything else I am doing is leading up to fusing the belly dance with my endeavors. This year I have also primarily focused on my yoga practice in prep for my yoga teacher training in the hope that I can create belly dance and yoga classes and workshops because I think both forms of movement compliment each other.
My plan is to be a teacher of English as my “day job” with the TEFL training I am currently doing and also teach dance, yoga and art classes as a freelancer on the side, whether I am teaching on home soil or abroad who knows? But this is gist of what I am aiming for.
So whilst it is a shame I haven’t performed much this year, you can understand why and it is for the greater good so to speak. Once I am fully qualified and settled as a professional, you’ll see more belly dance videos because I’ll have more time to promote myself.
I feel really grateful to have been asked to perform at this local event because it is just so great that I can post a new youtube video for any subscribers who may be wondering why I had disappeared and it also feels wonderful to be performing on Halloween and in my Tim Burton inspired costume. The floor was removable so my twirls weren’t top notch as I was worried I’d loose my footing and it was quite dark with no lighting on me however it did turn out to be a fun video I wanted to share with you all, it also includes a comedic guest appearance from a woman named Emily. Enjoy!
As a newly qualified & practicing kids yoga-dance teacher, belly dancer & art tutor, I fancied learning a bit more about dance movement therapy so I have enrolled on a 12 week, foundation diploma.
This dance movement diploma is at community level, meaning I can teach therapeutic dance in my local community but it does not qualify me as a dance psychotherapist (I’d need a Masters degree for that), this means a dance therapist can (if they want) refer clients onto my community classes after sessions with them have ended yet the individual wants to keep dancing in a safe place with a teacher who understands their struggles. Because I want to make fusion yoga, art and dance workshops to adults and children plus I already have a degree in Fine art and foundation diploma in Art as therapy, it makes sense to have a good, solid foundation to build my freelance business on. I now have excellent knowledge in mental health, how the body works, how creativity can be a tool to heal and how it all relates to the subtle body and how the subtle body reacts to stress, trauma and then in turn develops dis-ease like anxiety, depression and body dysmorphia.
There is a second half to this diploma which I may do in a year’s time. The second half is more practical with the main focus in developing & running 12 one hour classes to underprivileged children out in the community. I think once I have fully set up my Kids yoga classes with regulars and I’ve been teaching for a year, I will do it alongside a Level 2 in Counseling skills and I also fancy attending an evening class to learn a language as a hobby, perhaps Spanish or Japanese or both would be fun!
This dance therapy diploma is my third to last training course I both wanted and needed to do to make sure I have all the credentials I need to look, feel and be professional as a practicing freelance creative workshop facilitator who focuses on wellness and I will set up both group classes and take on individual clients. I see creativity as vital to our well-being, it is not just a hobby, being creative is good for the heart and settles the mind. So wish me luck everyone, I am nearly on the verge of being a freelancer!
The second to last training course on my “To-do” list is a TEFL course and I am enrolling on that very soon, I will blog about that shortly as to the reasons why I want to also be an English teacher to Foreign students alongside working as a freelancer.