A weekend in the studio!

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Future dancer, my Isabella 🙂

This past weekend was exciting at Art in Motion Pittsburgh! Our Saturday classes are fun, refreshing and actually invigorating…even if you have to wake up early on a Saturday morning. I teach an incredible group of ladies who I love dearly. My Isabella, about to turn 1, is at our classes and with her serious critical face on, we call her our artistic director.

Sunday was filled with an incredible photoshoot with our bellydancers and samba team! Isabella joined us as well and managed to stay awake and smiling and laughing for all 3 hours. I have to send out so much gratitude and love to my studio partner, Luciana, who continues to be an incredible inspiration to me! Thank you Lucy for always helping me and being such a great friend!  I also want to thank Natalia for working so hard with all of our students to take our photos!

I guess I also want to send out a warm wish to the universe and thank it for my life so far. It has not been an easy journey…but it has been rich, rewarding and full of life and love. Dance has instilled so much confidence in me that has carrie dover to my professional life. I hope that everyone can experience the joy and energy that dance can instill into someone, regardless of their age.

STRENGTH-en your dance!

I recently had a birthday and in the weeks leading up to the event, I began my routine moping, grumbling, and introspection of turning a year older and wondering what I have done with myself. In truth, it has been a miraculous year: my husband survived a major car accident, I illustrated my brother’s book, I have begun our Pittsburgh Bellydance Academy with a great group of instructors at a gorgeous studio, and begun my own L. Architecture website. (I also adopted another cat 🙂

My cats...watching me workout
My cats…watching me workout

Life is great, and I want to make it better! I have started a strengthening routine for myself to increase my dance performance and aptitude. Everything is easier when you are stronger.  I have started taking samba classes again and the warm up alone kicks my behind! And now the ballet classes have been added back to our studio…I highly recommend them!

I also have been trying out Ballet Beautiful streaming workouts online. They are geared to people like me who literally have 15 minutes here or there to spare. They are inexpensive and you can use them everywhere. I even took them to the beach with me! I have noticed a difference in my problem areas especially. I warn you, the first 30 seconds will HURT…BAD BAD BAD! But just stop, take a sip of water, and pick back up when you are ready.

Ballet Beautiful mat workout
Ballet Beautiful mat workout

I have even begun to bring some of the simple BB ab workout exercises to my Saturday Class! We laugh through it because it is hard but the benefits are immense!

My last STRENGTH-ening task was related to diet. What a nasty word…I know, but I needed to just evaluate what I was putting into my system. I started using the MyFitnessPal app to track what I was eating and how much. (I also track my exercise.) As it turns out, I eat pretty healthy. HOWEVER, my portion size had doubled in the last few years!  I think this will always be a problem with American portion sizes until we have a food revolution, so it is important to know what is a realistically sized meal.

Janim dances with veils!So now armed with an awareness of my intake, a new level of strength, and a  positive reflection on the last year, I feel ready to boldly go forward into this year!