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Belly dance classes. Online or Face-to-face?

What kind of student are you? Are you a fast learner or it takes some time for the information to sink in? If you do a class, do you go over the things learned afterwards? Do you like to perform choreographies taught you with military precision or you stylize it your way?  Do you prefer online classes over face-to-face sessions? Do you learn the most during group or private training? Do you like to be challenged or prefer to stay within the comfort zone? Today I am sharing my take on dance education (which is applicable to any other kind of education) as well as a couple of great online resources to brush up your dancing.

How exciting is to live in the time of limitless educational opportunities, when the whole world is at your fingertips. Nowadays, you can learn anything online and very often the resources are free. This is incredible how fast the world changes. When I started my career as a fitness instructor in 2002 back in Russia I had only two professional audio CDs. I was using them so often they were skipping and all my clients knew the lyrics! Now if I like some songs and I want to use it at my class, I create a playlist on Spotify in 5 minutes.

When it comes to belly dance - I am a complete self starter. I took to belly dancing in 2010 when I worked at my mother’s dance studio in Thailand. There were no belly dance classes or festivals around so Youtube was the only way to learn as I couldn’t afford overseas travels,competitions and expensive costumes. I was researching all the possible information online and creating my own choreographies, recording myself instantly (which is an amazing way to learn and see your progress). Soon we started teaching belly dance classes, our students were the best motivation! At about same time we started getting invitations to perform at private functions and charity balls. We had to quickly sew our costumes and started performing. Now  my mum’s International Dance Company in Thailand has 4-5 group belly dance classes a week plus multiple private sessions and I teach multiple classes across Melbourne and give minimum 4 shows per week.

Personally, I like online classes as much as face-to-face training. The most valuable for me, however, are private sessions with teachers that inspire me, that I feel connected to, I learn the most from them. As many other dancers I seek rather inspiration from classes. If I learn a new choreography from someone, I always stylize it my way. I would never be able to copy it 100%, simply because my body is different, and I will dance the choreography in the unique way.  I might use some certain moves I liked from the class, but mostly in context of my own routine.

Being a dance instructor, performer and entrepreneur I see non-stop learning as the only way to be successful and realise your full potential. I feel it’s an absolute must to invest time and funds in education on all levels (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual).The online resources have helped me tremendously along my dance journey and I would like to share some of them with you:

“Powhow is the leading global platform for live webcam classes. Powhow's vStudio™ Platform enables fitness, dance, music, and arts professionals to connect with their students in multiple ways. Instructors can train and interact directly with students via webcam, broadcast and stream their in-studio classes live to a global audience, or upload recorded videos for their students to train on their own time.”

It was my absolute happiness when Sadie Marquardt started teaching classes there. I learned a lot from her in a matter of months. However, as we know, she doesn't teach there any more as she set out to create her own online platform where she will continue to share her knowledge. But powhaw has hundreds of beautiful teahcers to offer!


Is everything you wanted from belly dance training online. Hundreds of educational videos featuring variety of styles plus belly dance library available to you 24/7. So no excuses!

“Datura Online was born out of a radical idea: to make dance classes accessible anywhere while supporting a global dance culture that nurtures inclusivity, sustainability, and excellence. We are a group of self-determining dancers, with no investors or advertisers, who are pioneering the website that we want to use. Datura Online was founded in 2011. In a small café in the heart of Portland, OR, Sol Crawford and Rachel Brice set about to create a website that would provide dance classes to those who didn't have local access to teachers and for those who wanted a focused practice at home.”

  • We can’t underestimate the value of ree social media platforms such as www.youtube.com, www.facebook.com, www.vk.com (Russian network) that have enormous variety of free resources, articles, movies on the subject, live streams and so much more!

However if someone is just at the beginning of their belly dancing journey and has no dance background, I would absolutely suggest to take face-to-face classes first or at least live online classes where your instructor can give a feedback. Learning any discipline is a lifelong process that never stops. It’s also very important to understand what your final goals are. If you want to become a professional then energy/time input will be completely different as if you would just do it as a hobby. Research shows that if you want to master a skill on a professional level you should be willing to put 10000 hours during 10 years (it’s quite an intense learning). The rule the more you give - the more you get is applicable everywhere. The more time and effort you invest in your education the faster you’ll flourish!  



Tips for a dancer Bellydance tips

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