by Prue Schafferius
During the diabolical year that was 2020, I turned to my survival super power; creativity. It was during my 100 millionth day of lockdown that I sat in my reading corner, watching the oblivious chickens roam around the garden, that I came up with the idea of combining my two careers.
I have been passionate about dance for 34 of my 39 years. I progressed from hopeful ballerina to professional Bellydancer, discovering my aptitude for teaching a few years later. I went on to complete a Diploma of Dance Teaching, where I discovered this thing called Pilates. I learnt that the Pilates method is not about puffing my way to great abs, but a system of using movement to rehabilitate the body from injury and pain. After gaining my qualification as a Pilates Movement Therapist, I spent a satisfying 10 years working with clients to help them live a pain free life while also teaching and performing Middle Eastern Dance when I wasn’t in the Pilates studio.
The Bellydance world is very organic. Organic movement and organic teaching with sometimes little attention from teachers in safe dance practices. I know that many dancers in our industry come into the dance world as adults and often learn from teachers that also developed their skills as adults. The result of this process is teachers that have little to no experience in formal dance education. By no means does this mean that these teachers are not brilliant instructors, some of my favorite teachers have no formal training in dance. But in my experience, this leads to a lack of knowledge in safe dance practices.
I have encountered many injuries in my time, the latest and most career altering; osteo-arthritis in my big toe. I can no longer dance in heels, choo choo/running shimmy or spend much time dancing on demi pointe. Attending classes and workshops with inadequate warm up and cool down, leaves me stiff and sore not just in my toe but all over my body. As performing artists, our bodies are our medium and we must look after them to avoid injury and pain.
So I asked myself, how can I help Bellydance teachers, students and performers improve their knowledge of safe dance practices? And how can I do this from my home studio during a global pandemic?
And then I had the light bulb moment and THE DANCE SAFE PROJECT was born.
I employed a business consultant and together we decided an online subscription service would be the perfect way to reach the global Bellydance community!
The Dance Safe Project is an online education resource and will offer courses in;
ANATOMY FOR BELLYDANCERS
MUSCLES AND MOVEMENT
COMMON INJURIES IN BELLYDANCERS AND HOW TO MANAGE THEM
SAFE DANCE PRACTICES
ACCESS TO ONLINE LIVE PILATES MOVEMENT THERAPY SESSIONS
DISCOUNT ON LIVE ONLINE WORKSHOPS
Each course contains videos, written content and original illustrations by my own hand. Discussion sessions and the opportunity to learn 1 on 1 through online are also available.
Subscriptions as well as individual courses are on sale now with new content added every 2-4 weeks.
Join THE DANCE SAFE PROJECT today and DANCE FOR LIFE!
Diploma of Dance Teaching
Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy
Creator of The Dance Safe Project
As a lifelong advocate for dance, Prue's mission is for the joy of dance to be accessible to everyone. Having had struggles with injury throughout her career, she is a firm believer that injury prevention is key to ensuring longevity in dance for professionals, teachers and students alike.
Her ethos is that dancers should be able to dance as long as THEY choose, not as long as their body chooses for them.
Based around her experiences, and with this in mind, Prue set out to educate dancers all over the globe on safe dance practices so they too could lead the dance life they choose.
And so, the Dance Safe Project was born, created as a unique safe dance practice resource for the global Bellydance community, combining Prue's qualifications and 20 years of knowledge and experience in Dance Teaching, Rehabilitation and Pilates Movement Therapy. The website, dancesafeproject.com will be live on April 21 2021.