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  1. #1
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    Default Hello from Western Pennsylvania

    Hi! I'm totally new to belly dance. I took a workshop almost 10 years ago and loved it, but I lacked the confidence to keep it up and haven't danced since then. A few months ago I borrowed a workout video to help me firm up my problem tummy, and it featured a lot of "belly dancing" techniques in it. This renewed my interest, and I've been doing a lot of online research and watching a lot of instructional videos since then. I really want to take it seriously this time. I've developed more confidence over the years, and I am now mature enough to understand how belly dancing can help improve the confidence even more. In addition to confidence, I want to develop a healthy feminine figure. I want to shed a lot of pounds without losing a lot of my curves. I know belly dance can help me do that. I've developed a practice schedule based on my research and what I remembered from the workshop I took so long ago. The closest belly dancing classes are in Pittsburgh which is a little too far for me, so I haven't had any formal classes, yet. I grew up doing ballet, and I've been doing yoga for a while, so I'm using what I know about body alignment to keep me injury free. I'll continue to train the way I'm training now, and hopefully I'll get a chance to spend time with a good teacher soon.

  2. #2
    Member Lotus Dancer's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome,
    It's wonderful to see that you have returned to Bellydance.
    DVD's and the internet are wonderful tools to use to educate yourself on many aspects of dance.
    Yoga is also a wonderful element to add to bellydance (take a look at Rachel Brice) and she says Yoga has been one of the best exercises she has done to advance her in dance.
    So Heatherlyn you've got some wonderful experience behind you.
    How far away is your nearest class?
    Maybe you could find out when they are having w/shops. Workshops normally run for approx. 2 - 3 hrs, and are so worth travelling for.
    Lot's of teachers will run a beginners class.
    I'm actually travelling to a w/shop next weekend. (It's 8 hrs away)
    Normally I only travel 2-3 hrs for w/shops, but this ones a Goodie!!!
    Well lovely to meet you.
    Smiles to you from Down Under.
    Lotus Dancer

  3. #3
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Welcome to the family, Heatherlynn!

    With your ballet and yoga experience plus your dedication, you'll be a super bellydancer in no time!

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the welcome!

    The closest class that I know of is about an hour away. Their style is tribal fusion which is a style I LOVE to watch (Rachel Brice is mesmerizing) but that really isn't the direction I want my dancing to go. I'd have to travel even further to study the styles that I think suit my personality better. I guess any style of instruction is better than nothing, though. My primary concern right now is my inability to commit to an organized class. I work in retail management and have wacky schedules that will just get wackier as the holiday seasons approach. My schedule combined with the long commute makes me nervous about starting a class and then not being there often enough. I'm waiting to make my decision about classes after the first of the year. That will give me a few more months to explore the art form on my own and more time to HOPEFULLY find something closer. I need to research workshops. I haven't done a lot of looking around yet.

  5. #5
    Member steffib's Avatar
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    Welcome to PA! It's a lovely part of the world (I live and dance in the 'Burgh).

    Where exactly are you? There are classes outside of Pittsburgh, but they are not too well advertised. If you post to the Pittsburgh Bellydance Yahoo group, or to the Pittsburgh Bellydance tribe (on tribe.net), you may get some leads closer to home. There is also a fairly active community in Erie, in case you're that far up North.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by steffib View Post
    Welcome to PA! It's a lovely part of the world (I live and dance in the 'Burgh).

    Where exactly are you? There are classes outside of Pittsburgh, but they are not too well advertised. If you post to the Pittsburgh Bellydance Yahoo group, or to the Pittsburgh Bellydance tribe (on tribe.net), you may get some leads closer to home. There is also a fairly active community in Erie, in case you're that far up North.
    I'm south and east of Pittsburgh. I live in central Westmoreland County if you know where that is. I work in Monroeville (on the eastern border of Allegheny county), but that's the closest I ever get to the city.

    I will look. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Member steffib's Avatar
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    CCAC (Home | Community College of Allegheny County) used to have bellydance classes at Boyce Campus - not sure whether these are still offered, and if you yes, who is teaching.

    Also, in the city (which is unfortunately a bit of a trip from where you live), there are non-tribal-fusion classes. I teach beginner classes at the Inner Vagabond (Your Inner Vagabond - Coffehouse and World Lounge) on Saturdays, and starting in September, Dance Alloy will have weekly classes on Wednesday nights (Dance Alloy Theater | Welcome).

    Happy dancing!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steffib View Post
    CCAC (Home | Community College of Allegheny County) used to have bellydance classes at Boyce Campus - not sure whether these are still offered, and if you yes, who is teaching.

    Also, in the city (which is unfortunately a bit of a trip from where you live), there are non-tribal-fusion classes. I teach beginner classes at the Inner Vagabond (Your Inner Vagabond - Coffehouse and World Lounge) on Saturdays, and starting in September, Dance Alloy will have weekly classes on Wednesday nights (Dance Alloy Theater | Welcome).

    Happy dancing!


    Thank you!

    My plan is start classes after the holidays (I'm an overly dedicated, workaholic retail manager going into the craziest time of the year), so I'll definitely keep Dance Alloy's Spring Semester in mind when I'm considering my options. They have an excellent reputation. CCAC's spring schedule isn't available, yet, but that would be my best option since I work only a few minutes from the Boyce Campus. Who knows, you may even end up seeing me at Inner Vagabond!

    You've been an excellent help, and it's nice to know there's someone local here on this forum.

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