I'd like to let you know how much the belly dancing classes you offer have made a difference in my life. Since coming to the classes beginning three years ago, my energy level is higher, my arm, leg and stomach muscles are stronger and firmer. The classes are energetic, fun, sensual and a great workout.
I really appreciate the time and dedication that you show to me in making sure that my moves are the best that they can be. I love the confidence that I have gained since beginning my class and can't wait every week to come and work out, while learning moves that are graceful and incredibly good for enhancing one's shape . My recent change in diet and eating habits, has changed my life and the belly dancing exercise classes have allowed me to lose weight and yet my body has remained firm.
You are an amazing person whom I truly respect. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for belly dancing!
In January 2007, when I came for the first time to your school, I was feeling desperate. My surgeon told me that the situation of my right knee was very bad and constantly worsening, and that a knee replacement operation was a necessity. Starting with the first lesson at your school, I could feel the situation of the knee improving and now six months after, my surgeon is amazed to see the progress and he just confirmed to me that I do not need anymore a replacement of my knee.
As important to me, is the change of my mental conditions. The way you are directing the classes, the ambiance you have created, the good attitude of all the students are such that it is a real happiness to go to the classes. I feel now more confident in myself and I am very grateful to you for that change in my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
JUMPING ON THE FIRE
My friend and dance teacher Rouhi invited me to join her community for Norouz, the Persian New Year celebration that has been observed for over 3,000 years. "We jump on the fire!" she explained.
"Don't you mean over?" I asked hopefully.
"That's what we do!" She replied with a beautiful smile and a toss of her mane of black hair.
Sometimes the idioms confuse me. "I kill you" in English is an awkward translation of a charming Farsi phrase that means something like, I love you so much I could eat you up. Jigar is said with a deep-throated rrr that is almost a growl, and is a term of endearment that means liver, as in, I think of you like my liver, which is pretty darned important to me.
In her dance classes we joke that Rouhi is the Queen of Iran as she watches us with eyes in the back of her head. She wants each dancer to find her own way of interpreting the steps, so that our differences are honored. She pushes us to move beyond being unsure and uncoordinated, to dancing like water, snakes, the wind, and the essential and eternal feminine.
The night before the Persian New Year the hills of Los Angeles are blooming and the moon is bright. Throughout the city and on the beaches, fires are burning for this ancient Zoroastrian celebration of "new light" and "new day." Parents take the hands of their children and leap over the fires together.
The eyes of the little ones are full of amazement. The forbidden fire that must not be touched or played with, is now inexplicably turned into a friend on this wonderful night. Teenage boys and girls tease each other and try to flirt and look bored at the same time - as if nothing matters, when it is clear that everything matters as much as it ever will in these precious moments in the firelight. A toddler practices her dance moves with the intensity of a diva. An old man with a walker seems content to watch from his fixed placed. A dapper Iranian man asks me to dance and says I look very happy. None of us are purists about the Persian aspects of the celebration. Santiago shows me a complicated salsa move. Michael holds me close through the tango. The DJ adds hip hop to the cultural remix.
Rouhi is someone who welcomes all and celebrates all. She decorates the studio to honor all of the holidays observed by this dancing community of Muslins, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Bahá'í, and Buddhists. If people who say they are "spiritual but not religious" invented a holiday - she would decorate for that too.
We run and jump over the fires again and again, while the joyful noise of the music blares and the celebratory mood lifts our laughter to the sky with the rising smoke. I'm told that as we leap over the fire we are releasing the yellow energy of the fear and pain we have held within us, and inviting the red energy of courage and vitality embodied by the fire. We are One in this celebration and in our shared desire that this year be better than the last.
The great Persian poet Hafiz wrote, "I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, A Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, an angel, or even pure Soul. Love has befriended Hafiz so completely it has turned to ash and freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever known." At our next dance class Rouhi is beaming, "Wasn't that fun!" Oh, yes, Jigar.
Last not least the other people teaching in Rouhi's class are wonderful people.
Thank you for making a difference.
I received a lot of compliments from my co-workers, friend and family members.
I would like to thank Rouhi for her dedication to her students. She is a very caring person and a great instructor.
Rouhi will guide you to the mystical world of belly dancing.
Thank you Rouhi. You are the best.
I have no regrets coming to the classes. I get a good workout, learn how to dance and I have fun.
I love Rouhi and her class.
I am writing this letter 'cause I have so much to say. I am very happy I joined your class! Here is the reason why. To learn belly dance it was my dream since I was a teenager. Every time I looked at women bellydancing I thought you have to be born a gorgeous eastern diva to do these awesome shakes. But you, Rouhi, break down all the moves so clearly they don't seem so difficult to perform and everybody can do it! You teach us how to get to know our body, how to control it. I've been going to your class for only a month but as early as now I can do a lot of amazing moves and shakes. I notice my body gets tensed, flexible and neat. I always had some extra pounds I wanted to shed. I didn't like to change my eating habits and I was signed up to many fitness programms but after those long hard hours I just got tired and bored soon.
But now after only a month of your dancing lessons I had to change my work-out clothing - it got too loose. For only a month a lost 8 pounds just dancing. It's a great work-out, too! I enjoy the music, I enjoy the wonderful dance, I enjoy myself! I like to come to the studio in the morning to meet new people and those who already became my friends who as much passionate about belly dance as I am. Every time I get this wonderful feeling of achievement and self-improvement from class to class which makes me feel so good and happy and proud of myself. You teach us that everything is on our mind - all our problems, fears, doubts and diffidences. But if we work at our Self - with our Self - it all goes away. There is nothing we cannot do. With your belly dancing class I become a new confident, enerjetic, optimistic and happy person.
You are an amazing teacher! I'd like to thank you, Rouhi, for opening the whole new world of belly dancing for me, for making a world of difference in my life!!!!
Even someone with two left feet will learn to have sexy and graceful moves. Rouhi watches each of us with her twenty eyes (front, center, and back) and critiques our every move--nothing escapes her! I'm just starting, but already I can dance better and sexier in any setting.
The atmosphere of class is fun and feels as if we're at a party.
What better way to be healthy and get moving? Thanks to Rouhi for providing a place to dance, be healthy, and enjoy life!