Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Bellydancer and Her Hysterectomy: Back to it...

I made it!

Today I am 7 weeks and 1 day post op.  Time sure flies...  The holidays have come and are almost gone...  I got through my "5-week meltdown" (thank goodness!) and I am getting closer to 100% back in action.  It feels good.  I have had a number of private lessons with some of my wonderful students over the past few weeks as well as over-the-phone Pilates Mat lessons. With each lesson I am getting stronger and stronger, and ready to jump back into my busy weekly bellydance class schedule.  My 2015 classes start next week and I am super excited!

Dance, Dance, DANCE!!!  ♥

My journey with my hysterectomy has been a real trip....  From the day I made the decision with my doctor to do the surgery, to my surgery day...  then healing...  resting...  more resting...  and now...  getting back to it.  I have an even more real connection with my body than before, and I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world with I all of the support I have received during this brief yet incredibly transitional time in my life.  

The coolest part of my journey (besides no more bleeding/pain/etc. - Yippee!) has been connecting and re-connecting with women who are also facing this same decision/transition as I did/am in their lives right now and being able to talk and offer support to them.  While a hysterectomy is a common surgery for women, there is so much mystery and dare I say "taboo" linked to the subject.  I am amazed and baffled at the lack of medical information readily available to women about the subject of their bodies and the fear most women have about it. My advice to all women out there is: TALK to your doctor and ASK as many questions as you can think of about what you are experiencing with your body.  


Also, when making the decision to have a hysterectomy, take your time and really plan ahead.  Truly, you are out for the count anywhere from 6-8 weeks (or longer), and each surgery recovery is different for each woman.  As I have mentioned before, I had an LAVH (laporoscopy assisted vaginal hysterectomy -  removed: uterus, cervix & tubes) and my doctor was/is simply fantastic.  My healing has been rather quick and my doc is pleased with my progress, however I still get tired easily and some days I have a bit of nausea.  I take each day as it comes, and do what I can, but I also let myself REST.  If I feel like I need to lay down for awhile, I do, and even though I am dancing right now in moderation and gearing up for my regular dance schedule, it really kicks my ass!  Good thing my kitties are always ready for a good nap...

Nurse Natasha says it's time for bed...  ♥

So, with all of this talk of resting, it is just as important to be active.  Finding the daily balance of the two can be difficult, but can be achieved.  I walk for over a mile everyday (when not dancing or doing Pilates) and I *KNOW* that walking (along with being vegan, taking my vitamins and being pretty fit to begin with) has put me on the healing path much quicker than some. Also, I still wear my abdominal binder (I named her Lucy) when I walk, drive, sleep, and anytime I feel like my abs need a little extra support.  I cannot express enough how I believe this simple thing has helped with my healing!

My belly-binder and best friend, Lucy  ;)

It is almost the New Year and I am grateful.  Grateful through the ups and downs, and for everything else I have gone through to get to this point in my life.  I am stronger than I have ever been in so many ways and pretty much ready to conquer the world ~ So get ready, here I come!

Comin' atcha!  :)

Lastly, here are some encouraging words for the New Year from me to you:
Listen to your body and do right by her ~ She will return the favor and do right by you.

I promise.

Thanks for checking in...  Happy New Year!

There are some wonderful hysterectomy support groups for women that I am a part of.  If you want their info, just let me know.  ♥

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Bellydancer and Her Hysterectomy: Ups and Downs...


Today I am 5 weeks and 2 days post op...  It is kind of hard for me to believe that it has been over a month since my surgery.  All and all I am doing very well and healing more and more every day.  The support from my family and friends has been wonderful, but I am at the point now on this journey that since I have a lot of (forced) down time I am starting to go a little stir-crazy...

I am still unable to really work (namely: dance) and while I have my post op Dr. appointment tomorrow (12/18/14) and some Private Lessons lined up for the weekend (since I *know* my doc will clear me to dance in moderation) I can't help but feel a little uncertain about my future....

As I have mentioned before my financial fear is real, and sometimes that fear leads to a little anxiety.  

I have my good days = Feeling optimistic and excited about the New Year coming up and all the opportunities that are waiting for me

And I have my bad days = Feeling down in the dumps that I am "stuck at home" and unable to jump back into work and earn a living and take care of business

Thank goodness that I have a little $$ in savings, and have sold a few things online to keep me afloat...

I *know* I have to rest, and I *know* in a few months I will be feeling amazing and ready to conquer the world, but the "right now" is getting a little hard.  I am, however, able to snap out of these rough patches pretty quickly and realize this is actually a big part of the healing process.  Hormones and their effects on the brain and emotions are REAL (I still have my ovaries, so still have normal hormone production) and I need to remember that.*

By the way, I do not regret for a second my decision to have a hysterectomy.

So with that all being said, I am moving on in a positive direction and fully open to any and all opportunities that come my way.  My 2015 ATS® Bellydance classes are scheduled and on track, and I am broadening my horizons, so to speak, in terms of a career.

I hope that other women who are going through similar "ups and downs" from their hysterectomy (or other life changing surgery)  find comfort in knowing: "You are not alone."

Know this: If I can do it, you can do it!

Thanks for checking in...

*Afternote: I have been told by a fellow hyster-sister that what I am going through right now can be referred to as "The 5-week meltdown" and there is light at the end of the tunnel...  Good to know and WHEW!!  :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Bellydancer and Her Hysterectomy: So Thankful...

Today I am 2 weeks and 3 days post op, and it just so happens to be Thanksgiving Day.  I have so much to be thankful for, but I will try to keep this short and sweet...

I am amazed at how well I am healing from my surgery, physically and mentally. I am completely off my prescription pain meds (I took myself off early) and am down to only 1-2 OTC ibuprofen pills a day.  My incisions are healing up nicely with no trace of the incision in my belly button and the two lower incisions becoming fainter and fainter every day. I have my good days and bad days, mostly now dealing with fatigue and a little nausea...  Little reminders that I need to rest...  Oh yeah, that...  ;)

My belly 2 weeks and 3 days post op...
I am so grateful for my Dr.'s skills ♥

I have had a lot of love and support from family, friends and my students, which makes everything soooooooo much easier.  Receiving "get well" cards in the mail and little messages online definitely makes my day.  I even have some of my students lined up for Private Lessons at the end of December (after my follow up appointment with my Dr. of course) for which I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to start the New Year with a bang!

Funny "get well" cards from my students and friends...  
You'd think they knew me or something...  ;)

Then of course, I have my caretakers...  My dad has been super supportive and will do anything I ask him to that will help me. I am so lucky to have a dad like I do!  

My boyfriend has been a dream during "all of this" and is always there for me, daily on the phone and chatting online. He lives over an hour from me and whereas before my surgery we would take turns driving to each other on the weekends, he has been driving to my place every weekend since to be with me.  (My Dr. cleared me to drive after 2 weeks, but I am still not going to push it by driving long distances until probably after 4 weeks)  He is on his way over to my place today for our first real Thanksgiving together - We have been together for almost 3 years, and this is the holiday we spend separate with our families...  but not this year.  It makes my heart happy that we get to have a nice quiet day together with an all vegan meal.  It's just what this bellydancer ordered.  ♥

The cats are turning into pretty good nurses...  Except for the fact that they can be pests at times, like jumping on my belly, picking fights with each other on the bed while I am trying to sleep, making messes for me to clean up and getting into mischief, etc.  However, the purrs and snuggles make up for all the "bad kitty" moments any day...

Nurse Natasha making sure I stay warm and cozy  ♥

I had this idea to post all of my merchandise online (as a Facebook group) since I could really use the extra dough during this time, and honestly, it wasn't doing me any good to just have it in boxes waiting for the next vending event....  Thank goodness I did this!  I have had a lot of great orders and wow, such support.  I am very thankful to everyone who has purchased a "Politti's Pretties" item or two - Your orders are helping me earn the money I need to stay a float for the next month before my classes start back up again in January...  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

"Politti's Pretties" on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1535269640051157/

So, all and all, this bellydancer's journey with her hysterectomy has been a good one.  I hope that any of you reading this who may be faced with this decision in the future find hope and inspiration in my posts.  It's no picnic, this hysterectomy thing, but I *know* it will all be worth every bit very soon and for this, I give thanks.

Renenutet is the Egyptian the goddess of plenty, and good fortune... an annual harvest festival was held in her honor during which a quantity of the best quality produce was dedicated to her...

Happy Thanksgiving ~ I am thankful for YOU!

More later....  xo

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Bellydancer and Her Hysterectomy: Belly Up!

Today I am 1 week and 2 days post op.  Still feeling pretty good and getting stronger everyday.  I wanted to share my belly today, and how well she is healing:

This is my belly the day of my surgery after I got home...  As I mentioned before, my Dr. knows I am a bellydancer and she told me to draw a line on my abs before surgery where I wear my skirt/belt so she could make my 2 lower incisions "below the belt" so to speak ~ And she did!  Have I mentioned how RAD my Dr. is? I am so lucky to have her!  ♥

This is my belly at 5 days post op.  The little swelling I had has gone down and I have no bruising.  At this stage of the healing game, while the outside looks good, the inside hurts a lot...  I have starting weaning myself off of the full dosage of my pain meds and walk everyday, but there are some moments my body says "ENOUGH!" and gets super crabby and hurty...  :(

I would like to take this moment to introduce you to my abdominal binder.  Her name is Lucy and she is currently my best friend.  I asked for her at the hospital and my nurse got me one...  I attribute my lack of "swelly belly" to her and she has really helped with pain management.  If a hysterectomy (or any ab surgery) is in your future ~ Get one of these!!!  You will be soooo glad you did!  :)


Day 7, the medi-tape over my belly button came off after my shower and this is what I found - NO SCAR!!!  I am completely in awe of my Dr.'s skill and how she kept her promise to me that the incisions would be so small that no one would ever see them.  You cannot even tell by looking at my belly button that I have had surgery... Now THIS is a bellydancer's dream come true.  ♥

Now, I don't want you think that my whole hysterectomy thing was only dependent on whether or not I ended up with scars on my belly.  I was in 100% regardless of the "scar outcome".  I needed this procedure done to better my quality of life.  I am, however, incredibly grateful my Dr. is a highly skilled surgeon and a really cool chick.  I give thanks everyday.

Now if only the  internal "healing pain" would go away!  I have succeeded in cutting down my pain med dosage from 6 pills a day to just 2 pills a day, but I need to remember there is a reason they tell you to rest for 6-8 weeks...   ;)

Thanks for checking in on me...  More later...  xo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Bellydancer and Her Hysterectomy: It's Kind of a Big Deal...

Today I am 5 days post op and feeling pretty good. I have been taking it easy (which is *very* hard for me!) by taking small steps towards my recovery.  The little things are the greatest successes: Walking around the neighborhood, taking a shower and washing my hair, cooking a little meal for myself, caring for my kitties, etc...  One thing I still cannot do in my daily activities is clean the cat box (no bending or lifting)...  Thank goodness my dad and my boyfriend don't mind helping with this!  And of course the other thing I cannot do is DANCE.  I do, however, have a lot of time right now.  Time to think, time to read, time to rest.  It is during this "time" that a lot of things come to mind and my goal is to share these things.  Hopefully to empower my fellow dancers and friends, and to help others to understand exactly what a hysterectomy does to a woman: In this case, a woman who is a bellydancer.

Nurse Natasha says "Good Morning!"  ♥

A hysterectomy  now a-days is a fairly common surgery, in fact, I am sure you know one or more ladies who have had one.  The key word to remember here is "surgery", and a hysterectomy is MAJOR surgery.  There are *many* different types of hysterectomies and all are individualized to the woman.  I consider myself lucky, I had an LAVH (laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy) removing my uterus, cervix & tubes.  I got to keep my ovaries which I am so thankful for. I have 3 tiny incisions in my abdomen (from the laparoscopic part) and the removal of my uterus, cevix & tubes was done vaginally. This type of hysterectomy (assuming there are no complications) should be a reduced healing time of 6 weeks.  I took the rest of November and all of December off from teaching my ATS® Bellydance classes (and of course performing), so I could return in January "better than ever".  Now this is where the "bellydancer" side of things comes into play...

Having this hysterectomy was one the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, and not for the reasons you are probably thinking.  It was absolutely the *right* decision, but hard nonetheless.  The surgery itself was a piece of (vegan-gluten-free) cake.  I was not afraid of having surgery and completely trusted my OB/GYN, the hard part was what I am going through now: NOT WORKING.  Remember, I am self-employed, I am a bellydance teacher and performer, in other words: an artist.  When I am not teaching, I am not earning money.  I am lucky that I have medical insurance that covered my surgery costs, but now I am eeking by the best that I can with everything else.  Of course I "planned" for my surgery, saving every penny I earned from my classes, but things "came up" (as they often do) and they kind of left me hanging, and not in a good way.

I know that everything will work out (I trust the Universe), but I really want people to understand that this surgery was and IS a really a big deal to me for oh so many reasons, the biggest being financial fear.  I am bettering my quality of  life for the future, yet making deep sacrifices in the present to do so.  I just hope I can get back to teaching a few Private Lessons before the end of the year ~ Cross your fingers I can and that my students are willing!

Thanks for listening...  More later  xo

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Bellydancer and Her Hysterectomy: Welcome to the Club...

Well, I am 48 hours post op and doing very well...  
In case you didn't know, I had a hysterectomy on Monday (11/10/14)  morning....
Here is my story to share, with the intention to update often as I progress through my recovery:

I am so lucky and extremely grateful for my surgery outcome (LAVH: laporoscopy assisted vaginal hysterectomy -  removed: uterus, cervix & tubes) and my wonderful doctor and surgery team. I had a little nausea upon waking up from surgery and of course pain, but my nurse took care of that right away for me, and gave me ice chips - which at that point was all I *really* wanted LOL! 

I was up and around to the amazement of my anesthesiologists and recovery nurse, dressed with hair fixed and lip gloss on (always keeping it glam, you know) 2 hours after surgery and ready to go home. My Dr. had already discharged me to go whenever I was ready. I had and still have moderate pain, but nothing worse than I have suffered over the years from my menstrual cycles.   The pain medicine (NORCO) seems to be keeping it under control and so far so good. I have a pretty high pain tolerance due to my many years of dealing with the severe pain from my period, so in a way, that is a plus for me and will definitely help in the days to come.

 I asked for an abdominal binder from my nurse and she got me one - It is currently my best friend! I highly recommend one to help keep down swelling and give support to your belly after a hysterectomy or any ab surgery. I slept ok the first night but got up every 2 hours or so to pee, which is good I suppose. Last night I slept MUCH better, only getting up twice (I think). A little bathroom tip: Rolling up a towel and holding it against your abs when you "go" after surgery - It totally helps! Best advice ever! I am hoping for a poo soon (sorry, TMI - but super important after any surgery!)....  Keeping my fingers crossed it happens today.  

My appetite is coming back: I had 2 cups of veggie broth and some toast throughout the day/eve my first day home. Yesterday I had some peanut butter toast and black coffee in the morning, veggie broth and crackers for lunch, and finally a real meal of tempeh and kale for dinner with a little chocolate for dessert.  This morning, more peanut butter toast and black coffee. I take coconut oil as a mild laxative, and started taking it actually the night before my surgery, so hopefully it will do the trick! And of course I am drinking a LOT of water....  I had my dad and my sis with me the first night (sis is an RN) to help me, and my sweet boyfriend came to see me the first night too. Today, just my dad and the kitties are here.  The kitties are being soooooo good and are wonderful nurses.

So all in all, my experience has been a good one and I wish the same for any of you waiting for your "big day". For those of you waiting for your surgery, have hope and go in with a positive attitude - It will make all the difference in the world. More later.... xo 

Here is a little photo journal of my hysterectomy day...

My "Good Luck Bunny Socks" gift from a friend ~ My surgery team let me wear them in the OR and they did the trick!  ♥

My Dr. knows I am a bellydancer, so she told me to draw a line on my abs where I wear my skirt/belt so she would make sure to make the incisions below it - And she did!  Of course I added a "thank you" note to her ♥

Part of my recovery team: Nurse Natasha ♥

These beauties were waiting for me on my front porch Monday when I got home from the hospital - From one of my dear dancer friends ♥

Saturday, August 30, 2014



Please vote for ME and help me win!  Voting is FREE & starts MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1!

As the owner of The Oasis Dance Studio in Highland (2008-2012), Politti won BEST DANCE STUDIO in the INLAND EMPIRE

Politti currently teaches her weekly ATS® Bellydance classes & Private Lessons at Body Temple in Downtown Riverside
and is grateful for the BEST DANCE STUDIO in the INLAND EMPIRE 2014 nomination!

Thank you as always for your support & don't forget to vote!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


The following is a compilation of kind words from my students...
I am truly blessed & grateful to have so many wonderful ladies in my classes ♥

"Learning ATS has been in my bucket list for many years. I was fortunate to have met Politti though a group of Ladies that agreed to let me perform with them as a guest Dancer.

Politti is one of the best Teachers I have had in my dancing career. She is thorough, detail oriented and straight forward. If it wasn't for the distance I will be her fulltime student but for now our monthly meeting are working out. I have no doubt that I'm learning ATS the proper way. Thank you, Politti for sharing your knowledge!!"

Yeril B.


"Hey Politti, just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful lessons, each one is non-stop, with a lot of good hard work and "AH HA!" moments. I always feel rejuvenated and inspired after your lessons.

 If I lived in Riverside I would definitely take lessons every week but am so grateful that you take time for us when you are in Orange County. Even my husband has noticed how much I've improved under your tutelage! Again, thank you!"

Tracy C.


"I would like to recommend Politti’s private dance lessons for any woman who wants to feel better about herself and/or improve her dance style/technique. Politti  is driven to bring out the best in her dancers. She customizes her private lessons to meet  the student’s  individual needs. She is a very skilled and knowledgeable instructor and never deviates from ATS style. She is very passionate about dance, and it shows as she models the dance so gracefully.

I have been taking dance from Politti for several years now, and I learn something new every time; But, mostly I love how she stays true to ATS art form, and is committed to build our confidence levels and challenge us. I especially love bonding and building relationships with the other students in her classes. Politti is professional and passionate and maintains her core group of followers. I am proud to be one.  Let the music begin and shake that booty!!"

Kathy S.


"My private lesson concentrated on ASWAT and arms. I learned that my timing was slightly off, enough to throw the turn transition off. I was pleased it was something small and not major as I had imagined.  After a few run throughs, I could lead the ASWAT!  I was so proud!
Also I found that my body wave was ok, it was the use or non use of my arms.
By lifting my arms, using and slowing the floreos, my body wave became more visible.  Thanks, Politti!"

Deborah L.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

For the Love of Animals...

I love animals.  I mean, I REALLY love animals.  Reaching back to my memories as a young child, I have always had a strong connection to them... I wanted to be around them... care for them...  have them around me at all times... I even had dreams of being able to talk with animals, "Dr. Doolittle" style... Animals were then, and are now, an incredible comfort to me. They are beautiful living beings - That is why I fight for them.

Mid-1970's surrounding myself with animals - as usual...

I started to grasp what cruelty towards animals was probably around the age of 6 or 7... It started with a fishing trip with my family when my cousin was in town. I was all for the trip and was having fun UNTIL I caught a fish and my dad pulled the hook from its mouth. There was the struggle from the fish. There was blood. There was death. I didn't like this, not at all. I spent the rest of the afternoon in tears begging my family not to kill the fish and to release all the fish we caught back into the lake. Then, there was the realization that these fish were dinner. I think I really lost it then.

For me, as a child raised in the suburbs of Southern California, you got food at the grocery store. There was no mention or real connection made that the hamburger on the grill was once a cow, the fried chicken your mom made on special occasions was once a bird, and the tuna salad you loved so much was once a fish swimming free in the ocean. And then there were those tanks of live lobsters at Market Basket, remember those? I thought they were for your aquarium... You ate, and you were grateful for the delicious food. However, as I got older, my connection to animals became deeper, and the fact that we ate them was the worst to me.  I went vegetarian (to the disappointment of my parents) at the age of 15.

Have you?

Vegetarianism "back in the day" was really unheard of in my town and not understood by anyone I knew, especially my family. "It's just a phase", they all said. "She is just wanting attention", etc. etc. And try eating at Denny's with your friends and wanting pancakes and eggs at midnight after a show with NO bacon or sausage on the side. The look on the server's face was always as if it were pure blasphemy.  Now sure, I was a bit on the extreme side of things in my teen-age years, with my hair in a blue mohawk at one point and wearing all black, shopping at thrift stores and spending my weekends at backyard punk shows, but this not eating animals thing was important and NOT a "phase".

I can go on, and on, (and on!) about being a vegetarian as a youth, getting rid of my leather shoes and jackets (again to the disappointment of my parents), reading all I could about animal rights and animal welfare, ordering anti-fur and anti-leather propaganda from PeTA and sneaking them into clothing pockets and shoes at all the stores at the mall...  Yeah, that was me, such a rebel...  But here's the thing...  I am still strong in my commitment to animals and their welfare, in fact I have never been stronger.

Volunteering at NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles)

I am now vegan and very informed about the exploitation of animals, and do all that I can to inform others of the animal cruelty that is still rampant in our society.  Now before you get all on the defensive, please check yourself at the door. I am what is considered an "arm chair activist". I use the internet and social media to share information with the hopes that those who feel the same way I do will find their way to a compassionate lifestyle. I go out of MY way to shop consciously, boycotting companies that test on animals (still, in this day and age!!) and leather hasn't been in my closet in decades (and for the record, fur has NEVER been a part of my wardrobe - EVER)... I support vegan products, compassionate companies, and shop extensively in the organic produce section of the grocery store. I keep tabs on local and foreign animal cruelty cases, signing petitions and networking constantly to get the truth "out there". I volunteer with multiple animal rescues donating my time and I help others by networking to find loving homes for the animals they have in their care.

No, I am not better than you, that is so NOT the point of this writing. It is to let you know that I am here for those who wish to enlighten themselves and commit to a compassionate lifestyle - It's not as hard as you think, I promise.

Enjoying my dinner at Veggie Grill in Long Beach, CA

Oh, and one last thing, if I may be so bold to ask of you: "Please think before you eat." We CAN change the world for the better - One bite at a time.  ♥

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Politti's Pilates

I did this write up for my Pilates Mat classes I offered for a workshop weekend I just did and wanted to share... If you are a dancer and are wondering how to become stronger and more connected in your dance, I promise, Pilates is the way to go!

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise regiment that elongates and strengthens the muscles. By correcting posture, Pilates can strengthen your body against future injuries and help to rehabilitate injuries already present. Developed in the 1920's by physical trainer Joseph H. Pilates, Pilates is an exercise system focused on improving flexibiltiy and strength for the total body. **Pilates is an invaluable asset for every dancer and every body**

Why Politti's Pilates?

I have studied Pilates for over 8 years and in 2008, completed and passed my BASI (Body Arts & Science International) Comprehensive Teacher Training Program. My Pilates passion is teaching Pilates Mat classes and I am a firm believer in using your own body as resistance for a complete full body workout. The word "workout" may scare you - Please don't let it! Pilates Mat exercises target the muscle connected to the bone, a.k.a. the deep muscle tissue that is incredibly important for dancers to strengthen for our BALANCE.

Why Pilates Mat Before Politti's ATS® Bellydance Workshops and Classes?

In my Pilates Mat classes, I will guide you through my favorite Pilates Mat exercises that I feel are the most beneficial for dancers. In my many years of doing and teaching Pilates, I can honestly say it has made me a stronger, more connected dancer, with increased stamina and regulated breathing. My Pilates Mat classes are for all levels (even if you have never done Pilates before!) and there are ALWAYS modifications to every exercise for those with physical limitations. Pilates Mat work is primarily done lying on your back with lots of stretching - And who doesn't love a good stretch? Our Pilates Mat hour together will fly by and leave you feeling invigorated and ready to dance the day away... So, come on...  won't you join me?  ♥

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kitty Shenanigans

Woke up to quite the crime scene today...  We have one of the suspects in custody...  The other is at large...

This morning's crime scene...

Most likely a crime of passion...

The evidence is overwhelming...

We have one of the suspects in custody...

Merle says, "I didn't do it!  It was my brother!"

Boo is still at large...

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Something

Being a bellydance teacher is so incredible and I am grateful everyday that this is my career choice.

I have been teaching and performing bellydance for over 15 years and teaching and performing American Tribal Style® (ATS®) Bellydance for over 8 years.  I am committed to ATS® and really love the dance, but I have to say that my favorite thing about ATS® is my students...

The diversity of my students is amazing ~ I have students of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, etc. and each one is a treasure.  They come to me to learn to dance for many different reasons, however one thing they all have in common is their desire to belong... to find their "something" that makes them feel joy and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

I totally understand this desire.  For all of my life, it seems, I have just wanted to belong...  Belong to something...  Something beautiful, something strong, something empowering, something....  Something to make my life meaningful and complete.  Dance, specifically bellydance, is my something, and honestly, I do not know what I would do without it.  Being a bellydance teacher makes my "something" complete.

As a teacher, I am able to give back what my teachers have given me.  My job is to help create strong and beautiful dancers and empower them to enjoy the dance, each other, and most importantly: themselves.  I am often asked: "How long will it take me to learn how to dance?"  My answer is always the same: "Do not rush your education, the dance will bring to you what you bring to it."  That may sound a bit cryptic, but the fact of the matter is, it is the truth.  If bellydance is your something, and ATS® is your path, you are in for many, many years of hard work, practice, education, classes, student recitals, workshops, private lessons and, oh yeah, PRACTICE!

In my opinion, ATS® Bellydance (as with all movement art) is a major commitment.  You never stop learning and you are always trying to improve.  Even as a GS for ATS® and ATS® Certified Teacher (trained by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman herself) I am constantly striving to better my art.  I spend many hours a day, almost every day, thinking about my dance, self-critiquing my classes and performances, coming up with ideas to teach more effectively, dissecting each thing I do as a teacher and performer so that I may give to my students (and audiences) my ultimate best...  Always thinking, always doing...  and I love it.

My students inspire me to be this way, and for this I am grateful.  Thank you to all of my students, past, present and future.  Because of you, I have my "something".  ♥

Thursday, May 22, 2014

So I have been thinking of starting a blog...

And here I am...  Just give me a minute to gather my thoughts... In time, this blog will be full of posts about bellydance, cats, being vegan, animal welfare, ghosts, magic and all things that inspire me.  My hope it that this blog will inspire you too...  ♥