Essence of Bellydance

by Coco

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Dance from the inside out

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Fall in love with every inch of your body

Bellydance feminine dance classes in Berlin

Dance yourself lean, flexible and strong

Bellydance body awareness dance classes in Berlin

Discover a new body awareness

ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE™ Teacher Spotlight Magdalena

"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 dance group. 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 coach.

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 volunteer training.

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 classes. 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!

Bellydance Teacher Training with Daya from Nürnberg
ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE™ teacher Magdalena from Stuttgart, Germany
Bellydance Teacher Training with Daya from Nürnberg
I was certain that I could take the confidence that I had when dancing into other areas of my life.
Bellydance workshops with Daya from Nürnberg
I wanted to take my life into my own hands, make my own decisions, be responsible for myself.
Bellydance Teacher Training with Daya from Nürnberg
Be grateful every day – and consciously feel this gratitude in your heart.
Bellydance workshops with Daya from Nürnberg
Be yourself – authentic and show who YOU are!

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