Serena shares her passion for Belly Dance

In Fall 2013 we welcomed Serena to the Saddletowne team as our new Belly Dance Instructor. Her classes have experienced great interest and success and we are happy to offer her classes again beginning January 6th. Below is a promotional video and personal story created & written by Serena, that she has allowed me to share with you…
I first became interested in studying the art of belly dance about 10 years ago, after purchasing a CD containing Middle Eastern music.  I had a background in ballet, jazz and contemporary dance, but curiosity about my mother’s Egyptian heritage lead me to exploring her culture further.  I was attracted to the beautiful, emotional and mysterious
melodies of Middle Eastern music, and as a dancer I wanted to learn how to express this music in my body – so naturally I took a belly dance class. From that day on, I was captivated by feminine spirit, elegance and grace of belly dance and continued my studies by taking classes and workshops in Calgary and abroad.
One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had since I started teaching belly dance is the confidence I can bring to women by helping them discover these movements in their bodies.  The basis of belly dance technique is isolation of the hips, stomach, ribcage, shoulders, but to me it is much more than that.  With continued practice these movements can feel natural and liberating for many women regardless of their body type. I love seeing the joy experienced by my students when they do their first hip shimmy.  I’ve had students that come into their first class feeling shy and uncertain, but after several weeks of class they start to come out of their shells and begin to smile at themselves in the mirror and feel comfortable in their own skin.
My class environment involves a friendly and fun approach learning belly dance – I use a lot of humour in my classes so be prepared to laugh as you learn!  Enjoy a pre warm up for core stability and strengthening, exploration of style and technique, simple choreography, and an ending stretch to lengthen and cool down.   Aside from the confidence and self esteem belly dance can bring, it is also great exercise. Belly dance can tone and strengthen the hips, legs, buttocks and of course the belly!  The graceful and flowing movements of the arms and hands are beneficial for the upper body as well.  I also discuss some key points in the history and culture of belly dance including interpretation of music and
Arabic song translations.
While I am an instructor and performer of belly dance, I believe in the concept of being a student for life. So even though I teach belly dance, I still continue to learn and develop my skills and share this knowledge with the students in my classes.  Learning is half the
fun.  It is important to grow and expand – not only our skills but who we are.
Classes offered by Serena at Saddletowne YMCA
Registered Classes:

Belly Dance Level 1
Mondays 6:30-7:30pm

Belly Dance Level 2
Mondays | 7:45-8:45pm
Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full details.

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