Dancing again…

I am the luckiest bellydancing mama…at least I feel that way most of the time! It has been a struggle to regain the confidence I lost post-delivery in my body’s capabilities and image even though I went back to teaching within 6 weeks. I feel as though today, I can finally say I am back and I am ready! I also have a wee little dance partner to share in the fun! I love my IMP!

I hope all the other amazing bellydancing new mamas out there can share in the joy. Hang in there! It will get easier! If you are in town, come on over and dance with me at our new studio, Art in Motion Pittsburgh.

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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.

A birthday party

I recently had the honor of performing at my friend, Lucy, daughter’s birthday party. With the fairy princess theme, the room was filled with incredibly colorful wings and dresses, sweets,  games, and music. Lucy and I performed and taught a few moves to our joyous guests. We were fortunate to be able to offer our new studio, Art in Motion Pittsburgh as the location.

I love our new studio! With its full kitchen and bath, front and open main room, the party potential is endless! Below, enjoy some of the highlights!

Interesting in renting our space for your own party? Contact me at jengal55@gmail.com!

Dancing while pregnant…

The last 28 weeks have been interesting I must say. While I can not wait to meet the little one I am toting around, I have found my pregnancy challenging in so many ways.

I work full time, teach weekly dance classes as well as take them, run the Pittsburgh Bellydance Festival, and had been performing until a couple of weeks ago. Slowing down has never been in my vocabulary. And now? Yes, now I realize, I can not keep up like I used too, and it is incredibly hard, mentally, to accept.

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Dancing at the Silk Screen Gala at 14 weeks

Some of the immediate challenges that I have encountered include compromised balance, unexpected aches, pains and nausea, less trust in my body awareness, and a harder time breathing through my dance. I have had to adapt my teaching style to make sure I am not injuring myself while still making sure my students are getting the most out of classes.

More challenges? Costumes stopped fitting after only a few months even when barely showing. I am no longer able to use an intense workout as a way to relieve built up stress. I find this one actually the most difficult challenge to deal with and have yet to find a remedy that suits me.

Even more challenges?!?! Feeling extremely depressed and alone to have to sit it out on the sidelines even if I feel up to dancing. And perhaps, I think people are a little aghast and afraid to see a pregnant woman dance at times. Who knows…the maybe may pop out on our next hip bump? lol

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22 weeks pregnant, costumes stretching

Now after all of this complaining, one might ask, so what have you learned? Is there anything at all you can reflect positively on during this time? Yes, yes, there is. I decided to study baladi progressions again and am beginning to deeply root and ground myself into the dance. I have been exploring a variety of transitions and arm positions and instilling stillness in my dance, and stillness is a lesson I definitely need to learn.

I hope to be able to continue learning this lesson of patience as well. Truthfully, what is the hurry in life? I will be back in my costumes after a while. I will be able to dance full speed again soon. I will be able to resume my intense workouts to clear my head. I will be able to add back in my arabesques, samba jumps and leaps in no time, however how often do you have the chance to dance for two? How often can you force yourself to truly tackle the type of dance that you typically avoid? When do you take the time to sit in a pose or to work a move slowly, slowly, slowly? Not often! So here I am trying to embrace the remaining weeks and enjoy my latest phase of dance. I hope all of you can do the same!

2015 PBFC Workshop Series!

Source: 2015 PBFC Workshop Series!

Still time to register for this weekend’s Pittsburgh Bellydance Festival festivities! You can buy your workshops a la carte or splurge and attend it all with a VIP pass 🙂 November 7th-8th at the Pittsburgh Dance Center​!

Saturday’s PBFC15 Workshop Festival Line-up

Saturday’s festival line-up packs in the punches with an incredible offering of regional talent! We have workshops, a lunch lecture, vendors, competitions, and a gala show! Here is a quick guide to what is available! Sign up now and don’t miss out!

Source: Saturday’s PBFC15 Workshop Festival Line-up

Registration

Source: Registration

The PGH Bellydance Festival Competition registration is closed but you can still sign up for our workshops, lectures and gala shows! Save money with a VIP pass and do it all or register a la carte or any of our events! There is something for everyone here!