Hobbies: Having to Make Choices

January 27, 2012 § 10 Comments

My life has become a bit hectic as of late, as I have recently moved and am taking a new direction.  I have returned to college to study biology (with a dance minor), with my eye on a career in physical therapy.  I am still working a day job and trying to figure out how I would like to enter my new dance community, all while maintaining a home life–the kinds of things we all must figure out how to balance.  When faced with less time and money to do all the things I want to do, I have had to figure out what it is I really want.  I would love to take multiple belly dance classes every week, a hoop class, join the local college juggling club to meet and practice with poi spinners, and maybe even play clarinet in some sort of band again.  I even considered joining the college marching band, because, hey, it was fun the first time around!  But alas, I have realized that accomplishing all those things in my daily life would simply be impossible.  I have been faced with the decision of picking an artistic direction, which will really make a person realize what they love.  I am most passionate about belly dance so, belly dance it is!  I will continue indulging in my other hobbies here and there for fun, but I won’t be investing in classes at this time.

While figuring out what dance classes I can afford and fit in my schedule, I have also had to decide what direction to take within belly dance, being the large genre it is.  I think I have settled on taking Oriental classes a couple times a week and focusing on daily self-practice.  This means I will be stepping back from the Tribal Community for the time being.  This was a tough decision, but there aren’t many, American Tribal Style classes in Albuquerque.  There are some that are just Tribal, which I think are more along the lines of Improvised Tribal Style.  ITS is like ATS, using the same improvisational structure, but with mostly different foundational moves.  I can’t be sure if that’s true until I take some of their classes, but this semester, my school schedule conflicts with the classes I’ve found.  For now, I will continue staying sharp in my ATS with self-practice, and make a return to Tribal in a community setting in the (hopefully not too far off) future.

I need to develop my Oriental side of belly dance more anyway.  I long for it, the refined feminine movements, it’s grace and beauty, it’s expressiveness and freedom of movement.  I should focus more on developing my skills as a soloist as well, and Oriental style is great for that.

One day I will return to teaching.  It is definitely on my agenda, but I don’t have the time or energy to start up a new program.  It takes a lot of self-promotion and a lot of patience to get steady student enrollment, and that is just not something I can invest in right now.  I need to focus on my day job career goals first.  Long-term, I hope to be a great physical therapist, dance teacher, solo performer and troupe dancer.

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§ 10 Responses to Hobbies: Having to Make Choices

  • Oh wow, bit freaked out, we have more in common than name and hobby – I have a science degree in Biology too! I don’t plan on being a physio though..phew. Thoughtful blog, thanks for sharing.

  • Jewel says:

    This looks an interesting video, a bit on the lines of Jenna, but I like it that there seems to be more than one instructor on it, as it helps add interest.

    Thank you for your recent helpful comment on my blog re hooping, but my small son has broken my hoop, and I am hoping to get a new one soon. Then I will try out your tip.

    PS I studied archaeology too, in my case a GCSE.

  • Jade says:

    Yay for the sciences! I have noticed lately that it seems like there are a lot of belly dancers who are also into science. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Or maybe it’s because there are some elements of science in belly dance, if you really think about it. Anatomy, mathematics, economics….

    I hope my hooping tip does work for you. It helped me a lot. Oh! And I love Jenna! Here DVDs are some of my very favorites.

  • Its the same in Australia, there seems a disproportionately high amount of science students and teachers in belly dance.
    I only have one Jenna dvd but I love it, I perform one of her drum solos regularly. What dvd’s of hers do you recommend?

    • Jade says:

      I have The Next Level and The Heart Beat of Belly Dance and use both of them on a regular basis. In fact, I just finished the drills section on The Next Level right before I read this comment. I love the way she dances and teaches. Which DVD do you have?

      • Heartbeat with Jenna and Raquy. What’s next level like? Is it truly beyond the basics or just harder than the beginners dvd?

        • Jade says:

          I would say it really is beyond the basics. She reviews some basic technique in the warm up and then the drills have a lot of layering and some more advanced turns. She then teaches two beautiful choreographies. I’m especially in love with the second, Oriental style one.

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