Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bellydancing... Could I be any more of a flower child?

I've been needing to shake up my fitness routine as all I seem to do is Ellipticals, Zumba, and a few weights and I was getting quite bored. So, of course, I consulted in my good friend the internet. First I started looking for Flamenco. I have been in love with the dance ever since my trip to Spain with my mother and close friend and I had recently read an article about a woman whose depression was cured by taking a weekly flamenco class. Now, I don't have depression but I am quite moody (my wonderful boyfriend can vouch for this), a serotonin junky and have always had a curiosity for the foreign, mysterious and sexy (again, view my wonderful Egyptian boyfriend). But unfortunately the closest flamenco class to me was an hour away on the other side of Dallas and far too expensive for me to afford... but I did notice that there was a page about my local costume shop that had a flamenco fusion class... so I clicked on it! And there she was! This beautiful woman, Nacheska, who owned this costume shop that I had been going to for years for all my costuming needs (which are many as I grew up in the theater and delight in Halloween just as much as I did when I was a child). I knew she did dance classes but I had no clue what kind of dance she taught and, as it turns out, she teaches just about everything including, but not at ALL limited to, belly dancing, hula, world, and all these classes with Samba/Flamenco/ Latina/Chinese/Middle Eastern/fusion! And I noticed that a new belly dance class was going to start.... TONIGHT! The price was more than fair (about 5 bucks a class, just to pay the studio electricity bill) so I dawned my harem pants, sports bra (I ended up wearing a t shirt over it because i was too chicken), and my cheap Victoria Secrets perfume (one sale for $3!!!!) and went off into the night for a magic carpet ride. Unfortunately, I was late. The dance room was rather hard to find but after I circled the building, found the door, and went up the stairs, I found a door that read "renaissance muscle therapy".... this was not dance room but it was interesting to see. I made a 180 and finally saw it! The dance studio. I open the door and am already completely satisfied. what do I find? Well, scarves, bells, hats, feathers, mirrors, and of course, Darth Vader. I peep around the corner and ask "is this the dance room?" to which a hidden goddess replies "yes! But you are 10 minutes late!" (I am automatically taken back in time to when I had a very strict ballet teacher with a cane and an impossibly thin waist for a woman who looked so ancient) but she told me not to worry as the girls who would have been there today couldn't be because they were on holiday and that the class would start again next week and there were many classes tomorrow that I would be interested in taking. I figured, oh well, today has already been quite an interesting day (I'll tell you more about it later) I'll just come back tomorrow. But I ended up talking to Nacheska for 10 minutes about SCAD and my major and losing weight, and how my mother was a Hula dancer, etc when she gets a call from one of the other "baby belly dancers" who says that she is coming up the stairs. I am VERY thankful that she was a whole 10 minutes later than me and that my sin might possibly be forgotten. Nachesa then decides that she might as well teach us and give us a leg up on the other girls in belly dancing 101. And my God did I love it!!! Belly dancing, I discovered, was not just about gyrating around like a noodle but power and control. When your shoulder moves, that does NOT mean that your hand should as well. Your hand should stay in one place until YOU tell it to move whether you are simply moving your shoulder back in forth or full out shimmying. You booty should not stick out from your spine, as my rump likes to do, but stay firmly stacked under your spine in a vertical line (try this for 5 minutes, I DARE you! stand up and stack your spine in a straight line and stay that way. Harder than you thought? Right?). By the end of the class, I was doing pretty well for my first time and I could not stop smiling. I felt sexier than I had in quite some time as well as more daring. Perhaps next time I will wear a tighter shirt or pants that don't completely hide my body? We will have to see I guess. I'm going again tonight!