Susan's Blog

Monday, October 22, 2007

Special Bellies?

I have a new admiration for teachers — real ones, that is, the ones who face classes of 20+ kids of all different learning styles and abilities for six hours straight. Or those who deal with classes of seven, like Nat’s. I believe teaching is one of the most demanding jobs a person can have because I now see firsthand how you have to get to know each child and figure out how to get the material across to them, or why they aren’t able to master it.

In my Baby Bellies class, I only have four girls, but each one brings her own special challenges. I can’t help but start to love them as I get to know them and watch how they learn. Sometimes they make me want to laugh out loud, they are so fun and sweet. Other times, my patience is stretched worse than my thigh muscles, because this one is spacing out and that one is talking and talking and talking to me, and another is being so quiet that I don’t know what she’s thinking.

I began with showing them a brief performance DVD, Jillina from the Bellydance Superstars. Two different girls asked if that was me. Awwwww…

They squealed with delight when I pulled out new veils which I had made by cutting up the chiffon swags from my party decorations. I made them smaller than adult veils, which are around 2 1/2 yards. I had three different colors. I told them that at the very end of the session, they could keep them. More squealing.

Today we worked on isolations: head, shoulders, hips. I made them hold their arms out until they ached, so that they would learn how hard you have to work at this. I showed them isolations at multiple speeds: fast head circles, slow snake arms.

I had them try hip lifts while walking. I was trying to figure out why it looked so strange, what were they not doing right. They were doing everything I said, but somehow, it was wrong. And then, I had it: they have no hips! So I had to figure that if they were alternating sides, they were doing an approximation of a hip lift.

They got out their trays, and everyone could balance! They had all practiced. I was delighted. Now I am thinking that what I want to do eventually is offer bellydance to disabled girls and women. I figure that they might not get too many opportunities to explore their feminine, beautiful, creative sides. Or wear gorgeous hip scarves and play with veils. And anyone could use a little lesson in body control, right? So that’s on my list, now. And of course, I want to come up with a really witty name for it…


Hee Hee, I love it! “…they have no hips!” Drat them anyway! 😉 (I’ll lend them mine…)

I like the idea of teaching disabled women/girls.

— added by Niksmom on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 6:28 am

Love it! When I start my Yogabilities classes maybe we can alternate sessions…one week Yoga and one week BELLABILITIES! What do you think? 🙂 Hmmm, I smell a workshop brewing.

— added by Em's Mom on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 7:46 am

Em’s Mom,
You’re on!

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 9:45 am