Helping Your Replacement Bellydance Teachers

Sometimes tragedy befalls a Bellydance teacher and she needs time off. A letter to your students explaining what has happened and what will happen in terms of the classes will help to alleviate some of the pressure on your replacement teachers. Students tend to always want their Bellydance teacher and your replacements will generally feel some anxiety in taking over while you’re gone.

The following letter is the one I wrote to my students when my little dog Jordan was killed by a car. It may help you as an example of the kind of letter you could write to your Bellydance students if you experience a tragedy and the need for such a letter arises.

My dear students,

I will be absent for the next few weeks and have arranged to be replaced by my three top students. I assure you that you are in good hands, and to be certain that all runs smoothly I have given the girls an outline of what I’d like to be taught during my weeks away.

The reason for the absence is that on Monday the 14th of July, 2003, at 6.15pm, I lost my second baby - my little dog Jordan. I was trying to help a stray dog and lost one of mine as a result.

With the stray dog in one hand and my two little ones in the other, my attention was scattered in too many directions for just a few seconds and in that time, Jordan managed to wriggle out of his collar. When I was alerted to this fact by his bark, I called him to come to me. At that very moment, Jordan noticed another dog across the road and bolted for it at full speed. He was hit by a car, his head and neck taking the brunt of the blow. His life was taken instantly.

Those of you who have had or do have animals in your family, know that losing a dog is like losing a child. The pain is just as deep and just as real. I hope you to understand that I’m not abandoning you irresponsibly mid-session, but am deeply depressed and need time off.

I’m trying to overcome the guilt of having sacrificed my little baby in order to help another furry friend, anger at the driver who just took off, and even more anger at the cruel fact that this all took place on my 31st birthday. This irony - that on the celebration of my birth I had to begin mourning my dog’s death - is not something I am easily coming to terms with.

The teachers I've chosen for you are all excellent dancers and all have some teaching experience. With my guidance via telephone and email they will be able to help you continue your learning of Bellydancing.

Thanks for understanding.



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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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