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  1. #21
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    Belly Fit, in the US, is registered under a company in California...Is the certification program through the same company?. Will the class be done in fitness shoes or barefoot?

    I can tell you that with Zumba, you take the course which licenses you to use their music and choro...it does not teach you, outside of basic steps, three or four per dance, the dances or proper techniques. Have you ever seen the Zumba Bellydance? YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But then again, the classes are designed for anyone to be able to follow. I do my own choreography, and Zumba instructors are encouraged to if they are able.

    I am Zumba certified, I am also a former ballet dancer and for the last 20+ years I have been a professional ballroom and Latin dancer, competitior, coach, blah, blah, blah, I have some dance knowledge. I was appalled to see that 90% of my class (Zumba Certification) had NO knowledge of any Latin or other dance forms, and in many cases could not do a basic Merengue march. The licenses give you permission to use their materials. The program does not guarantee that it's instructors will know JACK about the dances. Zumba does encourage its instructors to seek out further instruction in the dances, but we all know it takes more than one or two lessons to understand how to hold yourself and move correclty.

    Technique is important for the students safety.

    Fitness programs that incorporate dance are great in that they allow people of all walks to try something that they might otherwise be apprehinsive about.
    You put fitness on the end of anything and it is then widly accepted. Case in point, Pole Dancing Fitness, not my thing, but there you have it.

    If you do decide to do this, you might also look into getting your personal trainers license or group fitness license, it will cost you another 100.00 or so for the study material and then about 300.00 to take the tests and then you pay 50.00 per month to maintain you licenseBIG BUSINESS. Zumba is the same.

    Also, do yourself a favor, and yes this also costs money, but it is well worth it, get insurance. You can, at least in the US, carry a million dollar policy for about 170.00 per year, but heaven forbid someone should get hurt and come after you.

    Outside of the investments that you will make to certify yourself, fitness is at an all time high and will allow you opportunity to make additional income.

    It's definately worth looking into, just don't allow your technical knowledge to be compromised.

  2. #22
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    Default Bellyfit...same company in California

    This is the same company from California and the training is currently being marketed to Canada. It is open to anyone , no BD experience necessary, just a desire to "save the community through fitness".
    As with Zumba, don't be surprised if you are the only one who knows anything about BD.

    I will share one more thing, when I started teaching Zumba, I did use their BD choreography in the beginning, keep in mind this is a cardio workout, done in fitness shoes, so I knew that the BD was to be representative of the art but not really, well.... I pulled my hip out, and it was in bad shape for several months. This was my first injury in 40 years! And that is why I do what I know is correct, in the BD and the Latin. Do the same, you are paying to use the name for marketing purposes.
    Best wishes, stay true to yourself and your art.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Letizia View Post
    I will share one more thing, when I started teaching Zumba, I did use their BD choreography in the beginning, keep in mind this is a cardio workout, done in fitness shoes, so I knew that the BD was to be representative of the art but not really, well.... I pulled my hip out, and it was in bad shape for several months. This was my first injury in 40 years!
    Letizia, I know it's a thread hijack and I'm sorry, but I'm curious about "Bellydance" as it is practiced by Zumba teachers. Does the Zumba program actually TEACH anything close to bellydance? Or do you just learn a choreography that is supposed to be bellydance, but done in Zumba/Cardio style?

    ETA - The only thing I've seen as far as Zumba bellydance is horrid stuff like this:

    YouTube - ‪Zumba belly dance with Veronica-Zumbathon VA March 2009‬‏

    And this bizarre "Egyptian" interpretation:
    YouTube - ‪Gymjuf Carla - Zumba Bellydance (Egyptian)‬‏
    Last edited by Aziyade; 06-02-2011 at 07:09 PM.

  4. #24
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    Aziyade, that is exactly what it is.

    As I said, you don't need to know anything about any of the dances to be a Zumba instructor. You don't have to be able to dance at all. I am afraid that Bellydance was really murdered, it is a gross representation of BD, and it is dangerous. Cross training shoes on a sticky floor...Bad News!

  5. #25
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    I threw up in my mouth a little. What was that????

  6. #26
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Anyone got a stake or silver bullet handy?

  7. #27
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    Re the second video:

    Quoting my husband: "That was f*ing insulting" and "That was bloody awful"

    My own take - and this is what happens when your training just covers useage rights and not how to actually do or teach what you are training to teach.

    Re the first video:

    Much better than the second, better choreo, better listening to the music, but it has a more samba-ey feel to it.

    In conclusion, I'm glad I did my first (and only) taste of zumba with a bellydance instructor rather than doing it locally.

  8. #28
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Letizia View Post
    .... I pulled my hip out, and it was in bad shape for several months. This was my first injury in 40 years!
    Looking at what they were doing in the first clip, I am surprised it doesn't put lots of hips out - it looked pretty extreme and if I was trying to throw myself into doing the same as the instructor I'd hurt myself. Maybe if you get to that part of the class and are too tired to do it anything but half-assed, not so bad.

    I remember my doctor a few years back when step aerobics was all the rage saying they saw loads of messed up knees from it.

    "save the community through fitness"
    Really? Ugh. <googles> OMG, "workout for a global community", it's true. I like the idea of dance party as exercise, but bleurgh, global corporate megabranding, include me out.

  9. #29
    Member onela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Letizia View Post
    Belly Fit, in the US, is registered under a company in California...Is the certification program through the same company?. Will the class be done in fitness shoes or barefoot?

    I can tell you that with Zumba, you take the course which licenses you to use their music and choro...it does not teach you, outside of basic steps, three or four per dance, the dances or proper techniques. Have you ever seen the Zumba Bellydance? YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But then again, the classes are designed for anyone to be able to follow. I do my own choreography, and Zumba instructors are encouraged to if they are able.

    I am Zumba certified, I am also a former ballet dancer and for the last 20+ years I have been a professional ballroom and Latin dancer, competitior, coach, blah, blah, blah, I have some dance knowledge. I was appalled to see that 90% of my class (Zumba Certification) had NO knowledge of any Latin or other dance forms, and in many cases could not do a basic Merengue march. The licenses give you permission to use their materials. The program does not guarantee that it's instructors will know JACK about the dances. Zumba does encourage its instructors to seek out further instruction in the dances, but we all know it takes more than one or two lessons to understand how to hold yourself and move correclty.

    Technique is important for the students safety.

    Fitness programs that incorporate dance are great in that they allow people of all walks to try something that they might otherwise be apprehinsive about.
    You put fitness on the end of anything and it is then widly accepted. Case in point, Pole Dancing Fitness, not my thing, but there you have it.

    If you do decide to do this, you might also look into getting your personal trainers license or group fitness license, it will cost you another 100.00 or so for the study material and then about 300.00 to take the tests and then you pay 50.00 per month to maintain you licenseBIG BUSINESS. Zumba is the same.

    Also, do yourself a favor, and yes this also costs money, but it is well worth it, get insurance. You can, at least in the US, carry a million dollar policy for about 170.00 per year, but heaven forbid someone should get hurt and come after you.

    Outside of the investments that you will make to certify yourself, fitness is at an all time high and will allow you opportunity to make additional income.

    It's definately worth looking into, just don't allow your technical knowledge to be compromised.
    Thanks Letzia for your insights as they relate to Zumba and the advice about insurance (Canada has less "litigation culture" than the states but I still think it's good advice, I checked out another instructor's Bellyfit class last night and we had this conversation). These are concerns I have as well and have been one focus in my researching. So far, the few Bellyfit certified instructors in my area predominantly have a belly dance base. I've done some digging and there are plenty of facilities that I could work at if I have Bellyfit, CPR, and insurance- I see this as a possible way to dabble in fitness instruction that's less expensive than straight up persuing full fitness certification (400 bucks plus cpr). Like I've mentioned, if I do this I'm thinking of it as a way to dabble in fitness instruction and see if I'd like to do it as much as I think I would, and if I do like it, then I'm going to fund fitness instruction certification through work as a bellyfit instructor. I'm interested in Bellyfit because I think my experience in dance generally and belly dance specifically would be put to great use to make me money- that's why I'm interested in Bellyfit and not Zumba (your example of other Zumba instructors who didn't have a latin dance base made me cringe!). My mum loves sending me videos from youtube of Zumba belly dance routines, by the way...

  10. #30
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    I guess the main point is this. Zumba is widly recognized and a very HOT item now for fitness facilities to offer their clientele' because it is easy to do, and it appeals to all fitness levels, and I do think that it does promote in it's own way, curiosity about the dances involved. People who have never heard of Samba are now interested in Samba, even though the Zumba Samba is not even close to Samba, same as the Bd. My big issue is that Zumba has become too big, and greedy, allowing everyone and anyone to become certified without any dance or fitness knowledge, and now there is total saturation of "instructors", and those who teach lousy classes because they don't know anything, make the rest of us look bad.

    I am going to offer my personal opinion, and of course, you do for yourself what is right...Put together your own bellydance fitness program, and market yourself and your BD studio..You did say that your teacher was interested in the Belly Fit and for you to teach it, or did I get that wrong?

    BD is great fitness all on it's own, but if you want to be able to create a program that will appeal to everyone the way that Zumba does, it is not hard to do and the best part is that it would be true Bellydancing.

    ...If you would like me to share how to put it together, I'd be happy to, you can easily use the format to put together a program suitable to all levels.

    If BellyFit get's big, you might want to jump on the bandwagon, but until then, why spend the $ on someone elses name?

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