Changes, they are a’comin (for Celebrations Bellydance)

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin. Thank you for this quote, Amber. It comes at a very timely moment for me. I have been thinking a lot lately about what is next for me in my dance life, especially as concerns the school. Keeping in mind that I also work a full-time day job as an administrative assistant at Yukon College, I am also going to be 50 in July and I am feeling like I want need fewer commitments on my time. I would especially like to have my weekends back. I feel resentful when Kelly goes to the lake for the weekend and I can’t go, too. I don’t mean to complain, but I would love to just spend a Sunday together with my husband, or cleaning my house or walking my dog, going for a ski, reading a book, taking a class or working on a quilt….those Sunday things that the rest of the Whitehorse world enjoys. Saturday is my only day off and that is the day I do my lesson planning. I truly am not complaining – I love my students! They bring me such joy! I love teaching and definitely don’t want to quit, but I do want to cut back (or cut out entirely) the Sunday schedule. And I have been teaching as Celebrations Bellydance for 10 years now – that’s quite an accomplishment! But I am tired. Just plain old tired. Period. I am also tired of the same-old same-old. I want a change. And the school needs a change, too – some freshening up. Maybe a change is as good as a rest, like the saying goes. So I’ve been thinking about it. A lot. I don’t have any answers yet, but a lot of possibilities are running through my head. One possibility is taking a year off. Another possibility is offering one single mixed level Special Topics class on Sunday late afternoons (4pm?) Or maybe a junior student troupe/choreography intensive where students who want to learn a performance piece would come each week to learn & polish something up for presentation in a show. Or maybe a Thursday evening Special Topics. Or two special topics classes, one each on Sunday & Thursday. I will also need to offer an Intro class for brand new dancers. I’m thinking of a 6-week session. Brand new dancers would be required to take two 6-week intro sessions and could then come into the mixed level Special Topics. Maybe one of my advanced dancers would like to teach the 6-week intro. classes? And then there’s Saba rehearsals, too. And where to take Saba next. And the question who is going to renew their commitment to the performing group and who is going to take this rest period after the Casbah show to turn in her hipscarf and move on to other things. Another possibility for me that I have been thinking a little bit about is this: A Beautiful Spaces Workshop Series for Bellydancers…dream or reality? One thing I have thought about for a couple of years is teaching a series of workshop intensives in beautiful places around town. Imagine an in-depth look at the baladi taxim while surrounded by beautiful art at the Yukon Art Gallery, or an isolation intensive at Arts Underground. How inspiring! Learn basic finger cymbals & rhythms in a clearing on Kishwoot Island or at the suspension bridge. Examine film footage, participate in a discussion & try some of Samia Gamal’s or Suhair Zaki’s signiture movements at the museum. Take a “beautiful hands & arms” intensive on the banks of the river, or in someone’s private home with a view. Examine dancing with archetypal shapes in the Visitor’s Reception Centre. Learn travelling steps & combos as you move through the exibits at the Beringia Centre. Learn performance skills & how to connect with your audience in one small theatre space and practice improvisation skills in another. Veil in a beautiful lobby or atrium. A choreography intensive in the upstairs lobby of the Arts Centre. Taxim at the Archives. Study the various instruments you hear in traditional music & how to dance to them in a beautiful meeting room at one of the hotels. Learn about the folkloric dances of Egypt & their relationship to modern Cairo style sharqi at the Old Log Church. Learn some of the history of Middle Eastern dance at an outdoor brunch. A khaleegi workshop followed by a gulf dance party on the SS Klondike. I wonder if there would be funding to offer a workshop series like this? Some would be open to all bellydancers, all levels, all interests, others would be open to the general public, depending on the topic & experience required. This is an idea that makes me feel very excited. Anyway, consider the heads-up given – changes are a’commin’. I don’t know what the flower will look like when it blossoms out of the bud, but it’s bursting to get out and show itself. I am on the edge of my seat to see what it will look like.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!