© 2018 by Despina Rosales

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My Story

My Story


While I started off as a full time Bellydance teacher and performer, these days I mostly teach Yoga and Pilates. But I wear a few other hats as well - I'm also a writer, an English tutor, and an animal rights activist!

My Bellydance journey all started with a TV show called "I Dream Of Jeannie". As a kid, I really wanted to wear Barbara Eden's costume, and have the magical powers that went with it. Well, I never got the magical powers, but I did get similar costumes!

I began to learn Bellydancing in 1992, and performed for the first time in 1995. I taught my first class in 1997, and started to teach and perform fulltime in 1998. Throughout Bellydance career, I leaned heavily on the advice and mentoring of the legendary Amera Eid (thanks, Amera!), and my school, Dreaming Of Jeannie Bellydance Academy, quickly became one of the biggest schools in Sydney.

Then in 2007 I added Yoga and Pilates to my teaching repertoire, and actually decided to change direction completely. Thanks to my training at Samadhi Yoga and The Pilates Room, Yoga and Pilates are now my main areas of teaching.


My Yoga journey began in 1987 when I tried my first Yoga class. And boy, did I hate Yoga. I wondered: could anything be more excruciatingly boring? Turns out I wasn't doing a Yoga style that suited me at the time, but it took me years for figure that out (remember, those were the days before the Internet - information didn't swirl about as quickly and easily in those days!).

Still, in my heart I knew that I really needed Yoga, so I'd do a few classes every year trying to kickstart it, but would quit every year. And I did that for ten (yes, ten!) years. Things changed in 1997, when I was introduced to a very dynamic and challenging form of Yoga. Finally, it all made sense! Finally, I could see very clearly the place Yoga could take in my life.

Then, ten years after that, I did my teacher training, and...well, here I am, teaching Yoga and loving it!


Pilates teaching came about in 2007 (at the same time as Yoga teaching), but my Pilates journey was rather different. I began participating in Pilates classes in 2005 - there was a class being taught just after my Bellydance class, so I thought I’d give it a try. As a reasonably fit person to begin with, I was shocked at how tough I found it. But, I persisted and improved, and absolutely loved the results.

So, that's my fitness teaching in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm in a nutshell! How did I get into this bloody great big nutshell?")

I teach weekly at various gyms in Sydney - in Alexandria, Canterbury, and Brighton-le-Sands. I'm also available for private classes, and can teach you in any of my areas of expertise, either in person or via Skype. Send me a message via the form below, and let's begin your learning journey together!

Now, for the other hats I wear: writer and animal rights activist.



My love of writing began with my love of reading. And the first book I loved was C.S. Lewis’s "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe" - read to the class by my fourth grade teacher, Miss Amiet. It was around age fifteen that I started getting thoughts of wanting become a writer, but I didn't have the confidence to for many years.

Still, I hovered around writing, in a sense, through study. One of my university majors was English Lit (the other was Sociology), and I did half a dozen writing diplomas too over the ensuing years.

While I was teaching and performing I became brave enough to approach my colleague and mentor, Amera Eid (erstwhile owner of of Amera's Palace) about writing for her Bellydance magazine. So Amera gave me my first published writing opportunity in 1998 (thank you, Amera!), and by 2001 I was editing her magazine.


I did that until the end of 2005, which was also around the time I started getting published in children's educational magazines. A non-fiction piece called "If You Were A Wolf In The Wild" and a short story called "Corina's Hair Goes Wild" were the first pieces I wrote for kids...and the first pieces that were accepted! (Lucky me, right?) Thanks to The School Magazine, I began my journey in children's writing, and have since had my work published many times by them and other kids' educational magazines.

I then turned my hand to writing books, and 2007 to 2009 was spent writing a book called "Little Dog In A Big City". While I had the good fortune of acquiring an agent to represent my book, the publishers she sent it to turned it down. (Apparently it was "too specific"...hmmm...specific to whom? To all the millions of city-dwelling people all over the world who have dogs??? Insert eyeroll!). Anyway, I wasn't going to let all that hard work go to waste, so I created a free online book for everyone to enjoy. Click here to check it  out: Little Dog In A Big City.

Next on my writing journey was a book for humanoids. Thanks to the encouragement of Leon Nacson of Hay House, I wrote a small, practical book called Quick Meditations For Workaholics. It was my attempt to help the overworked (which seems to be everyone!) find some peace in daily life. And, judging from the feedback I've received, it's doing a good job of it!



Veganism & Animal Rights...

My journey to veganism came through love of my dogs. I had a moment where I thought, "It's so odd that I love my dogs so much...but have no problem consuming the bodies of other animals". This moral paradox had me on my way, and in 2007 I became a vegan and animal rights activist. Living vegan is an absolute joy, with my only regret being that I didn't do it sooner!


Join me on social media...

Enjoy free teaching videos on YouTube, and lots of photos and tips on Facebook.


"I've been coming to your classes for about a year now, and I've never been to a class that's the same. It's amazing how much care you take to keep the classes varied!"

- Rita

Get In Touch

Fill in the form below,

or call me on 0403 897 420.

I'm a Sydney-based teacher,

and can do classes in person or via Skype.