When I expressed interest in joining Ballet classes at TLFCB, I was met with a lot of raised eyebrows and statements like, ”It’s not like you can become a Ballerina at this age;what will a belly dancer do with Ballet lessons?”. Some even assumed that I should be able to dance on my toes or have a 180 degree turnout.
For me as a dancer, Yoga, Callanetics and Ballet at TLFCB are like proteins, vitamins and minerals for my body. It is not about the turnout but the increase in your turnout that can make you a technically stronger dancer. Each of these classes condition different sets of muscles, which I feel from experience, is useful for any kind of dancing.
As a belly dance teacher, I am responsible for the safety of my students during my classes. So i need to teach myself about body conditioning that helps and supports safe practices in dancing.That is also something I get in Yana’s class. With so many urban dance forms being explored and folk dances being structured, i think it is necessary that all dancers learn about body awareness. Each body is different and needs to be dealt with differently and Yana is that ocean of knowledge.After every class with Yana Lewis, I want to hug and kiss her and say thank you. Every session with her is a step forward in bringing me closer to my body. I have learnt more in Yana’s Yoga, Callanetics or Ballet class than in a Biology class.
Every correction that Yana gives in class has decades of experience behind it. I hold on to it with dear life. Sometimes it reflects in my body and at other times it doesn’t. That can be frustrating but like Yana often says to her new students, it is a lifelong journey to explore and know your body.And i have surely signed up for life.
Kavya Viswanathan is passionate belly dancer and leads the dance troupe-Martriya, that performs folk inspired belly dances. It is just one of her projects, she also heads The SaraLuna Project that explores all gypsy dances and music from Flamenco to Turkish Roman to the Russian Gypsy. She teaches Egyptian classical style and tribal fusion style Bellydance. An Architect by profession she re-discovered her passion for dance later in life and trained for belly dance with the Roma people (Gypsies) in Turkey and Ghawaazees (travelling dance girls) in Egypt.