"Start realizing your plan immediately. Put all your energy and
motivation into it – don't give up – it will be worthwhile in the end."
Interview from February 10th 2020.
My home is Stuttgart, which is where I was born. As a child I
was fascinated by nature and animals. I was rather shy.
I loved walking barefoot, and I still dance barefoot today
– it gives me a tremendous sense of connection with the earth.
In my successful career in banking I suddenly realized how important
movement is for health, wellbeing and happiness.
How did you get in touch with the Bellydance and what does it give you?
It was a chance encounter with Bellydance at my brother's wedding.
From the very first moment I knew that I wanted to be able to do
these amazing movements myself. And that was the beginning of my
journey of Bellydance discovery.
Today I understand that when I am dancing I am completely and
absolutely myself. A voyage of discovery into myself.
It gives me a sense of wholeness: strength and weakness, power and lightness, joy and
grief, flexibility and inflexibility.
It is such a revelation to know that everything is allowed – that
I am fine just the way I am.
How did you begin to make dance and movement your career, and
what were the most important milestones on that path?
The breakthrough came when I was asked to dance in a professional
I had this deep felt desire to to create and run my own dance studio – and
I have been lucky enough to fulfil it. I am eternally grateful to so
many people who have helped me achieve this dream, especially those
on whose unconditional support I know I can always rely.
Since I was always filled with a sudden surge of joy when I moved, I knew
that my path would be holistic movement. I obtained certificates
in health and fitness with the Stuttgart branch of the Swabian
Gymnastics Federation (STB) and became a holistic health and fitness
To improve my skills in working with people in holistic dance I
decided to train as an ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE™ teacher with Coco
Berlin. I was incredibly lucky to meet Manuela, one of Coco's students, and
it was her enthusiasm that sparked my motivation to sign up. That
was in April 2019. I am so glad in retrospect that I didn't hesitate:
I knew as soon as I'd signed up and received Coco's confirmation that
this was going to be something really special and that I would be able
to add another excellent qualification to those I already had.
Did you have any doubts or reservations about the training?
The urge to sign up for the ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE teacher training
far outweighed any little nagging doubts.
My aim was to get an international qualification as the culmination
of my training in classical oriental dance. It was, I felt, important
to have a strategic goal. I left no room for doubt. I brushed up my
English with Duolingo and was ready.
How did the training change you?
Coco's charisma is amazing. I embraced it wholeheartedly
in all aspects of my life, but especially in my dance and movement
classes, where I pass my joy and love of life 100 % on to my students.
After the training it was as if my body and my whole self had been
re-programmed. I can sense it on the inside and it is visible on the outside.
Among so many self-confident and determined women it
was easy for me to be sure of what I was doing, what I wanted and to
simply be the way I am. I was certain that I could take the confidence
that I had when dancing into other areas of my life. I often feel
this sudden sense of lightness coming over my students
at my dancing classes, too. Of course, they absorb what I radiate
and show when I dance. Knowing this gives me tremendous satisfaction.
As far as my private life and my work are concerned, my priorities
are now clear: I think of myself.
What was the best moment in your dance life so far?
Once when I was teaching ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE,
I was motivating the students to dance in a circle, with a solo dancer
in the middle. She was dancing absolutely authentically, in the
moment and completely at one with the music.
When it was my turn, I also danced with lightness, connected with
the earth and the music, completely at one with myself. Every student
danced with lightness and authentically.
It was a complete success with the students and gave me a feeling of
completeness and joy.
I was thrilled at my own progress and that of my students. We all
felt so happy and authentic; we experienced a wonderful dance
sensation both as a group and individually.
Is there something you regret?
Yes, that I didn't set up my business earlier.
What 3 tips would you like to share with women who want to pursue a similar dream?
1. Start realizing your plan immediately. Put all your energy and
motivation into it – don't give up – it will be worthwhile in the end.
2. Believe in yourself and take one step after another
towards your goal. Don't be discouraged by obstacles in your path.
3. Be yourself – authentic and show who YOU are!
4. It's so amazing to be a member of the ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE™ community.
What made you decide to set up your own center? How did you do it?
I wanted to take my life into my own hands, make my own decisions,
be responsible for myself. Also, I wanted to share my skills and
professional expertise with others and give them useful impulses.
Any practical advice that you'd like to share with us?
Be grateful every day – and consciously feel this gratitude in
your heart. Every day give yourself a gift of at least five minutes
for your own personal dance and movement time! Dance and move to
music you love and feel the energy and vibration in your body.
Sense the rhythm of the music! Ignore any intrusive negative feelings.
You don't just help people to stay youthful through movement;
for many years you have been giving end-of-life comfort and
assistance to the terminally ill. That must be very challenging.
How did you get involved into that work?
While I was training in "Humanist psychology and psychotherapy" I
came across a brochure from the Stuttgart Hospice, inviting people
to train as volunteers working with the terminally ill. A year later
I was ready to begin. Looking back, I think it was probably my own
fear of dying that made me volunteer to work with people on their
end-of-life journey. One of the exercises that I remember most
vividly involved imagining that I was dying and that I could only
take the three things most important to me with me to the hospice.
For me, that was one of the most difficult exercises of the hospice
Nonetheless, that evening I already sensed that my confidence was
growing and that my fear was receding.
I qualified to guide terminally ill patients as a mindful
facilitator at the very end, to be there for them at the final
moments of life. These profoundly moving and valuable experiences
gave me increasing insight into death and what it means.
As a result of this mindful facilitation I now know what I want and
what I do not want in my own life. I can now articulate it and even
put it down in writing – this has been a valuable lesson for me for
my own end-of-life journey.
Now, when I am confronted with death, I turn my gaze to life.
So, don't wait for the wake-up call to act: take control of your
life now! Create whatever it is that makes you happy and that you
will be proud of.
People who are struggling to come to terms with loss and bereavement
also need compassionate and empathetic professional support and I try
to help them get through these difficult times. I'm a qualified grief
therapist and help them overcoming grief through dance.
I value my work and the opportunity
it gives me to support people at difficult times, focussing on life
and living as well as on death. In Germany, we have a saying:
"A burden shared is a burden halved."
Being conscious of this makes me happy.
What are the 3 books that shaped your life?
"Wu Wei: the Tao art of living" by Theo Fischer
"To Have or to Be?" by Erich Fromm
“Bevor du sterben willst, lebe!" by Klaus Lange.
"Having comes from being" by Nicole Rupp
“Plainly Speaking" by Bruno Würtenberger.
How does a day in your life look like?
I wake up and think about the day ahead, then I shower and get
the newspaper from my letter box. Before breakfast, I have a glass
of warm water, usually vitamin D + K2 drops and a coenzyme.
Next, I prepare my classes, compile the playlist,
attend to any business and private phone calls.
Lunch is usually light – mostly vegetable-based dishes with a high-quality oil.
Then I relax for a while before heading off to my fitness or dance
In the evening I usually wind down or read.
What is your vision for the future?
I would like to provide professional and competent support and
encouragement for people, so they can find out who they are and what they want to do. My reward
is their respect and appreciation.
Thank you so much for the interview Magdalena! You are an inspiration.
Do you love to dance and want to inspire other women?
Then join our international community of excellent dance teachers and start teaching your own ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE™ classes.
You can do it!