Dancing has aided the principal instructor and founder of The Women’s Bellydance Center, who goes by Julianna, in battling stress and fatigue, but it’s also saved her from surgery. Whiplash left her barely able to hold her head up in the wake of a car accident a few years ago. Her doctors were confused as to why physical therapy wasn’t working even after reviewing the MRI results.
Meanwhile, Julianna stayed dedicated to keeping up with her dance classes, performing upper body movements from her seat in a chair in tandem with physical therapy. When her teacher explained head slides, a movement in Middle Eastern dance where the head literally slides on the neck from side to side, an explosive and inexplicable sound from the back of the room left the class startled. It was Julianna’s tendon popping back into place and relieving her of the pain she had felt since the accident.
“I grabbed my neck and went to my knees on the floor,” recalls Julianna. “It was from the release because the nerve had been pinched for so long. I went back into the doctor two days later, and was out of physical therapy in two weeks.”
Her dance career started off with a similar bang — growing up in Illinois, she was enrolled in tap classes at 6 years old. Julianna continued her dance training in ballet, modern, and jazz dancing with Marcia Hicks of the Chicago Ballet. She was 16 when she saw her first belly dancer at a Greek restaurant in Chicago and was captivated by the movement of the form. After moving to Tallahassee, Julianna began seriously training in Middle Eastern dance for 10 years.
Read the rest of the story
Or visit the Tallahassee Democrat to read more here