Lessons with Jill
As a pioneer in the fusion and folk bellydance genres, Jill is a generous teacher with a rare gift for demystifying this sensuous form.
She meticulously and effectively breaks complex movements down to their essentials — making the technique and nuances accessible through a more fluent embodiment.
JILL PARKER DANCE
Having private lessons with Jill has helped me to fine tune my dance skills & gain greater confidence in my dance art. She has an innate ability to breakdown complex skills into understandable terms & provide the guidance needed to ingrain the movement within the body. I have found Jill to be generous with her knowledge & teaching of belly dance, very supportive and she continues to challenge me to grow in my skills & abilities.
As a baby teen dancer in the mid 90s was when I found Jill Parker, who was a principal dancer in the cutting edge FCBD troupe of San Francisco. At the time, I felt I could relate to her more than any other bellydancer in the mainstream circuit not necessarily because of her style & technique — which was everything — but mainly because of her unapologetic strength & confidence, yet not craving all the spotlight. She instilled in me to find my own power as a dancer instead of seeking the praise & flirtation of the male gaze, which at that time seemed the goal of so many dancers. Since then Jill has become one of my main mentors in this dance form. Her devotion to the dance & its pedagogy is such an inspiration. I always learn more from her every time I train with her. Her patience to the unique individual learning process as well as her attention to detail has helped me grow leaps & bounds. She’s down to earth yet direct with critique. Her teaching quality is another aspect I aspire to be like one day.
I’ve had the pleasure of studying privately with Jill Parker for years before an injury sidelined me from dance, and I am very much looking forward to going back to being her student as soon as possible. Her strength as a teacher is in the fact she takes the time to listen to you, learns your physical limitations, understands your goals, and devises a personalized plan to help you achieve it. Because her instruction is so individualized, it’s easy to see rapid gains in skills & techniques. She always gave ‘homework’ in the form of a 42-count step or combo to work on that targeted a weakness I wanted to improve and would review my progress before our next lesson so she could adapt plans accordingly. She always listened to my concerns and understood my frustration with some of my limited mobility and then created work arounds or gave me alternative moves or ways to accomplish the same aesthetic. She is also a wonderful sounding board and was always willing to review my work-in-progress choreography, letting me know what worked and what might need to change and then would offer alternative suggestions. My performances were stronger for working with her. I was a stronger dancer with more solid technique and more confidence in my body & my ability. She is hands-down one of the best instructors I’ve ever had and the one I studied with one-on-one the longest. I can’t wait to get back to working with her again soon.
Jill weaves a spell in her classes, taking you to a place where your body resonates with the primal sensual rhythms of ancient music. She shows you that your body was specifically designed for these movements and, no matter what level of skill you wish to achieve, your heart can express its wish for beauty in the simple movement of your arms.
Jill’s private lessons are your chance to get her all to yourself for an hour (or 90 minutes!), which is fabulous because of her qualities and expertise as an instructor. Jill is patient, body positive, and creates a safe and nurturing environment for a self-conscious dancer (like me) to come out of their body and dance in their skin and feel good about expression through movement. She has an expansive movement vocabulary which accentuates the grace and curves and goddess energy of the female form. Jill has a unique ability to hone in on how your body moves and help you move beyond perceived limitations. Being Jill’s student in classes, private lessons, and intensives for the past 2 years has helped me see myself as a dancer and has given me opportunities to meet and get to know other dancers as we learn, explore, create and perform together. Thank you Jill. ♥︎