Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
-- Harold Whitman
Having just completed another JWAAD Teacher Training course that I had organised in Stroud with Beatrice Curtis and Jan Piggott, I came home, put my feet up and reflected upon the weekend. The women on the course were great - friendly, supportive, eager to learn, and passionate about the dance and teaching. They had all expended money, time and energy on the course because they wanted to improve their teaching skills to better inspire that passion and enthusiasm in others. What better motivation to teach than that?
I have never found anything as rewarding as teaching belly dance. Women often come to their first class feeling inadequate, unconfident and unhappy with their appearance. They may be women who haven't exercised in years and are looking for a new hobby, they may be women who've just had a baby and want to get themselves back in shape, they may be women, who, with a million and one pressures in their daily lives, just want to take time out to do something for themselves.
Whatever their reason for coming, they usually don't bargain for the immense personal transformation that follows. Women rediscover who they are, reawaken that sensual goddess that lurks within all of us - and blossom in the most extraordinary ways. And for a teacher, it's really exhilarating to witness.
I have been learning and teaching this dance now for many years. Yet, I realise that on some level, I always resisted giving myself to it completely. And I know I'm not alone in this; I've met so many other women who feel the same.