Why are you a teacher?


I thought it might be interesting to explore the motivations we had to become teachers. So, what happened for you… What motivated you to start teaching other people?


I started teaching belly dance because twenty years or so ago the woman I was taking lessons from decided she wanted to take lessons from me instead (very flattering). She turned her classes over to me and voila- I was a teacher. I've retired from teaching at least twice, but have been teaching this third time for five and a half years. What motivates me to keep teaching is a love for the dance and a passion for seeing my students blossom.


New member
I got asked...first by girls at my High school after a visit form my teacher on "cultural day". I am happy to report they are mostly still dancing post university and one is part of a dance company.
Then I was asked by two colleges. I refused at first to teach in my town as there was 3 classes already. There is only 1 other now so I agreed this time. As a qualified schoolteacher, I fit certain criteria for working for colleges and laterly they are actually starting to ask about my qaualifications/experience as a belly dancer. Gosh Yipee!
So I fell into teaching by default, I never meant to. I do much much prefer working with a small group in a semi-private situation and intend that the Tribal class turns into a troupe as this is what they seem to want and that suits me and that's how it should be.


New member
I was asked too.

My first ever class was set up by another local teacher and I taught improver - intermediate level for people in the North West region who wanted an extra push.

I chose not to teach weekly classes as it did not appeal to me.
However, I did get asked alot to teach workshops so that is what I did (and still do) and I do enjoy that.

I was asked again to start teaching monthly for improvers - intermediate level, so I did. It has been very succesful and I enjoy it alot.


New member
I was initially asked by another teacher to share her school. She had the moves but I had experience in teaching and designing courses as a trained High School teacher and knowledge about folk styles and history. What's more she wanted to teach "dancers" rather than beginners but realized it was those frustrating beginners (who I was happy tp teach the same things term after term) that made the school pay :D

After a few years I began to feel stifled under someone else's vision and with poor health bowed out. When I got back into it, it was filling the weaknesses I could see locally ie I offered small classes with one on one attention; planned classes informed with Middle Eastern culture, history and folk dance; no performance or exam pressure.


New member
I started teaching only 7 years ago...i hade been performing at that time for around 20 years...I hade the feeling i could not do ,,new,, things anymore....i was very happy on stage but i felt i hade been to so many country,s did so many many shows was performing dayli all this years ...yes i changed costumes and musics and choreo all the time ...but i felt where do i perform next? i did shows for TV, FILMS ,the rich and famous...in palaces ,for royalty,s ,charity,s tourist,theatre.hotels ,the best places in the world,for children,grandmothers...i felt i did it all...But at the same time i was living in the middle east and was always very worried about keeping my name clean..here bellydancers have a ,,stamp,, and most off the looked at with other toughts then ,,dancing,,so i hade to be very carefull....so i would forever and ever entre my workplace from the backdoor and leave from there after the show...would never talk to any off the geust...or socialize...it left me realy lonely...i was very succesfull as a dancer but on my way home i cry,d many nights because i was alone most of the time....year after year...So when i people ask me to start teaching i was thinking at first i would not have the time..because of my shows.but when i made time for it i realized that it is a great way to be with people and talk and communicate...it was a real treat....so from that time on i kept my classes at first just 2 hours a week and then it was getting to more and more classes...Now i realy have a great time teaching and it is so nice to see students grow and try harder and harder and even do the homework i give them...there is a very nice atmosphere in the class because Dubai is a place from many differant cultures so i have like over 20 differant nationality,s in class and people meet up there and make new friends its realy nice we are all happy to see eachother So teaching for me is very rewarding and i feel i can still ,,grow ,,now because i teach them new stuff all the time...So for me its great and i hope i can do this for many years to come....have a nice day all


I'd been dancing for about 4 years when my teacher asked me to help out in her class. Things fell out between us and I decided to look into teacher training as I thought I might be moving to a rural area with no teachers and I didn't feel qualified to teach on the basis of what I had learned to date. 2 years later, here I am, fully qualified & ready to learn more! ;)

Anthea Kawakib

New member
I was asked too -
I didn't think anything of it at the time, it was my two closest friends asking me, and the closest teacher was miles & miles away (I was commuting). So anyway lucky for me my teacher also did Teacher Training back before it was the "thing to do" in bellydance LOL so she started working on me in terms of teaching. I credit her effusively if that's the word I want, Bedia (Sandy) now in Florida. She'd just started teaching Zumba last I talked to her -

But I love the path teaching's taken me on even tho it's been steep & rocky at times; but it always smoothes out & you get to the most wonderful views :D


I was already a teacher when I was still in high school myself (not belly dance) for stage make-up classes and I really liked it, so I guess I was born a teacher. One day a group of women asked me to teach them belly dance and that's how it started :)
I really love the process of people learning things they never thought they could ever learn and seeing them getting fit and happy.


New member
At first my first teacher asked me after 2 years of lessons with her to assist her in big crowded classes.
After started slow by slow with beginers.
After took a 3 year break as felt that whatever i knew was rubbish.
And started learning again from the begining.
When started again to teach, had already a group waiting for me to start.
Its my life passion, i just cant explain it... its part of my life.

Maria Aya, Greece

Deb Rolfe

New member
I started teaching children at the playcentre's where I live, I'd been dancing for 7 years with Khaled, so I knew a bit... the parents of the children saw what they were learning and asked me to teach them.. I said no at first, but Khaled and my husband encouraged me so I did ~ and now have been teaching beginners for 3 years, have my own troupe and we love it, we perform at old peoples homes and school fairs, and do lots of charity work for the Town council, which get's my class used to performing... we have been asked to dance at a couple of shows in 2010 so I think things are looking good..:pray: I still teach the kids in the summer months and they look forward to me comming and of course they love the coin belts and costumes xx


New member
I started to teach on purpose.
I was attending 2 dance classes at the time, but felt i wasnt being pushed enough. I was already doing my own choreographies and dancing solos at haflas, but my teachers, although good friends, wouldnt help me develop more and when i offered them my choreographies pretty much told me to piss off...so thats what i did!
I started my first class in the small village where i live (and where their was already one other class) but i thought screw it, i dont care about stepping on peoples toes, i need the stimulation and i knew other dancers in the area felt the same...plus the other class was run by one of my ex teachers who said id never get anywhere on my own...so i threw down the gauntlet so to speak. and it worked, my class took off!
I now teach 4 classes a week including a kids class where the younters are 5years old. and i also teach a dance troup that i set up. I teach arabic fusion style, a mix of egyptian, turkish, balkan, tribal, gypsy music, bhangra...pretty much anything thats got a beat to it ill teach!
I teach because i love it, passing on an ancient art form especially to the kids gives me pleasure. it also stimulates my mind, creating dances and mastering new moves. But more than that i like to help others and i have many girls who have danced before and felt as i once did, understimulated. so for me its the giving back of what iv learnt that does it.
Bellybaby x


New member
I started teaching because I wanted to share what I had learnt with other people. I love Middle Eastern dance and I really enjoy teahcing it. Once I became confident enough to teach it to other people, it was almost a natural decision. I suppose teaching is an additional way to be more involved with this art form.


New member
For the love of it!

I started teaching for the love of the dance...
but also because after listening to comments from from both teachers and other dancers, I felt there was a real need to teach things from the beginning a certain way.

There are a lot of teachers out there who show moves - but don't break things down for their students (what is oft referred to as "follow the bouncing butt"), or explain why a movement should be done this way vs. another (injury prevention, form, æsthetics, etc).


New member
It seemed the next logical step for me. I had outgrown my original teacher a long time ago. I had performed as a soloist and a troupe member for years. People kept asking me to teach, but I didn't feel ready and was more focused on performing.

Well, the troupe I was dancing with at the time got real weird about a lot of things so I ended my involvement with them. There were three teachers in town and after I gave it a lot of thought, I called a dance teacher I have great respect for and asked her opinion about my teaching idea. She was honest with me and said it would have been better if I had ten years as a dancer before teaching. I had eight at that time. She did give me her blessing and told me I had something to offer in my area.

To fill in the gaps, I took a few courses such as teaching group fitness, got my personal trainer certificate, and got the first aid and cpr stuff done. I looked into copyright law, liability, etc. I watched a ton of belly dance for beginner videos to see different ways material was presented, went to a lot of workshops, read everything I could find, and studied, studied, studied!


New member
I started taking bellydance in January 1975. My teacher had a large studio with several teachers (Meara of Dallas, Texas). She started offering teacher training after I had been studying with her for a few of years and had become one of the dancers she sent out on occasional gigs. I took the training although I didn't really plan on teaching at that time since I had a full time career and a family. After that, I subsitute taught whenever any of the regular teachers were out until her studio closed.

Fast forward to the late 90's when I discovered American Tribal Style. I studied ATS for a few years although I continued to take classes with old friends and workshops with Egyptian teachers brought over by Tambra and Little Egypt. Although I love watching raqs sharqi I don't feel comfortable performing or teaching it because I don't speak Arabic and I feel it is very important to understand the music. It's all about interpreting the music. Anyway, my love of ATS prevailed so I started teaching that and formed my own dance troupe.

I moved away in 2006 and miss my old dance friends very much. I went to San Francisco and took the FCBD General Skills intensive in 2008. So I have decided to start teaching ATS again.


New member
I started teaching because I wanted people to dance with. That simple. There are no schools here nor do I run one, I just work with my little campus troupe. Litte referring to the size of the troupe and the campus. I love the art form and I have been blessed with students who do as well.