Frank the Belly Dancing Weatherman, Behind The Scenes Exclusive!
In Cincinnati, there's a weatherman named Frank. One day he was dared to learn to belly dance. Frank the Belly Dancing Weatherman made quite a stir on Dilara's Diary, due in part to his enthusiastic and sincere attempt at belly dancing, as well as his co-anchor's not-too-original sidenotes. Dilara hit the streets searching for Katy, his belly dance instructor, to get a behind-the-scenes look of Frank's transformation.
Read our Q&A with Katy to learn more about her and the experience:
Q How long have you been dancing, performing, and teaching?
A I began dancing about the age of 3 in ballet, tap, and jazz and as a young teenager wanted to find something else. There weren't any hip hop classes around, but there was a belly dance school nearby. I was hooked the first night! That was about 14 years ago. I've been teaching and performing for about 11 years, opening my own studio 10 years ago.
Q How did you first hear about this "Dare Frank" segment?
A Frank contacted me. I've done a few segments with him in the past and so when someone dared him to belly dance, he remembered me and reached out for my help.
Q Any word on who dared him? Any chance it was a student or belly dancing friend?
A I actually don't know who dared him. If you check out the Dare Frank website, you can see that fans are posting dares there. But he is also getting dares from Facebook and his own email.
Q What were your biggest concerns regarding the performance?
A My biggest concern was what to teach him, although I didn't stress too much about it :-) I finally settled on a minute long drum solo that is the first choreography my students learn from me. I wanted him to have a legit belly dance routine to learn.
Q How much and what kind of training did you do? Did he train alone and if not, how was he treated by other students?
A I went to the station and worked directly with him. He did offer to come up to my studio, but since the cameras needed to be there, I figured it would be more efficient for me to go to the studio instead. It's not too far from me so we did the private lesson at the studio.
Q How did his training compare with that of a typical student?
A He definitely got the crash course in belly dance; my typical student would have worked through several weeks and months of training before learning a choreography like that. Since we didn't have that time, I gave him the quick review of the moves without all the drilling that I typically do.
Q How was the weatherman as a student?
A He was fantastic. He really wanted to get the moves and remember how they coordinated with the music. He was also quite interested in what everything meant...what do we use finger cymbals for, why do we wear coin belts. Finally his energy was off the charts, so that made it fun!
Q Do you normally teach men?
A I do teach men, although the majority of my class consists of females. I've had one male student in particular for several years now.
Q Seeing as how he is male, what do you hope his performance can say about belly dance as a whole to people not familiar with belly dance?
A I hope that people realize that men can belly dance as well as women. Also I hope they see belly dance is fun, energetic, and family friendly vs. anything inappropriate.
Q Looking back, what would you do differently about the performance?
A I wish we could have had a little more time to practice together, but overall I was very happy with how all of this went!
Q Any reactions from friends and family you'd like to share? Any bump to your classroom attendance?
A My family, friends, belly dance peers, and students were all really excited to see it. My dad was super proud (who doesn't like making their dad proud??) and all of my belly dance friends were happy to see a positive reflection of dance in the news. Anytime belly dance gets positive air time is a good thing!!!
Katy stayed true to her belly dance teaching style to give Frank a realistic, though brief, class experience. His honest approach combined with her authenticity led to a performance that was both entertaining and a good representation of a first time belly dancer.
With Katy's goals in mind, we too hope that this short recital was influential in changing perceptions about belly dance, both in it's intentions and the difficulty level.
Have you ever belly danced on a news program or taught a news anchor? Share your experiences in the comments below.