Belly Fit Certification: what do you guys think?

Letizia

New member
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:shok:, 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 license:rolleyes:BIG 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.:D
 

Letizia

New member
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 :rolleyes:, 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.
 

Aziyade

New member
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)‬‏
 
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Letizia

New member
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...:naghty:Bad News!
 

Darshiva

Moderator
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.
 

Aniseteph

New member
.... 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. :confused:

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.
 

onela

New member
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:shok:, 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 license:rolleyes:BIG 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.:D
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...
 

Letizia

New member
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?
 

Aziyade

New member
I can't officially recommend this program, since I haven't done her teacher training, but I've done the workouts and I enjoy them a lot.

SharQui The Bellydance Workout

Oreet is a BEAUTIFUL dancer -- she's a belly dancer truly :) But she's also a fitness professional. She put her knowledge of both together into this program.

I would think a "belly for fitness" type of certification should come from somebody like Oreet -- who is both a dancer and a trainer.
 

onela

New member
You did say that your teacher was interested in the Belly Fit and for you to teach it, or did I get that wrong?
Nope, you've got the wrong end of the stick- my belly dance teacher is certified Bellyfit instructor (and fitness instructor).
 

Letizia

New member
The program that I am aware of may be different then. Most important thing is to do what is right for you! If your teacher is happy with the program, then as a professional, she would be able to determine its credibility.

Go For IT!:dance:
 

onela

New member
I can't officially recommend this program, since I haven't done her teacher training, but I've done the workouts and I enjoy them a lot.

SharQui The Bellydance Workout

Oreet is a BEAUTIFUL dancer -- she's a belly dancer truly :) But she's also a fitness professional. She put her knowledge of both together into this program.

I would think a "belly for fitness" type of certification should come from somebody like Oreet -- who is both a dancer and a trainer.
Aziyade, I missed your post when you posted it- I've looked at Oreet's stuff, looks totally awesome, but unfortunately, I can't imagine she has any plans to travel to Atlantic Canada to teach her certification and I can't travel to USA-land for it. FWIW I figure you're probably totally right though, Oreet is the BOMB :) I'm still familiarizing myself with the work of the Bellyfit fitness system creator but to my understanding, she's also a dancer and a fitness professional.
 

Oreet

New member
Aziyade, I missed your post when you posted it- I've looked at Oreet's stuff, looks totally awesome, but unfortunately, I can't imagine she has any plans to travel to Atlantic Canada to teach her certification and I can't travel to USA-land for it. FWIW I figure you're probably totally right though, Oreet is the BOMB :) I'm still familiarizing myself with the work of the Bellyfit fitness system creator but to my understanding, she's also a dancer and a fitness professional.
First, thank you everyone for your kind words!! It means a lot to me. I would love to come to Canada if someone is interested in hosting me. That's all it takes. Anyone interested in getting certified in SharQui and it having a presence in Canada? Feel free to email me at oreet@sharqui.com.
 

Isi

New member
So, what do you guys think about Bellyfit in general? If you're familiar with Bellyfit or an instructor, did you like the certification course? I'm looking for any and all discussion about bellyfit, if you're a student or a instructor, what do you like, what do you not like, what's the deal with Bellyfit?
Hello,
It might be too late to respond...but it's never too late to give information. I am a Bellyfit instructor, I got my certification over a year ago in Moncton, NB. I LOVE BELLYFIT. It's an amazing workout that include so much, cardio (like dance moves + steps), core (pilates, yoga) and lots of stretches at the end (unlike Zumba) and the magic ingredient, breathing exercises. By the way, it was born and raise ;) in Canada. It's slowly starting to expand outside of Canada.

Bellyfit is definitely a great asset to have if you like to have a holistic approach in what you teach. It is very flexible in so many ways and the class can vary depending on the instructors strengths. My classes are getting so full since I am the only instructor in my area. And I am adding 2 more classes per week. People love it because of it's holistic approach.

The Bellyfit family support their instructors a lot by providing them with music, choreography, marketing material, etc.

I have to say that I also got my Zumba instructor's certification and thought it was nothing compared to the comprehensive and robust certification (and supervision) that we got from Bellyfit. The training classes were way smaller with Bellyfit which insured a quality time with the trainor. I never taught Zumba since I did not feel connected to it...I had my monthly membership for 6 mths as an instructor with them and I can tell you that at a lower monthly fees with Bellyfit I got way more out of it.

Finally, Bellyfit is not a Belly Dancing fitness class. Bellyfit can have some Belly Dancing moves but not necessarily (only if the instructor wish to include it).

Oh...and you know what it burns a lot of calories!!! We did the test in a few of my class and we never burned lower than 700 calories per hour...according to our monitor. :)

Hope this help. Feel free to msg me if you want more info on Bellyfit!
 

shiradotnet

New member
Finally, Bellyfit is not a Belly Dancing fitness class. Bellyfit can have some Belly Dancing moves but not necessarily (only if the instructor wish to include it).
I'm confused - I thought it was based on belly dance? Why is it called Belly Fit if it's not based on belly dancing? :confused:
 

Isi

New member
I'm confused - I thought it was based on belly dance? Why is it called Belly Fit if it's not based on belly dancing? :confused:
I understand...I had the same understanding when I went for training. I was actually positively surprised when I came out of the training!

I guess when we, as Belly Dancing passionate, see Belly in something, we think it's related to Belly Dancing...but for Bellyfit, I believe that Belly is literal...and it's for the core exercise you get out of it. When I took the training, they told us that we had to remind the participants to always engage their core...So I think that's why it's called Bellyfit.

And after doing Bellyfit for over a year I can definitely tell you that Bellyfit is the perfect name for the workout!!! :)

Here how they define Bellyfit on the website: Bellyfit® is a fun and fresh, combination of moves inspired by Bellydance, African dance and Bollywood plus an intelligent infusion of yoga, pilates and meditation.

Hope that leave you less confuse :)
 

onela

New member
Hello,
It might be too late to respond...but it's never too late to give information....

Hope this help. Feel free to msg me if you want more info on Bellyfit!
Hi Isi! You're right, it's never too late, and I'm still considering certifying. Reading up on Bellyfit and researching the fitness industry generally got me on a path of persuing a Group Fitness Leader certification, so that's why I've been rather absent from the forums lately, been busy studying and trying different kinds of fitness classes etc. I love dance, but don't think it's realistic for me to have a "performance career", so when I realized I was good at counting backwards from 8, I thought that fitness would be a good path for me. I think teaching fitness will help me to satisfy my extroverted "look at me!" tendencies :)

Last August when the course was scheduled for my city wasn't a good time for me to do a course (I had just taken on a cool opportunity to do some work for an air show!), but nwo that things have calmed down and I've done all my Nova Scotia Fitness Association courses, I'm now planning to certify in February (when the course comes back 'round to Moncton, as it so happens!).

Thanks for the offer to message you for more info about Bellyfit, I make take you up on that in the new year when I'm starting to get geared up for it :) I agree that the name Bellyfit is perfect for this workout system, most of the instructors whose classes I've attended have been belly dance background and skew their class in that stylistic direction :)
 
Zumba was popular here in my area at the gyms but it seems to have lost it interest now. I only know one gym of 3 that still has zumba classes.
That's interesting. Zumba is still hugely popular here in Australia - I know several belly dance teachers who've trained as Zumba teachers in self-defence, just to avoid losing students.

I'll be very glad if it does go out of fashion! It's relatively high impact with lots of pivoting and violent hip actions, and physios are already reporting a fairly high level of injuries to knees and backs, especially amongst older women.
 
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