Thursday, July 10, 2008


I have hinted at it in earlier posts, not at all subtly, and as anyone who comes within a 20-foot radius of me on any regular basis knows, I am officially obsessed with belly dancing.

Sorry Jess, it's true. I know it bores you. I'm ok with that.

Last week's technique class focused on whirling, like Whirling Dervishes (only less Muslim, and less male). I can absolutely see why whirling like that is a religious experience. We learned how to focus on a spot on our hand (wedding ring came in handy, literally), and we were able to whirl nonstop for over 4 minutes, the first try.

Remember twirling around in a pretty party dress when you were 4? It's still amazing and totally worth it. Try.

Last night, we had an introduction to American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance. Wow, a spiritual experience for me.

One of the things I adore about our workout class is that most of the time, we're dancing to upbeat, hip-hop Arabic music. Which, in case you were unaware, is REALLY GOOD.

But ATS belly dance is different. The music is smaller, the beats are from a real drum, the dancing is more focused. The idea (qualification: I am NO expert yet) is that the group dances very precisely, in unison. In "tribal fusion," which we normally dance, we're all interpereting the dance in a personal way, so we're all over the place, even if we're doing roughly the same movement. The precise, uniform dancing of ATS was trance-like for me, and really, really powerful. I'm not even sure I have words to express it just yet. Something about joy.

I'll work out the rest of that thought, and get back to you. For now, know that belly dancing is important to me, and not just because of physical fitness.

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