When I try to explain the Suhaila Salimpour Bellydance Format to non-dancers, I usually say "it's like boot camp...with bellydance." I don't think that's too far off the mark, either. To dancers, especially dancers who've been around a while, there are varying opinions on the subject. Needless to say, I'm firmly enamored of the format and what Suhaila has developed...so much so I often joke, "Yes, I drank the koolaid...and I want more..."
I certified level I in 2009. At the time, level I was all I hoped for...I didn't really see myself pursuing anything more in the format. I felt I was too old, had too many health problems, was working full time and going to school - it just wasn't possible.
So naturally, here I am - striving for Level II in August, 2011. Living out of state from "The Mothership" as Suhaila's studio is fondly called, means I study via online classes, audio training - downloads of up to 30 minute drills I practice on my ipod - and with a close friend who also pursues the dream of Level II.
Sometimes I wonder, what was I thinking? I'm 46, obese, arthritic...I work full time, go to school part time, teach dance part time...I'm a parent to two teenagers...what possibly makes me think I can really DO this? But then, I keep on. Will I make level II in 2011? I honestly don't know. I'll go to the workshop for the CEC's and the experience, and decide at the end if I'm testing.
In the meantime, that means I have eight months to prepare. I've been working on level I classes about a month - because level II classes were frankly too fast and too hard (the warm up, OMG!) after not taking online classes for several months. January is my begin date for Level II classes. You know....on top of 8 credits college, working full time, teaching dance 3-4 nights a week, and 2 nights troupe practice a week...mmmmm. sure. You betcha.
Stay tuned. I'll be talking about training for Level II, the ups and the downs of it, in future posts.
You know, if the warm up doesn't kill me....