by little woo
Curiosity and attraction are powerful breadcrumbs to follow.
If you notice these feelings arise around a certain topic, I recommend exploring with an Experiment (or an Adventure)!
We learn more by taking action than by wondering endlessly…
And often, being overly bold rather than overly cautious, can be very informative.
Here’s how Bellydance piqued my curiosity and the odd journey that followed…
It’s 2002. I’d just completed a long-term relationship.
My body says: You’re gonna help me heal. Let’s bellydance.
Me: Bellydance? Wow, where did that idea come from?
My body: Just do it. Trust me.
Follow your body’s guidance
Summer 2002. I drop in for a few nights at a community center bellydance class.
Strangely enough, I don’t feel compelled to take a full course.
Be enthusiastic and audacious
Fall 2002. Despite my lack of training, I am bitten by the Bellydance bug!
I start doing performances around town.
Gulp! Say Yes To New Challenges
January 2003. I’m improvising in the empty studio at a local gym. The manager comes in.
Manager: Can you teach dance?
Me: (slight pause) …Yes!
Suddenly, I am a guest instructor there.
Week by week, I teach myself how to dance by teaching others.
Guess the saying by Richard Bach “You teach best what you most need to learn” was never truer…
Take more action to get more clarity
May 2003. I rent a lovely dance studio downtown to continue the teaching experiment.
I don’t see it as a business or profession – I am just following the energy that compels me.
(I call it “Tantric Bellydance” – allowing room for my own concepts and differentiating it from traditional styles that I knew little about)
As I teach, I recognize that it’s not my mission to propagate this genre of dance AND I don’t want to keep building as a bellydance instructor.
With this clarity, I stop teaching bellydance after two years of experimentation.
However, ALL of the skills I acquired were crucial to projects I did later on…
~ How to move & dance
~ How to be confident in my body
~ How to choreograph & teach movement
~ How to facilitate a group workshop
~ How to develop original curriculum
~ How to build a following from scratch
~ How to promote an event
~ How to take care of venue logistics
What I learned About Myself:
~ That I love facilitation & group work
~ That I love developing curriculum
~ That I want to teach something I’m very invested in
~ That I have a knack for “building the plane as I fly it”
(Ocean and I – rehearsing choreography at my place in 2011)
It’s a good habit to answer when curiosity calls
Summer 2011. A recurring curiosity about Fusion Bellydance drives me to ask my friend Ocean (an advanced fusion bellydancer) to perform and teach with me at Entheos Festival… No agenda. Just honoring the desire to do it.
Sometimes it’s magical to do things ass-backwards
January 2014. Twelve years after the first breadcrumb, I take official bellydance classes! (with Luciterra Dance)
I bow to all dance instructors for their loving dedication to their practice and their students.
My journey was unconventional but I really wasn’t being irreverent about the art of bellydance.
Sometimes, it’s very important to be precocious. This attitude has led me to do some pretty interesting things.
Sometimes, it’s better to jump way ahead yourself, than to never jump at all.
What’s your story?
Did you ever follow a curiosity with some audacity? What did you learn about yourself?
Please share in the comments below – I would love to know your story!!
(My two costumes for the student show in April 2014)
Our Level 1 performance on April 12, 2014. (I’m on the farthest right)
Our level 2 performance on April 12, 2014 (I’m on the farthest left)