Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2017 Contents Here are some frequently asked ques-
tions about belly dancing:
What can I wear for belly
Start out simple. You need to wear some-
thing so that your instructor can see how
your body is moving, so they can correct
your form. Try some yoga pants or leggings
topped with a T-shirt that isn’t too baggy.
You will be introduced to that most addictive
dance class accessory, the spangly hip scarf.
Watch out, many of us start compulsively
collecting them. We want you to be comfort-
able, which means you wear something that
you can easily move in.
Yoga or workout pants, sports bra, fitted
tank top, or fitted T-shirt are best.
Bare feet, dance shoes such as jazz shoes,
ballet slippers, foot undies, or socks are all
acceptable foot attire. No street shoes re-
quired for belly dance classes.
Is everybody else in
class going to be slim?
It’s highly unlikely. Belly dance students
come in all sizes, ages, colours, and back-
grounds. You might be in a class with a
60-year-old former ballerina on one side
and a 22-year-old two-left-feet-never-
danced-ever on the other. In a class with a
good teacher, nobody should be judging you.
Do I have to show my tummy?
Not if you don’t want to. Many students
like to show their tummy because it makes
them “feel like a belly dancer”.
Some like to because the exercises in class
often isolate the upper body from the lower
and having no “connecting” clothing helps
them separate the two.
How do I deal with all those mirrors?
Your dance studio might or might not have
big mirrors on the walls. If you aren’t com-
fortable staring at yourself in form-fitting
clothing, don’t worry...you are not alone.
Don’t think about them to begin with and
just keep your eyes on your instructor.
Your instructor will be using the mirror
to keep eyes on all her students so she can
Later, you can try using the mirrors to
see whether you are dancing the way your
teacher is. They are there as a tool, not as a
way for students to judge each other.
Can I get injured in belly dance class?
Anyone could be injured in any type of
physical activity class.
So yes, it is possible. Belly dance uses
muscles that you might not normally use
and some of the movements may feel rather
odd at first...but when you try them, they
shouldn’t hurt. If you’re feeling pain in class,
let your instructor know right away and stop
what you’re doing.
They might correct your form or help you
modify the movement. Don’t force anything
and you should be fine.
If you’re coming into class with a pre-ex-
isting condition, though, like bad knees or a
back problem, be sure to tell your instructor
before class starts.
What if I’m really bad at this?
Nobody walks into their first class and
poof!...becomes a perfect belly dancer. Like
any dance form, you have to put in the time
and effort to improve. You might be in a class
with students who have been dancing for a
few years but who have continued to take
the beginner’s class. Don’t be intimidated if
“everybody else” seems to know what they
are doing already! Watch your instructor and
ask questions if you’re confused. Start out
with the goal of enjoying yourself, and relax.
By Sabita Sookdeo
guardian.co.tt Sunday, February 5, 2017
Things to know about belly dancing
From Page B3
What is your recipe for suc-
A close knit and supportive fam-
ily, loyal friends, and a passion for
the mas is what I think has made
Of course, I have to mention in
particular my brother Marcus Eus-
tace, Terrance (Crackers) Stephens,
Kevin Robinson, the Narine family,
Ronald Choo, and Vido.
How would you describe your-
Hmmm, that I am fun, sponta-
neous, love children, love having
a good time and entertaining. My
hobbies include deep sea fishing
and spear fishing.
What would you say you do
to bring your costumes to life
On stage I let the music take over
and become one with the costume,
but I also draw on my engineering
experience for pneumatics, light-
ing, and fireworks to ensure the
costume is appealing and dynamic.
Of all the times you have been
a ‘king of the band’, which would
you say was your best experi-
ence and why?
My best experience was winning
the 2016 title because I was at third
place in the semis and I pushed my-
self to win and actually achieving
that goal is still amazing to me.
What is the best advice you
have ever received?
Expect the best, be prepared for
the worst, to hell with what others
think, and do your best. Work hard
and appreciate the help of others.
You are your greatest champion so
work hard to be the best you can be.
What is the most difficult
decision you have ever had to
I had to choose between mi-
grating to Canada and staying in
Trinidad to build my career and
Carnival. Of course, I chose T&T
What would you say is your
I would have to say leadership. I
pride myself in being able to work
with the team to accomplish our
goals and have fun while doing it.
What daily motto do you live
“Live life to the fullest.” I aim
to be an exemplar to the young-
er people especially and to help
to motivate them to always work
hard toward their dreams by being
consistent and the best they can be
as no goal is unattainable.
What goals do you still have?
I plan on furthering my career in
aviation and retaining the title of
king in 2017.
I will continue to represent T&T
through the strategic design of my
mas and the beautiful history and
story behind the costumes.
For this to be achieved I believe
that a well-oiled team, where
everyone knows their role in pro-
ducing the king costume is essen-
Your favourite calypso/soca
My favourite song of all time is:
It’s Carnival by Destra Garcia and
Machel Montano. It is a synopsis of
what I see Carnival as, being free to
enjoy and share our culture.
Describe yourself in two
words, one beginning with T,
the other with E, your initials.
I would say...Talented for ‘T’ and
Exemplar for ‘E’.
Ted Eustace: Live life to the fullest
"Expect the best, be prepared for the worst, to hell with what others think,
and do your best. Work hard and appreciate the help of others. You are
your greatest champion so work hard to be the best you can be"
the walls. If
might be in
a class with
for a few
to take the
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