Hey guys! Bek Kelly here, keen to share with you all some of my recent dance-related experiences.
Recently, my dance journey has taken a huge leap - this started when I made the decision to teach bellydance. I’ve taught before - first as an assistant to my first teacher, then teaching on my own - but only in the context of workshops, aimed more at just getting people moving in a fun environment. This time, I mean business. I want to share this art form that I love on a more serious level.
What sparked my decision to start teaching?
It would be great if there were more suburbs where its accessible and more teachers (because finding a teacher who works for you is like trying to find a best friend - its hard! And also variety is good!). More students and a bigger community means more people at our events - which means more hafla’s and more international teachers who can be bought to Melbourne - all great things. A larger community means more dancers who can perform and bring their own interpretation of music and dance to the stage - I just want more beautiful bellydancers to watch.
For a long time teaching was in the ‘future’ basket for me - I felt I was too beginner, I didn’t know enough, and I wanted to make sure I knew my stuff before trying to teach it to other people. Even when I first booked in a studio for my classes, I still felt a little unready. But so many teachers and people talk about there never being a good time and about the necessity of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in order to grow. I have studied this dance form for eight years, and I really do want to do this. It’s time to just do it.
Getting serious about teaching
In my journey to make this long-held dream a reality there are a few steps that have made me feel far more confident in the content I plan to bring to my classes.
The first of these was starting my training in the Dance Therapeutics approach developed by Deb Rubin, who was bought to Melbourne in February by Antaresia members/Gilded Mask founders Brigid and Elise.
Dance Therapeutics training changed my relationship to my body and my dance. It deepened my relationship with my own body physically, unlocking my body and bringing in new awareness's. It also gave me new tools for understanding the anatomy of our bodies and how they work specifically within the context of bellydance; nowhere else in my dance journey have I been offered this type of information. Understanding of this depth is what I perceive good teachers as having, and something I strive to embody. Thankyou Deb, for this invaluable information.
And if you don't yet know anything about the Gilded Mask and the wonderful things these guys are doing to contribute to our community, I recommend you check out their website as well.
The next thing that really impacted my journey was finding a mentor. To go into such a journey with only internet searches and anecdotes from friends was intimidating and potentially unwise. Ma’isah is a talented Melbourne based dancer whose teaching skills I have heard wonderful things about. Highly respected in the scene, both locally and interstate/internationally, with over ten years or teaching experience, she was my first choice of mentor for this journey.
If you'd like to learn more about her, check out the link below
I absolutely made a great decision in this; Ma'isah came to our first session brimming with wisdom, advice, and encouragement. She bought me a notebook with advice already written in it - a priceless gift. Support on both a practical and emotional level has been valuable to me beyond words. Thankyou Kylie.
If you’re a dancer and have friends looking to start learning, feel free to recommend my classes! If you’re looking to get involved in this amazing art form, shoot me an email.
Feel free to check out the facebook event.
I would also love to hear from you guys about your experiences with dance teachers - what they did right, what they did wrong, what you loved or what didn’t quite sit right with you. What you look for in a teacher, what you love most about your class - I’m so keen to know!
Leave a comment in the section below or if that’s too public, feel free to send me or the Antaresia page an email.
Love and Shimmies
Bek Kelly of Antaresia Tribal