Bellydance today is becoming increasingly popular among women everywhere for it’s physical and mental benefits, but did you know that thousands of years ago bellydance was a fertility rite? These birth rituals served dual purpose: physical aid and spiritual expression. Picture this: a group of women consisting of your closest family and friends surrounding you at your birth, encircling you with love, song and dance. All of your sisters move their bodies in unison with you and your labor, contracting their bellies, breathing, moving the circle and singing. As you are supported by this powerful concentration of energy, your baby enters the world in celebration. The singing and dancing will continue for hours in honor of woman and the womb ~ the center of all creation.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to discover bellydance, a dance by women for women. The abdominal and hip focus makes bellydance an excellent preparation for birth. It will tone and strengthen the body, specifically the muscle groups used in childbirth such as the abs, back, gluts, legs, pelvic floor and birth canal. Pre-natal bellydance creates a strong connection with your baby. It uses gentler moves such as soft, swaying hip circles and figure 8’s, rib circles and belly undulations. Acknowledging the womb as the baby’s first cradle, you can calm your baby using the soothing back and forth movement of a hip sway or the gentle belly roll.These movements will help reduce pressure and tension in the body. Practicing these moves will help you gain an awareness of the muscles involved in birth and you will learn to trust your body. This can help you have a shorter, less painful birthing experience as well as assist in post pregnancy recovery. There are also many moves that can be learned during pregnancy to be used on the big day! Moves like hip shimmy, pelvic tilt and internal hip circles will help to support, stimulate and expel during birth. As with any exercise program, you should always consult with your health care professional before beginning. Even if you are physically limited, you can perform some moves lying down in practice or birth.
Beyond the physical benefits, bellydance can give you a terrific mental boost. It clears the mind, enhances your mood, energy level and self-image. Practicing bellydance helps alleviate the possibility of depression or anxiety ~ both common among new mommies. Bellydance lets you embrace your body, your sexuality, your womb and life! Awaken your inner goddess and learn the language connected to the feminine consciousness. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits for you and your baby make belly dance something well worth checking out.
I teach prenatal bellydance online at http://www.powhow.com/classes/heather-shoopman-dance. Contact me to request a time that suits you. I also offer prenatal healing sessions which include massage, Reiki, Craniosacral Therapy and sound healing (outcall only in Los Angeles and surrounding areas). See my booking page for more info.
In light~ Heather Shoopman
Posted by shoop on October 25, 2013
I hope you are all enjoying the last bit of summer. I’m busy in the studio with new pieces for upcoming shows, as well as producing BFLA’s big show Horror Cinema Classics Oct. 5. I am going on a little vacation, and in the meantime my classes are being taught by amazing talents! On Thursday 10am Sweat Shop the lovely IrinaXara will be teaching yoga and bellydance. (through Sept. 5) On Monday, August 26 my troupe mates from Heavy Metal will lead the class in tribal improv. No class Labor Day!
Things will be back in full swing in September with Calico on the 21st and Moun of Tunis on the 24th. Horror Cinema Classics Oct. 5 and a trip to Northern California in November. Check my calendar page for more info. My online studio has a few drill videos available if you just want a quickie! http://www.powhow.com/classes/heather-shoopman-dance
Keep dancing and I’ll see you soon. Shimmies~ Heather “Shoop”
Posted by shoop on August 21, 2013
I am just back from the inspiring Tribal Fest. Oh what a week it is :) Summer is fast upon us, and I am very excited about it! First up is MECDA’s Cairo Caravan on 5/31, 6/1 and 6/2. This year I’m thrilled to be presenting 3 performances and 2 workshops. My classes this year are focused on creativity, play, collaboration, improvisation, and bringing more emotional story to your dance. You are sure to take home tools for your practice whether you are a beginner or a professional. It all happens in Long Beach, check it out: http://www.mecda.org/cairo. Check my calendar section for performance times. I’m excited to have Shoop tank tops for the first time! They will be available for purchase at Cairo Caravan. I also have many new exciting essential oil blends and sprays for you!
In other news, one of my heart projects: Bellyfusion LosAngeles, is really making a place in the community to embrace fusion bellydance. We are holding haflas on the last Friday of each month in Eagle Rock. We also host Trash or Treasure sales twice per year (next one is June 22) as well as a number of exciting workshops. Check out BFLA here: bellyfusionla.com I’m a proud parent ♥
STUDIES! Keep dancing….come play!
♦I am teaching ongoing at Dance Garden right now. Mondays nights (8:30pm) are all about Tribal Improvisation in a group. It’s great fun! Come make a friend. Thursday morning class (10am) is a workout of fusion drills. dancegardenla.com
♦I will be teaching a day of privates in Santa Maria July 13, 2013. You can do a website contact if you are in that area and want to take advantage of the special day rate there.
♦I’ll be out in Thousand Oaks in August…still working on those details.
Stay happy and healthy, and remember to love yourself.
Dancing through life……Shoop
Posted by shoop on May 26, 2013
SPRING *technique clean up* SPECIAL **BUY ONE GET ONE***
I am offering a spring deal on privates. I have been working privately more and more, and it really is so fun to help YOU bring out YOUR best!
I come from a background in performing dance, theatre and on camera for over 20 years. My eye will help you charge it up and add that punch it needs to be your absolute BEST! I am also a healer, which means I tend to be nurturing. My intention is to lift you up! I will help you see the beauty in yourself, and we will talk about those areas that need attention and how to address that.
If stage fright is your thing, I’ll give you some ideas about how to work on that in drills and in daily life.
If time/practice is your problem, we’ll come up with a DO-ABLE plan for you together.
Costuming blues? We can talk about that too! Let’s get that choreography and YOU stage ready!
If you are not working on a performance, but simply want to come up with a plan to bring more bellydance into your daily structure, we will spend time looking at your life, formulate a plan and get you started immediately!
If you are pregnant, this time can be spent specifically on techniques to help you carry the baby, labor and deliver with more ease.
Perhaps you are a teacher and would simply like to go over new ideas for class.
ok…..you made it this far……how much will this cost me?
$50 for TWO HOURS of one on one time!!
Can’t swing 50 bucks right now?
I will also do ONE HOUR for just $25 ♥
SIGN ME UP!!
*paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
( please send $52.00 for buy one get one free
or $26.00 for one discounted private)
*you can mail me a check: please PM me for address
*you can pay me in class
*leave payment for me at Dance Garden in a sealed envelope
*privates must be purchased in APRIL via paypal
and redeemed by June 15
*location is provided by me will be at Dance Garden or my home which is a few miles from there
*i can travel to you for an extra fee/amount depends on distanceI hope we can dance together soon!!
I love you ♥ Shoop
Posted by shoop on March 25, 2013
Catch me March 29 with my Tribal Improv troupe, Heavy Metal.
There will be many wonderful acts, including our special guest Mat Jacob from Montreal. Come celebrate dance!
Posted by shoop on March 23, 2013
This month I’m pleased to announce there will be 2 sessions of
Bellydancing for Pregnancy and Labor
February 2nd and 16th @ 10:30am
Birthing Women’s Health
454 N. Avenue 56 in Highland Park
Awaken your inner goddess and learn the language connected to the feminine consciousness!!
Prenatal bellydance is an excellent preparation for the delivery room and beyond.
In addition to creating a stronger connection with your baby, it will tone and strengthen all of the muscle groups needed for childbirth. You will gain body awareness thereby helping you develop trust for your body. You will learn specific movements for calming the baby or to help them change positions during pregnancy, as well as moves to help support, stimulate and expel during birth.
Bellydance also reduces pressure and tension in the body, so you can have a less painful birthing experience and an easier recovery.
Continuing a post delivery dance practice will help with the adjustments your body and mind are making. Beyond the physical advantages, bellydance also offers a terrific mental boost. It clears the mind, enhances your mood, energy level and self-image.
In class we will do light stretching, learn dance moves and their specific benefits, discuss self massage and end with a grounding, loving meditation.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to explore bellydance, an ancient birth ritual created by women for women.
Posted by shoop on February 2, 2013
As the year begins I am filled with gratitude at the many blessings in life. What are your resolutions? I made a few, but mostly to finish the to do list! Classes are back in full swing at Dance Garden and online at http://www.powhow.com. Come move with me when you can, I promise a good time!!! Stay tuned…many things cookin’. As always, I appreciate YOU!
dance on~~ shOop
Posted by shoop on January 12, 2013
As we approach another year’s end, I am filled with awe and gratitude at how much life blossoms and grows. I want to thank each of you for your support in this journey of dance, meditation and healing. There are a few opportunities left in this year to dance with me, and my online classes will be going strong every week. Join me if you can, and stay tuned for my free gift at Christmas time. I’m working on a meditation track just for YOU! In the meantime, take 20% off any of my online classes with this code: Friend-heather-shoopman-dance. Register at http://www.powhow.com/classes/heather-shoopman-dance.
Dance on, dance up!
Posted by shoop on November 25, 2012
Posted by shoop on November 7, 2012
Posted by shoop on November 7, 2012