"WHY SHOULD I TAKE CLASSES HERE?"
Although inexpensive classes are offered in gyms, Fitness and Recreation centers, YMCA's, etc. BEWARE; sometimes you get more than you pay for. Most injuries that occur from bellydance and yoga happen because of the many untrained or poorly trained instructors out there.
"WAIT... MY 'GYM' COULD HURT ME?"
These places tend to hire unqualified yoga instructors or they convert trainers to "fill in" for a yoga class. Many actually train their staff through videos shown in a backroom, not through certification programs that focus on technique and proper alignment. They do not cater to individuals but teach classes for the masses, regardless whether the majority of students in the class can follow or not.
Temple Goddess Dance & Yoga only hires Yoga Alliance certified instructors. The Yoga Alliance has a listing of instructors who have passed certification and are able to instruct people properly.
There is no national certification for Bellydance instruction, however there ARE legitimate schools and instructors that offer certification for their own "style or brand" of bellydance. Temple Goddess Dance & Yoga offers this and more. Our style and classes use Lyrical Dance as its foundation in fusing the Authentic Egyptian/Turkish styles together into a dance of beauty and grace. Whether you are looking for professional certification or just want to have fun in a safe, structured environment, Temple Goddess is the place to go!
"SO IF THERE IS NO NATIONAL CERTIFICATION, WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A BELLYDANCE INSTRUCTOR?"
Here are the questions you should be asking:
- Where did they learn their craft?
- What style(s) do they teach? What appeals to you may not be what that particular teacher offers or specializes in. (ex: Spiritual approach vs: "Sex Kitten" style? Cabaret vs. Tribal?)
- How long have they been teaching?
- Who were/are their instructors? Do they have international credentials?
- How long did they take instruction prior to becoming an instructor themselves?
- Do they have advanced knowledge of the body, and proper technique in "breaking down" each movement safely? (They do if they have Yoga Certification)
- How many people are in a class? Is it an intimate class structure with more personalized service, or a "mill" where the teacher stands in front of the class and students try to mirror her every move?
- Does the instructor use videos outside of the class structure for you to learn your choreography? (If you are new to bellydance or yoga, videos can actually HURT you more than help you. New students need to learn technique before they can effectively recreate choreographies from a video or they may run the risk of bodily harm... besides, why are you paying an instructor if they are sending you home with a video? This is a form of "unguided instruction" and will only take you so far.)
- Is the instructor fully equipped to train you in the correct use of props, such as zills, veils, swords, fire, etc? (This is especially important when using swords and fire!)
While these instructors may make learning "fun" and may be highly energetic or charismatic in their approach, unless they have been properly trained, you may find yourself learning their "mistakes". Most instructors that have not had adequate experience or training themselves tend to teach through a mirroring, or "monkey see, monkey do" approach. This is not an ideal way to learn to bellydance or any physical activity, as it can harbor harmful physiological effects over time and place unnecessary stress and strain on muscles, ligaments, bones and joints.
We are not the least expensive. We are not the most expensive. While each person's budget may vary, we do hope that you will at least try us. If not, please make sure you ask the right questions to the studio you DO decide to look into. Then come back to us.
About Eve / Belly Dance & Yoga Instructor & Owner, Temple Goddess Dance & Yoga
Evanthia (Eve) has been involved in some form of dance since the age of 8. She began studying tap dancing, ballet, modern dance, classical Indian dance, and has been a performer of Middle Eastern dance for the past thirteen years. Having lived in the NY/NJ area most of her life, Eve has studied with some of the most well known dancers throughout the world, including Elena Lentini and Dalia Carella. By blending elements of Egyptian, Turkish Gypsy, Classical Indian, Yoga, Eastern Spirituality and Modern Dance, Eve has created a unique personal style.
In 2003, Eve became a certified yoga instructor from the Chi Yoga Institute in Arizona which combines a unique Vinyasa yoga and Chi Gong sequence for energy purification, cultivation and awareness.
As a choreographer, she's created numerous routines for other professional dancers. Her students have performed as a troupe at various venues throughout New Jersey.
Each year, Eve holds a Temple Goddess Celebration in which she, her students and special guests perform interpretive dances in a theater-like setting, honoring a goddess specifically chosen for the event.
Eve continues to perform regularly and has appeared in numerous venues in the NY/NJ area including: The Annual 9th Avenue Festival in Manhattan, the Rakassah Festival in New Jersey, the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, The Brooklyn Museum, Theatre East in Manhattan and many area restaurants such as the Apollo Cafe in Hackensack, Lafayette Grill in Manhattan and Bombay Palace in Manhattan. She is proud to bring her NY style to Florida and looks forward to seeing her students grow!