Taking Time Off From Bellydance Classes Or Performances

If you're a student, teacher or performer of Bellydance and are sick with something contagious like a cold or flu, soldiering on is a foolish thing to do.

One reason is that if you keep dancing while sick it'll take you ages to recover fully. I know this well, as I’ve made the stupid decision in the past to keep up a full dancing schedule (I'm talking 20 classes and around 10 shows per week) while I've been unwell. What ended up happening was that the cold dragged on for weeks and weeks and weeks because I didn't take time off.

“But I don’t want to disappoint my students!” I hear the teachers among you cry.

“I can’t stand the thought of missing a lesson!” the students among you say.

“The audience want me and only me!” the performers among you scream.

To the Bellydance teachers, I say: your students might be a little disappointed if you have a replacement teacher take your class or if you end up having to cancel a class, but they'll be more disappointed if they wake up the next morning sick with the a cold or flu because you decided to take class regardless of being contagious.

To the Bellydance students, I say: you might not able to stand the thought of missing a class, but your fellow students will not be able to stand the sight of you coughing and sneezing for fear of catching what you've got.

To the performers among you, I say: the audience may want you, but they want a you at your best, not a contagious version of you barely able drag yourself around the dance floor, so stay home.

And to all of you collectively, I say: put yourself to bed and rest until you’re no longer a menace to those around you. People will love you for not having caught your illness.

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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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