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Sandra Van Baaren

Self-Curating Training Journey
Sandra Van Baaren

Occupation: Certified dental assistant

Country: Canada

Started Learning Belly Dance: 22 years ago

Joined the Iana Dance Club: December 2019

Belly Dance Transformations

"What helped a lot in my training was video taping myself. Often I’d look in a mirror and think that I’ve gotten a move, but after seeing a video I would realize that I needed to do a lot more of work."

"Sometimes you will stop trying again just because learning process lost the fun quality of it. You need to overcome a frustration of not getting a movement right away."

"My current focus is getting more creative with my own dance."

"Also, I’ve added ballet classes along with belly dance training, and I like the difference it made in my body."

"Dance helps me to balance the type of work I do on a daily basis."

"Belly dance is so beautiful! It brings a lot of joy, creativity and magic into my world."

I started learning Bellydance 21 years ago, and have been teaching it for 15 years. Continuous learning has occurred throughout, mainly through local yearly workshops, videos, and most recently zoom and social media platforms. Particularly in the past 2 years, remote learning has provided access to instructors I would never have a chance to learn from in person. Also, in the past few years I have added contemporary dance and ballet to my training. It feels like a missing piece of the puzzle and really benefits the oriental dance training after all these years.

Performances have been on hold since the start of the pandemic. Normally I would be choreographing for my troupe for a few shows a year as well as for some solo performances. Preparing for such things has been satisfying for the creative part of me.

Overall dance has been a steady anchor balancing out my career in dentistry, which started at the same time as my dancing. Lately,of course, life has been quite stressful. Dance, and being a part of the Iana Dance Club has provided stress relief...learning new skills, honing technique and even small performances during the intensives, these are all grounding and bring positivity. Of course being connected to a larger community is also helpful, especially when in person social interactions have to be curtailed at times. Dance keeps us strong.

Reasons she chose to join the Iana Dance Club:

“I don’t know how Iana manages to create so much content! There is so much material available in the club!!!”

“I love videos on locations. It’s feels like going on a trip online. My favorite is from the Pammukale sight.”

“I’ve learned how to prepare for performances. I have Iana’s words in my mind (that she used to guide us during certain intensives) and apply them to my own practice.”

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