Bellydance, What the Body Knows

 

The Bennington Beledi Tribal Bellydancers.   Kathleen is on the far left in the back row and Julz is on the left in the front row.  They both teach the class I’m taking.

There were only three people in the class.   We were starting over again with a new six week session.  It was the second time I was taking the first class.

And I learned a few things.

The first thing I realized is that this time around I actually had some sense of what Julz was talking about.  It sounded familiar as opposed to the first time I took the class when I felt like I was standing there with my mouth hanging open and a dazed look in my eyes.

The second thing that was different was that I actually had questions.  Which means that I knew enough to be able to ask a question.

The third thing happened because there were so few people in class and Julz was watching my feet as we were “marching” to the beat.  “Wait,” she said to me, “somethings wrong.”  It didn’t take her long to see that I was lifting my foot up on the beat instead of touching it to the floor.

So simple, yet so completely wrong.  And once I knew, somewhat easy for me to fix.

I also discovered that I can keep the beat (if we don’t go too fast) with my Zills if I don’t look at anyone else when I’m doing it.

“Your body knows how to do this,” Julz told us.  “You don’t have to stand in front of a mirror practicing, it will come with experience and time.”

My “homework” is to listen to music, any music, thought out the day, in my car, where ever I listen to music, and  try to find the “one” beat.

I  like learning how to Bellydance.

It’s not  about performing for me, (although I’d love to be able to do what Julz, Kathleen and the other dancers can do) right now it’s about learning.  It’s about being in the class with the other women, and trying to figure it out.  About being able to fail again and again and keep trying.

There was a new woman in the last class.  When I asked her why she was there she told me she only danced in her kitchen by herself and never played an instrument, but she felt like her body wanted to Bellydance.  That her body already knew how to Bellydance and was calling out to move in that way again.

I know just what she means.

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