Rachel and Vilia backstage at their Jamila Level 4 Choreography Recital this past December.
All of this was was my path. It wasn’t for anyone else, and not for any other reason other than it was just what I had to do. Keeping all of that in the front of my mind is how I was able to achieve my Level 5 from that long distance study. It can be done!
But now that I’ve been teaching in my area, I work with an army of strong dancers who are excited to put in the time and do the work. But it hasn’t always been that way. I had to do the work, too.
The School has added a ton of training and learning tools since the days when I was training long distance. We can connect with students through Skype, online classes, workshops with Level 5 instructors, local classes in our satellite schools, and so many other resources. It takes our training to a whole other level.
If you have ever asked yourself the same questions I did, or felt like you are just too far away, you’re not alone! The School is here for you, no matter where you live.
Guiding You Through Your Certification Journey
Since 2015, I’ve been acting as Certification Coordinator. But what does that mean?
I help students in the school plan their training, and I answer a lot of questions. From the student who is beginning to prepare for their first Level 1 test to the dancer who is polishing their required choreographies to test for Level 4, I help guide them through the process. I help students:
Students also ask me about larger concerns, such as working around injuries and how they can best represent their Salimpour School in their classes and performances.
Basically, I’m your go-to person if you have questions about how to start, and how to keep going.
Seeing the Process as a Student
Guiding other dancers through the certification process has shaped me into an truly active member of the school. I get to see the process as a student as well as a coach. I’m so inspired by our students’ commitment to the work and their strong connection to the School. Our students dedicate time to training outside of personal lives, families, children, career, relationships, medical conditions, and so much more. Because they love it.
It keeps me motivated, too. No matter how many hurdles life throws your way, you can always dance and grow.
Shaping the Salimpour Program
Based on my own experience, I’ve been able to develop my ability to help others.
I also get to shape the program, tweaking areas that need development, and polishing others based on my own training process as well as feedback I get from students.
Some of the projects I’m really excited about include expanding testing and performance opportunities for dancers who are training long-distance:
- To help students prepare for higher-level certification, I’ve been organizing testing pre-requisites as well as our video evaluation process.
- You might have seen our Salimpour Performance Collectives popping up all over the world. I’ve been helping organize these groups, as well as guiding them through their performance goals.
- And, I’m so excited to be beta testing our new online testing courses for Suhaila and Jamila Format Level 1. This is epic for those peeps studying from afar!
Developing the Salimpour Legacy
Being the Salimpour Certification Coordinator means being an active part of the Salimpour Legacy. It is an honor not only to be involved in the lives of so many students all striving to be the best dancers they can be, but also while working so closely with Suhaila as she further develops the program.
Because I am tapped into so many different elements and angles of the School Formats, it helps me to see the training process, behind the scenes planning and development paths on a different level. It’s like seeing 3-dimensional version as opposed to an image on a page. I get to see the whole process from start to finish and all the goodies in between that make it such a great well rounded program.
I can’t help but feel lucky to be a part of it all!
About Rachel George (SL5/JL3)
Based in Southern California, Rachel George is San Diego’s hub for Salimpour School licensed classes and workshops. She’s also an award-winning performer, having won the titles of “Belly Dancer of the Year” and “Bellydancer of the Universe.” Rachel continues to perform and train with the Salimpour School of Dance, and is working on earning her Jamila Salimpour Level 5 certification. If you’re in the certification program, you can reach her at salimpourcertification (at) gmail (dot) com.