Emily Alrick was a fashion design student when she kept getting randomly asked if she was a bellydancer. Feeling a little burnt out on the design world, she came across a bellydance class while walking around Ashland, Oregon. Curious to know if the earlier questions were a compliment, as she first imagined something more on the cheesy side, Emily gave the class a try. “I felt like I’d found a long lost friend!” She instantly found herself passionate and committed.
Always a dieter, and not one to frequent a gym, she now had the interest to lift and get more fit so she had the stamina to hold her posture correctly. She progressed and became a student teacher, then when her instructor moved Emily was handed a class of her own. Although she worried she was not necessarily ready to be a teacher, now mastery was her focus.
For 10 years she threw herself into her work. When asked about how she maintains her life balance today, she says it was an injury from overuse 3 years ago that has helped her listen more to her body. “When we need to stop we know, but we don’t want to, due to fear, guilt, or unhappiness. Now I’m more likely to ensure I’m spending time with a loved one who might not be around for long over working non-stop.”
As to the over-all benefits of bellydance, Emily has gotten to be first-hand witness to students losing up to 50lbs. The joy of seeing yourself progress and the group dynamic has lead unhappy women to feeling more in control and comfortable in their bodies. Some struggling with guilt for even taking that time for themselves. Developing themselves physically became a catalyst for growth in every area of their lives. Students even reporting a job promotion a year later after setting themselves on a journey of growth and renewed passion.
When starting out for the first time, Emily stressed the importance of letting go of perfection. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable and keep trying. “I started out doing this as an adult. I understand! I still take classes that challenge me to keep a beginner mindset.”
You can go to Emily’s website http://www.emilyalrick.com/ to sign up for a session at her studio in Ashland or any upcoming workshops. Also to see amazing video’s of what she does!