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As some of you might have noticed I was in the paper this weekend, this time in the Scotsman Magazine on Saturday. I only found out about it when a friend told me! I had been asked for a picture a while ago by the lovely people at Out of the Blue for something that might appear in the Scotsman, but that was the last I’d heard about it. I gave them one of the fantastic pictures Kaleidoscope Studios took of me and it ended up being used in an article about interesting fitness classes at the newly renovated Out of the Blue. The ironic thing about this is, of course, that I’ve now taken a break from teaching at that venue!

That said, even though the info isn’t quite right, I am at least still teaching some bellydance classes. The current term at the Yoga Room finishes on June 9th (next Wed) and the next term (and my last term teaching for a while!) begins June 30th, preceded by a beginner’s workshop on Sunday June 20th. Online booking is open! (I’ve just realised my new term starts the day before the Musselburgh Hafla – which I’ll be dancing at! See the Facebook event page for more information on this charity hafla.)

This happens to be the second time I’ve been in a paper doing bellydance stuff. This time, although I wasn’t attributed, I like the picture much better 🙂

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Having been a graphic & web designer is incredibly handy when it comes to making the various promotional things that are important for my bellydance teaching and performing.  I design and maintain my own website and I make my own posters, fliers and booklets.  And today, for the 1st time, I’ve made pretty vouchers for my beginners’ workshop on Jan 17th!

I’ve been meaning to make these up for a couple of weeks now (in case you’re wondering, the idea behind having vouchers is to make it nicer for those people who are buying them as gifts for their friends, relatives, etc) but this is the first time I’ve had the time to both physically design them and have the creative “mind-space” to do so. Hurrah!

I also updated my website, stripping out the 2009 class & workshop details and adding in a link to this blog.  I also removed my much beloved front-page swirl because, pretty as it was, it obscured some of the important links there.  Goodbye swirl, hello clear design!

Now I think I’ll go have a well earned break and investigate the Out of the Blue Xmas Arts Market.  It’s on today and Sat & Sunday next weekend, 11am-7pm for only 80p entrance fee!

Last night was my final night of teaching bellydance classes in 2009. Both were lovely – the beginners’ class was quite quiet but that allowed those who came to have the lesson really tailored to what they wanted (which turned out to be learning to join moves together and dancing the class choreography several times).

The intermediate class was a different kind of lovely with two of the students dancing for the class (this is something I like to encourage for the last week of term). It was a bit touch-and-go because I’d left my speakers at home, but my lovely husband came to the rescue and appeared with them part-way into the class. It split the lesson nicely as it meant we used the venue’s CD player to play my standby CD for the warm-up and practice part of the lesson and then had my mp3 player and speakers by the time we were ready for the performances.

The student performances were lovely – one danced to “Şımarık” by Tarkan (‘Kiss Kiss’)

and the other to “Unicorn” by Gojira.

Very different pieces of music and very different performances, both beautiful. I’m really, really happy that my students are able to develop their own style, rather than be dominated by mine.

I also danced for the class. It’s so different dancing for people who know something about bellydance! I spotted the look of recognition of the various moves on their faces and quite a different look of appreciation to those who don’t know/study it. I think for a teacher and/or pro dancer it’s a more demanding and challenging audience but for a student it has the potential to be a much more supportive and nurturing environment, partly because your peers know exactly how hard those moves are and can sympathise.

And now it’s time for a break from teaching until Jan 17th!

I’ll be teaching two sets of classes on Wednesday evenings at The Yoga Room: Beginners from 7.30pm and Intermediates from 8.30pm. My Thursday evening beginners classes at Out Of The Blue will continue at 7.30pm. All classes cost £36 (£32 concession) for an 8 week block (Jan 20th/21st – Mar 17th/18th, skipping Feb 24th/25th). I’ve decided that since I’m running 2 sets of beginners’ classes, for those who are super keen they can buy both sets of classes for £65 (£60). How nice am I? J

AND to kick off the term I’ve got a beginners workshop running on the Sunday before, Sunday 17th January 2010, from 11am-1pm at Out Of The Blue. Workshop costs £10 (£9).

Like last term I’ve got paypal set up so you can go to my site http://www.shelleyskipper.com/classes.html to book all classes and/or workshops there. And if you don’t fancy paypal cheques, bank transfer and cash are all fine.

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