Belly Fit Certification: what do you guys think?

onela

New member
Hello chaps! Long time, no post- I've been busy dancing and running and cycling despite Halifax's poopy weather.

I had an interesting conversation with my Monday night belly dance teacher and thought, "who better to ask for advice than strangers on the internets?". So, people of the internets, riddle me this- on Victoria Day weekend, my instructor included me in an electronic mailout to relevant persons (including people in the local belly dance community who I hold in high esteem). She wanted to tip us off that there's going to be a Belly Fit certification session here in Halifax. It's 2 days, about 300 bucks, and at the end, you can call yourself a bellyfit instructor (after you pay the licensing fee every month, I suppose). My instructor is one of three here in Halifax who teaches. Tonight in class, she told me she thought I had a good base for bellyfit- I've been belly dancing for years, am a lifelong ballerina, recent studier of African dance, and on-again off-again yogi.

That said, I've never done belly fit before. My first step here is to try out a class or two and research the heck out of it to see if it's something I'd like to spend 300 bucks on at all. But honestly? The idea of supplementing my income doing something belly-dance based sounds pretty wicked, and there aren't a lot of instructors here yet. A "instructor" discount at Lululemon would be pretty wicked.

Bellyfit website: Home ~ Bellyfit :: Moving Women

Some people doing Belly Fit: (LINK)

So, what do you guys think about Bellyfit in general? If you're familiar with Bellyfit or an instructor, did you like the certification course? I'm looking for any and all discussion about bellyfit, if you're a student or a instructor, what do you like, what do you not like, what's the deal with Bellyfit?
 
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Yame

New member
I've never heard of it. Is it just a Canadian thing?

Seems to me like this bellyfit is to belly dance what zumba is to latin dances. If you're into that kind of thing, it could be a nice opportunity. I have to say it's not my thing, though.
 

onela

New member
I've never heard of it. Is it just a Canadian thing?

Seems to me like this bellyfit is to belly dance what zumba is to latin dances. If you're into that kind of thing, it could be a nice opportunity. I have to say it's not my thing, though.
Yeah, seems like it's based out of BC, and in my googling, Americans never seem to be talking about it.
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
Is your instructor only 1 of 3 in Halifax who teach this bellyfit class? I have not heard of it but I can ask my other friends in Halifax who teach bellydance what they know of this program.

I would be very wary about spending that much money on a program that even local people don't know about or on something that does not seem that popular in your area yet. Also are you planning on becoming an instructor for it? That would be the only reason I can see on spending that much money. Zumba was popular here in my area at the gyms but it seems to have lost it interest now. I only know one gym of 3 that still has zumba classes.

Also check out how much they want for licensing fees every month/year, if you have to do continual refresher courses/training yearly, and where & how often you have to travel for that. Always check out the fine print.
 

onela

New member
Yes, the implication is that I would teach after certification. At 300 bucks it's actually a little more affordable than some of the "intensive" style workshops that have been/are coming to town (Colleena Shakti was just here, and Mira Betz is coming to town Canada Day weekend- Cheart, were you in town for Shakti, or are you coming to see Mira?) and I'm not currently performing, so it's hard for me to justify the expenses for those workshops on that basis- on the other hand, might be not too hard to get in to a gym to teach a fitness class (I'll admit part of my motivation is to try and get on the payroll at the gym on the base where I already work- I'd love to have the perk of access to the CF gyms!), or I can rent a room pretty low-cost at the local rec centre and do my own thing. I am generally interested in teaching experience- I'm a museo so I'm already distributing knowledge.

My instructor who suggested it to me is also trying to secure additional funding from the province to reduce the cost so if she does that then a 2-day training programme where I don't have to travel or do 500 hours is a lot more appealing. Even if it is a fad, if I get about a year or two worth of teaching it, I've more than made back my investment. And honestly, I don't mind spending money on dance/fitness anyway. My instructor is one of 3 who has certification in Halifax, and I do hear a lot of chatter about belly fit from non-dancers (a lady in my Samba band loves her bellyfit class she goes to).

PS: Edited to add: Yeah, definitely reading the fine print. That's part of what this digging around is about- I wanna know if anybody's discovered anything of a fine-print nature they didn't find out until after certification. Looks like a monthly fee of 21 bucks for licensing, haven't found anything else. (Chi Running has lots of re-training thingies, and you have to train far away- I would have loved to certify to teach that!)
 
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Gia al Qamar

New member
The bottom line is that anyone can teach a fitness class with "belly dance" as the core element. Zumba instructors teach 'latin rock' classes when they don't want to pay certification or licensing fees.
What do you get besides permission to teach their format? Can you come up with your own fitness format and teach that instead? Most gyms that teach 'belly dance' are really just dance excerise classes with the basic shimmy, snake arms and hip circles thrown in for good measure...
 

onela

New member
The bottom line is that anyone can teach a fitness class with "belly dance" as the core element. Zumba instructors teach 'latin rock' classes when they don't want to pay certification or licensing fees.
What do you get besides permission to teach their format? Can you come up with your own fitness format and teach that instead? Most gyms that teach 'belly dance' are really just dance excerise classes with the basic shimmy, snake arms and hip circles thrown in for good measure...
They give you the official Bellyfit music and a course outline (I don't mind it teaching somebody else's stuff, sounds like a good "first time teaching fitness" course of action) and some other instruction material, like online reference/continuing ed material. And "CEC's" (I have no idea what they are, I think it's some sort of points-system for fitness instruction in Canada? I'm still trying to figure out what this is?).

My co-worker teaches skating here at the base and says she'll hire me to do her older kid's off-ice program. Honestly, if I made my course fee back and enough scratch to fund workshops and whatnot that I want to do next year, I'd consider it successful.
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
Sadly I'll in in Halifax later in july but not during the mira time slot. I couldn't afford to fly in for the shakti workshop :(
 

onela

New member
Sadly I'll in in Halifax later in july but not during the mira time slot. I couldn't afford to fly in for the shakti workshop :(
I didn't go to the Shakti workshops (couldn't budget the money or the time for it- I was in high demand for Samba and bike week stuff) but I did go to the show- WOW! I don't know you well but I feel like I have a pretty good read on what kind of dance would be your thing and I know you would have *loved* it. I'm probably only going to Betz's 2-hour intro workshop, don't think I can spend the time needed for the whole intensive away from the museum on a summertime holiday weekend.
 

Yame

New member
My co-worker teaches skating here at the base and says she'll hire me to do her older kid's off-ice program. Honestly, if I made my course fee back and enough scratch to fund workshops and whatnot that I want to do next year, I'd consider it successful.
Will she only hire you if you're bellyfit certified? Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to start teaching without this certification?
 

onela

New member
My concerns with proceeding without the certification is that this province is awfully small and I don't want to stir up any drama by not going through the motions, don't want to step on toes. I don't mind investing money in professional development/training if I don't have to travel for it. A good friend who's recently started working as a personal trainer (and training to be a lady UFC fighter!) feels strongly that fitness instructors should have *some* training as opposed to none, and I value her opinion on the subject. I'm also not experienced in teaching dance/fitness and would feel more comfortable progressing with training than without.
 

onela

New member
Upon further research- looks like DND wants any fitness instructors to have certifications in whatever it is they're doing (the skating club is affiliated with the base).
 

Gia al Qamar

New member
I guess as long as your instructor has OTHER certification (IDEA, NETA for example in the US) why not get 'certified' to teach their program...but if her training is lacking, she'll simply be passing on a lack of education to those who are, essentially, paying to teach...
 

Daimona

Moderator
If YOU think it is worth it, why not?

I haven't heard of any of the above mentioned certifications, but I do know that even a less good certification/teacher training will help you develop as a teacher compared to no teacher traning. And of course you can always add other and perhaps more well known certifications as you advance if you want to or your potential future employers requires it.
 

onela

New member
If YOU think it is worth it, why not?

I haven't heard of any of the above mentioned certifications, but I do know that even a less good certification/teacher training will help you develop as a teacher compared to no teacher traning. And of course you can always add other and perhaps more well known certifications as you advance if you want to or your potential future employers requires it.
Thanks Daimona! I don't mind spending money on workshops and training, I love going "on course". I was hoping to get a more general "this is what I think of bellyfit" conversation going but I guess it's just not common in the USA (where most posters on the forum here are based) or East of Ontario, so we haven't been able to discuss it that way. For me in this equation, money is only a factor if I have to travel for retreats in Nepal or something cost-prohibitive like that to maintain a certification. Like you say, any teacher training is helpful in developing that kind of skill set, and that's as much what I'm hoping to get out of it as anything else if I decide to chase it up. I really enjoy fitness and would like to develop some fitness instructor skills as my day job is in a field of work where the jobs are hard to come by- if we move for my husband to take work, I'd like to be versatile enough to be able to have a backup plan in case I can't find a regular 9-5 day job. I see Bellyfit as a way to dabble in fitness instruction (which I always see TONS of job postings for- and I gotta say, it makes me mental that on the Canadian federal government jobbank, they always post fitness and arts & heritage jobs in the same section...).
 

Jane

New member
I'm somewhat familiar with this type of stuff. I worked out of a gym for years and have taken a lot of weekend certification classes like this before.

The main purpose of certifications like these are branding and licensing a product. It's kind of like McDonalds of the fitness industry. You get the same thing everywhere you go and it's the consistency and name recognition that counts. With your certification you get to use their brand name and use their products. Basically the class will have a section on how to teach their classes, their goal, and their licensing agreement. It's been my experience with these certifications that you don't really learn a whole lot other than what pertains directly to them and their product. They spit out these products and expect, and sometimes require, the instructors to buy them and use them in their classes.

If you are currently working at a gym or want to work at one, these classes are somewhat valuable. The fulfill your CECs (continuing education credits) toward keeping your job training skills up to date. Most gyms require a specified amount of these training credits for instructors per year. One down side is that many other instructors in your area will most likely be taking the same class and begin teaching as well. The market will be quickly flooded if you live in an area with a small population. There is not much benefit for people with no desire to work out of a gym or gym style studio.

It's a fitness industry thing and it won't improve your real dancing at all. Classes like this used to just irritate me. I was required to do the silly things even if I never found the information useful for a dance class. You'd be much better off spending your money on a kinetic anatomy class or a personal trainer certification like NETA.

YMMV of course!
 
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Shanazel

Super Moderator
Oh, hell, Jane! I can't give you rep for that. How about public applause instead?

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
 
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