Teacher Spotlight: Tanya

Tanya Belly Dancer Teacher

How long have you been belly dancing?
I have been belly dancing since 2016. My son turned 16 and I wanted to do something for myself for a change. It was the best decision I’ve ever made!

What style do you love the most?
I am a cabaret dancer thru and thru. But coming in a close second is saidi. I love the sharpness…and the hopping.

What foundational move was/is the hardest for you to train your body to do? Did it ever click for you? If so, what helped that to happen?
Vertical figure 8’s reduced me to tears and had me ready to swear off belly dance for good. One day, I was standing in the kitchen talking to my son and not really thinking about what I was doing when I realized I WAS DOING THE THING! I cried over that move (happy tears) for the last time.

What is the most important thing for students to take away from your class?
Do not get discouraged! In 2010 I took a belly dance class-ONE-after being inspired by the lovelies at Ren Faire. I left that class cussing my uncooperative body and didn’t think anything else of it for years. Foundations is a class where we start telling our body how it’s going to behave and that’s a big battle. Belly dance is a skill that requires honing after learning, and I promise I’m working on my technique as I’m instructing you!

Why did you become a teacher?
I believe that everyone deserves to feel comfy in their own skin. Belly dance is strong, beautiful, and empowering and can be played out on any canvas. I want to share this amazing art form with all you.

What’s your favorite belly dance move?
I can’t pick just one favorite move! My favorites change with the wind, from omis and mayas and big mamas and on and on. But right now I’ve been working on different variations of 3/4 shimmies. 

What’s your least favorite move?
Really, I have a hard time thinking of a least favorite move. It would probably be choo choos. I have a hard time making them smooth. 

What is your advice for those that are wanting to take a class but are feeling a bit nervous to jump in?
Do it! You’re new to bellydance. Guess what…I’m new to teaching. Everyone there is learning, including me. Come on in, be your beautiful self, try it out, ask questions, but most of all have fun. You’ll never know if you don’t try.