Ballet was my first love. I studied it for years and actually became quite good. I even studied at WAAPA for 12 months. So I really do find it hilarious twist of fate that I now teach belly dancing!
Discovering belly dance was a liberation. It made me dance in a completely different direction from ballet. Ballet taught me to pull my tummy and bottom in at all times, and to lift and reach for the sky. Belly dancing has taught me to accentuate my tummy and bottom, and how to ground and connect myself to the earth. It's like the two styles are opposite sides of the same coin.
I absolutely love combining elements from the two. Fusion is the perfect description of how I love to dance. Fusion of all the different forms of dance I have been exposed to over the years. Every form of dance has the same principal at heart, expression.
I am also a bit of a hippie, and dancing holds a spiritual significance for me. I like following the rhythms of nature and tend to let those rhythms influence my class structure. We all have highs and lows connected to the moon cycle. When we're in a period of low energy, we'll have a slower class focusing on our bodies. Around the high energy of a full moon, we have more of a party vibe and dance dance dance!
The Sisters of Samarkand School of Belly Dance has such a beautiful philosophy of inclusion. It has been a joy and a privilege to be part of this school since it's inception. All my experiences with this marvellous group of women have been a huge influence on who I am today, and the woman I am yet to be. I hope everyone who dances with the Sisters is touched in some way.