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By by Tonya Chianis (R.Sc.P)

Perhaps you have been questioning yourself as to whether you really want to continue with your bellydance classes, teaching or working on your dance career.  Did last year bring you too many negatives to deal with?  Yes, it's true that this can shake-up your belief system and desires, and sometimes cast you in a downward cycle of never ending negatives, (or so it seems). But you must learn to look at things from a different perspective.  You've already spent a great deal of money on costumes, classes, workshops, travel, etc. and perhaps have even entered competitions and not won.  Although this may be true, try looking at your situation from a positive point of view.  The money you've spent on costumes, can be made back by re-selling them (of course you have to take into consideration the wear, tear and use), but you will get money back.  You're classes have been invaluable to you especially when you realize that they've taught you new ways to move, pose and stand, that can and will help you in so many ways in your personal life.  Perhaps when entering an office to look for work, or if your occupation finds you before the public, such as teaching school, etc. They've also taught you better control and ways to focus. Workshops open you to new ways of learning and presentation in all areas of work, and traveling to different events has brought new friends, new connections and endless possibilities of opportunities should you choose to follow up.  If you entered a competition, and didn't win, how many others didn't win either?  Did they let it keep them from trying again?  What's really important for people to understand about Competitions, is that THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE WINNER, the rest are runners-up, and the winner MAY HAVE WON BY ONLY ONE POINT. Yet others consider themselves winners as well, because they choose to take a positive outlook (actually the realistic outlook), and that is that Everyone Is A Winner.  Those people realize how much good they've received just by trying, just by being around people of like interests, just by getting feedback from judges that have already made their mark and by seeing where you stand in the dance world with the rest of the competitors.  If you can't abide the negative, then change your thinking and focus on the positive. After all, life is just one big competition and all you have to do is decide "To Be or Not To Be" a positive part of life.

AFFIRM:  I choose to be a positive force for good, for myself and the dance community.  Every step I take is a step toward my good.