I have been taking a bellydance class at A2Yoga. I took it partly because I simply cannot figure out the shimmy we sometimes do in Nia. When I looked at what I had going, and what my Nia teacher had going, I knew there were entire muscle groups I wasn’t using or I wasn’t relaxing, or something. I heard that the bellydance teacher could break it down for me.
I also took bellydance because it was completely overbooked the first two sessions, and because of the way the students clinked, ultra-femininely through the hall on their way to class with a scarf tied with metal coins around their hips.
6 1-hour classes do not a bellydancer make, but I have enjoyed the music and trying to get my brain to learn at least some of the dance moves. Here’s what I think I’ve learned:
- belly dance is a misnomer. You actually move your hips and ribcage, the belly undulations just happen as a side benefit.
- there are an infinite number of ways to move my hips, most of which I’m not used to.
- learning something new is an ego-crusher, good for building humility.
- bellydance music is fun.
- bellydance came from Egypt, but much of the modern music is Lebanese.
- playing with being feminine was a real joy.
At the end of the last class, our teacher didn’t lead the choreographed section, and the class bumbled our way through the dance we’d been working on since the first week. I alternated between staring at my neighbor and the class in the mirror and my teacher’s face for cues. I felt shy and wanted to hide behind the other women in the class, hard to do when I tower over all of them. Then, she showed us a piece she’d performed the prior week. She was amazing – beautiful, sultry, poised, dramatic. Wow. Inspiration to persist beyond the incompetent phase.