I had the great honor and privilege to attend a Datura bellydance workshop in Portland, Oregon last week. It was such an amazing adventure. It really took me outside of my comfort zone on so many levels.
What was it that took you out of your comfort zone?
Well first of all I had to get myself packed, get my dog packed and get to the airport on time. If you have ever had the pleasure of missing a flight, then you know, that you don’t want to experience that again. So I started out my trip with a ticket from California Highway Patrol. I stayed cool despite this ticket. But it was a little irritating to say the least.
Then I got to the airport past security. My boarding pass was B14. But I got the gate mixed up and was sitting in Gate B14 for at least an hour. Then someone paged Valerie and they said your supposed to be at gate 20!! How the hell that happened I don’t know but I ran down there and made it to the plane.
I made it to my hotel and then realized I had left a very critical bag. My bag that had my toothbrush. Luckily my hotel gave me one and I had toothpaste. I remembered my make up so, all in all, it wasn’t bad.
What was the deal with the Datura Workshop?
Datura is a style of bellydance created by Rachel Brice. She has classes online at Datura online and she teaches workshops in Portland at a cool dance studio called Nia. She has her own Datura studio as well but to accommodate more people she had the training at Nia.
The Datura Phase I Initiation of the 8 elements brought together 40 students from all over the world. Represented countries included: Japan, Australia, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States. There were professional dancers as well as students. But everyone was a student this week to learn and absorb as much as they could from Rachel Brice
Rachel shared part of her dance journey as well as the reason for putting together the course so that this dance form can be shared with the world. She had told us at the beginning of the week that we were going to feel like, “She was filling up our mouths with a fire hose.” At first it made me laugh but by the 3rd day, I completed understood the concept. I felt like my brain was being stretched out really far. I didn’t want to stretch it but then she stretched it for me and I was so glad she did.
What was the most awesome experience?
We would learn these dance sequences. First we would learn the feet, then she would add isolations, then Zils and then finally arms. It doesn’t sound that difficult and even when you see it, it doesn’t look terribly difficult. But playing the Zils while dancing and keeping rhythem while your arms, legs and body are doing something different was mind blowing. And then we did it in perfect unison at full speed. It was like, “Hell Yeah!!!” I couldn’t believe we were able to do it all together. If you’ve ever been around dancers there are usually varying levels of dance experience. But in 3 days she had as doing it. I felt like a complete badass!!!
Just for the record, I felt like such a beginner. There were definitely dancers who had such cool moves. Some were awesome with Zils and everyone just brought their own gifts and talents. Truly an amazing group of people.
She shared her costumes in Costume Cafe which was just amazing. In the video above I was able to see her headdress in person. She shared her inspiration for costumes and also so many things. She is a complete badass. Bruce Lee’s baby sister. I bow down to her.
What was the take away from the training?
Whatever it is you do everyday becomes your practice. You simply have to find the time to do whatever it is you love to do. Sometimes we get stuck in bad habits, or get caught in the responsibilities of life. But no matter, practice is the most important. In talking to Rachel, she explained some of the ways she practices and how she just goes over it over and over again until she gets it down to how she likes it. I was also super happy to know that her absolutely favorite type of dance is improvisational dance which is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING TO DO!!. So it gave me support to know that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IMPROVISATION!! And she does such an amazing job with it.
You’re Not Music’s Bitch
What does that mean? It means as dancer that you control your movement. YOu can pause and stretch and pose and dance how you want. Music is there to help you express yourself but you and music work together and you do whatever you want. It’s you dancing after all.
What are my plans going forward?
I realized that more than anything I need a good teacher. I plan to continue to study dance. A good teacher will mold me to their vision. I will be like a child coming to my teacher. I will allow them to teach me and that is the best I can do for right now. There’s nothing wrong with being a student. It’s like letting someone else drive you around for a while and I get to just enjoy the ride. I will continue to pursue my dream of dance. As long as I am dancing, EVERYTHING WILL BE OK.
Greenleaf Juicing Co in Portland, Oregon is a much needed blessing. I was so happy to find it today. All organic juice and smoothies!!! Pure heaven and bliss. Feeling like I can make it through my belly dance workshop with Datura.
In this time in history it can become evident that not everyone is your friend and not everyone is a hater either. Sometimes it’s very confusing when people that are “friends” on social media don’t act like “friends.” They are actually haters and some are actually lovers. How can you tell what’s what? Well it does take time, attention and A LOT of intuition. This is my spin.
What’s A Friend?
A friend is someone that is there for you to have fun. You hang out or talk and just laugh and have fun. You can be friends in real life or on social media. You like the same stupid stuff. You have similar sense of humor and you just genuinely like this person. If they need anything, you try to be there for them and they are there for you too. It’s just a great feeling to have a friend and you know in your heart that you like them. These are your peeps. They are cool and you give them the thumbs up frequently.
Got a Lover?
Now my definition of lover is someone that loves you. It doesn’t mean you are physically intimate but it’s like a family love. Yes you might get mad and slam the door on them or lock them out of the house for a time out but you still love this person. You would be there for them at 2 AM to hold their head while they puke. You would kill a spider for them. You would go to the drug store for this person. You might get on each others nerves often but you still LOVE EACHOTHER. It can be a romantic relationship but not necessarily. Do you understand? I think so.
Fake Friends can take a long walk off short pier
What’s a fake friend? This is the person that you run into at the grocery store. You say hello, maybe your kids are in school together or they can be family too. They smile to your face and then when you walk away they say, mean things. Or they are the annoying co-worker that you are only polite to them because if your not, you can get fired. They aren’t your friend but they are just other humans you know. There’s a lot of them on FACEBOOK or social media. They aren’t bad people necessarily but you’re not really friends. You don’t hang out, you just have awkward conversations and you can’t wait to get away from them. They can also be called acquaintances. It’s OK if they are fake because they aren’t anything to you. It’s just like hey girl and they say hey girl and end of story.
You definitely won’t be holding their head anytime soon. As a matter of fact if you saw them puking, you might laugh. But you would get them water and kleenex if they needed. I mean they are human beings and you’re not completely void of feelings for humanity. (Also be advised that many people have too many “friends” on social media. There is no way they can comment on all 5,000 of their friends posts. So take it with a grain of salt.)
Can you say HATERS?
Let’s just start with this. Haters are not necessarily bad people. They can be very nice and reputable people. They can be family or friends. They are really jealous and insecure. But it’s not their fault. It’s just because you are so awesome that they get jealous. They don’t want to like what you do so they ignore you. It’s so obvious they are ignoring you. Most likely they have never done anything exciting or challenging. So when they see you over here living it up and enjoying your life, they can’t stand it. Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what haters think. It only matters what you think.
The best thing to do with haters is IGNORE THEM. Pretend they are the 2 year old throwing a tantrum because you turned off the TV. Just walk away and go about your life. Give them no attention. They aren’t worth your time or energy.
Coping With Haters a Visualization
So let’s just say you know some haters and you are upset because they are so mean to you. What you do is you take that frustration you feel towards that person and you take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. You think about how mad they make you. And imagine yourself doing a really perfect squat. Then you jump up really high and land on top of their head. Then you bounce off of their head and go up really high into the clouds with the stars. You look around and see how amazing it is. Kick back for a minute and breath and relax. Then you can relax and then say, wow that anger really went to good use. Now what’s for lunch?
It’s summertime and that means CHERRIES. Cherries are so wonderful. I really appreciate a good cherry. I have found that the easiest way to consume fruit is to blend and drink. It’s very refreshing and this tastes like a creamsicle. Minus the cream of course. At some point when you make smoothies you don’t need a recipe. You just throw stuff in blender, add ice, blend and drink but until your ready for that….
Let’s make this bad boy.
1/2 cup cherries pitted
1/2 cup to 1 cup spinach (When you first make it, try it with half a cup and see how you like it. If you can increase to a full cup of spinach, do it. You just don’t want the spinach to over power the cherries.
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup almond milk or milk of choice
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup soybeans
add water until it gets to 3 cups
Put all ingredients in blender, blend and then drink immediately. I was pleasantly surprised because this was the first time I tried this and it was really yummy. I just need some more cherries and then I’m going to make it again.
I’ve decided that I want to pursue a career in pilates. This may seem like a small feat however, did you know the training costs over $6,000. That’s some serious coin. So in order to make it worth the investment, you have to charge people large quantities of $$ to recover your investment. Sometimes, you never do recover, although not everything has to be done to make $$.
Accepting Spare Change For Education
If you saw me do this on a street corner would you give me your spare change? Please Donate here. $1 or $2 will help tremendously!! Thank you so much!!
Please Donate to support my education as a Pilates Instructor.
What is the Required Training to be a Pilates Instructor?
Requirements for Completion – Mat only
To become a fully qualified Balanced Body Mat Instructor, students must complete the following:
Anatomy (strongly recommended)
Balanced Body Movement Principles (16 hours)
Balanced Body Mat 1 – Course work and module test (16 hours)
Balanced Body Mat 2 – Course work and module test (16 hours)
Balanced Body Mat 3 – Course work and module test (16 hours)
20 Mat personal sessions, 15 observation hours and 35 student teaching hours.
Final written and practical test.
Start at the very Beginning
So I am going to be starting with Anatomy which is a weekend course and costs $600. So all donations I receive will go towards this training. I’ve taken Anatomy many times before but this time I’ll be more serious with it. I took it in college years ago but who can remember that????
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been spending quite a bit on this website and I am having to cut back. There are a number of factors from not receiving as much as a federal tax refund as I usually get to the purchase of The Pilates Reformer which This piece of equipment is essential to my recovery from a 26 year career. And as a pilates instructor you must continue to invest in yourself to continue to bring knowledge and education to your chosen field. As a single mother, let’s just be real that there is not an unlimited source of income right now. So I hope you will consider donating to this worthy cause. I have since cut back on all non essential spending. I’m actually eating the food in my house and only buying what I really need. Also I have to pay for my daughter’s schooling too. But that’s a whole other issue.
I will share my knowledge of anatomy and pilates with you.
I‘m not selfish so I will share what I am learning so that then you will know that I have some knowledge behind what I am saying. I also hope to be able to teach classes at a low cost at some point. I really want to work with children because they haven’t learned bad habits yet. But we will see where I end up. Now you know why instructors charge so much because these prices are outrageous. But if you want to learn the right way, that’s what it takes. I didn’t make the rules.
No Ads on my Blog
I intentionally do not have Ads because it’s a pain to see some big arm with an infection on it with an advertisement for medicine. So that’s another thing you’ll get from me. But no Ads = no $$. It’s OK.
I Will be Able to Stay Strong
Studying anything will immerse me into it. So if I study pilates, I will get strong from all of the practice I will have to do. And then I can help others get and stay strong but first I need the training.
Thank You So Much!!
That goes without saying. But I really do appreciate anything you can give. And I want you to know that whatever you give, it will return back to you in countless ways. As you give abundantly, you reap abundantly. And I need $6,000 total for training so any $$ up to that amount will just be added towards future training. And I wish all the people that give can receive their heart’s desires.