Welcome to my studio. Join me as I share with you my love of Middle-Eastern music, dance and costumes. What a better place then to come to a space that is warm and rich in color. Come, as I share with YOU my love of the "Art of Belly Dancing". EVERYONE is WELCOME! Regardless of your age, shape, size or ethnic background. Belly dancing is taught to WOMEN by WOMEN and therefore MEN classes are held separate from the women. (If you are Male and interested in learning middle-eastern dance please e:mail your request, as well, I will determine how many are interested and then create the class. See my Class Schedule "Other" for more information about Men Classes.
Where did you teach before owning your own dance studio? Before opening my studio I was teaching for Continuing Education and taught at several school gyms - the classes were very large and not as intimate and small as they are in my studio. I continue to teach for the CITY of CALGARY through their PARKS & RECREATION series - ThornHill Pool, Sir Winston Churchill Pool, & Bob Bahan Pool - teaching for over 10 years. However, because I have a studio I had to focus on evening classes at my studio and DAY Classes through PARKS & RECREATION.
What makes the classes different from the CITY to the classes that you teach at your studio? I was one of their first instructors it was a great opportunity. Also rental space in Calgary is very expensive so it was very hard to find studio space. Through the City and my studio I instruct the beginner classes the same. It was an opportunity for women to try something new. As more ladies asked about more classes I found it would be really great to find studio space and offer more classes in different styles of belly dance. Most people that join the City Classes do it for curiosity and do not realize that this is an "ART Form" that needs years of study and the place to do that is to join a DANCE STUDIO that offers belly dance ONLY classes. Also, I like to believe that my studio is BEAUTIFUL and when you come you feel that you are in a BEAUTIFUL dance space to continue to learn this BEAUTIFUL dance.
When did you start learning to belly dance? I started taking classes in 1977 Sahbra's BellyDance & Fitness School. Sports did not interest me but dancing always did. Sahbra's dance school was the only one available after my first class I was hooked and signed up for 2 classes a week / each class was 2 hours long. Within 2 years I was performing and by 1980 I was an undergraduate - assisting in classes and teaching. Sahbra mentored me to become a professional dancer and teacher. I was very fortunate to have her guidance and knowledge passed down to me - she was a beautiful dancer, and I really looked up to her, knowing that one day I would love to be a teacher and share it with others. She had danced all over the world, lived in the US and settled in Calgary in 1975....how lucky for many of us that took classes from her.
What made you decide on the name of your studio?
I chose the name "Lotus" because of its history and beauty. The Lotus flower legends originated from ancient Egypt and played a major part in Egyptian religion. After doing some further research about the flower and discovering its daily cycle it was a great fit for me and how I feel about my own personal journey and the start of my studio. Some of the research describes the Lotus flower as the only plant to fruit and flower, emerge from a muddy swamp and during the day rise above the water and spread open its beautiful petals and flat seed case in the centre. At night it closes and sinks underwater to rise again the next day. I notice many of my students BLOSSOMING and GROWING all the time. Their moods change, they smile more, they come to class with eagerness and energy. They come here to avoid the day stresses. I, myself have emerged out of some muddy waters …. But when I'm in my studio my senses open and the creativity starts to take place. Sharing with all these women and dancing with them just lightens up any dreary or bad day.
"We just love coming to this studio….it is just so different from the usual dance studios...it is warm and friendly…." Students from Thursday Class - Desert Wind Dancers
WAITING AREA IN STUDIO (Which was once upon a time my dance space)
MY BEAUTIFUL STUDIO was in a FIRE of JUNE 2014. I have relocated my classes to Ballroom & Country Dance Studio for accommodating me through my transition. Unfortunately, I will not be opening another studio. I will however, continue to teach. So please watch for my updated class schedule.
I want to thank Danny Wong owner of "Ever After Bridal & Formal Wear" for the use of this space. And allowing us crazy bellydancers to rock the floor. I'm very sad to see that our entire building has been demolished by the fire and that you and your family had to endure a loss of your bridal shop. Just after you had completed the building renovations and making all the upgrades. All the best to you!