I just got back from Rachel Brice's 8 Elements™ Phase I: Initiation training! In short, it was completely awesome. I have never worked so hard at bellydance or had so much fun doing it. It was the first time I've taken a test in bellydance, which was totally nervewracking, but I passed! I probably don't have to tell you that Rachel Brice's dancing is just on a whole other level than just about anyone I've ever seen, and on top of that, she is a generous and encouraging teacher. There were about forty of us training and everyone brought their A-game. I met lots of very focused, experienced, and fun dancers, that I hope I will be seeing again soon.
This training was exactly what I was looking for. I got an overview of the fundamentals, not just of tribal fusion bellydance, but dance and performance in general. By focusing intently on fundamentals, I gained new insights into my own strengths and weaknesses. I found new inspiration. I got excited about seeing where other people might take their dancing, because I was reminded that everyone is uniquely inspired and there is so much diversity of talent and passion that people have to offer. Being primarily an ATS® dancer, obviously I see the value in collaboration, and still this training totally rejuvenated my attitude about it!
I love that Rachel Brice has created a very structured approach to exploring and studying the fundamentals of dance, and has also left a great deal of freedom to apply the principles to whatever you’re inspired by. I can’t recommend 8 Elements™ enough! Do it if you have the opportunity! I hope to go back next year for Phase II: Cultivation!