Tribal Sisterhood

Sisters of the Shawl, Kathleen, Jackie, Emily, Jeanne, Callie and Julz.  These are some of the women I’m learning to dance with every week.            Photo by Jon Katz

I thought I’d feel better after Bellydancing class, but I didn’t expect to feel so much better so quickly.

I know I didn’t do great in class today.

I’m still learning all the beginner moves and if I know what to do with my arms and hands, I can’t yet coordinate it with my body.  My legs and feet are a whole other story.  I still often turn left when I’m supposed to turn right.  But it felt good to be there  anyway.

And I am getting better at with the zills (the finger cymbals).

Usually  Julz and I  step away from the rest of the group when we practice zilling.   She works with me on my own, like the kid who leaves the class to get special tutoring from the Reading teacher.

But today we stayed with the rest of the dancers.  Julz still stood next to me and helped me, but I was able to do it.  When we were done, she told me I was zilling.

That’s something I was sure, when I first started bellydancing, I’d never be able to do.

After class we were talking about the Spice Routes Concert last Saturday night.  Once again Trish and I talked about how kind our fellow students are to us in class.  How patient and generous with their knowledge.

But Julz said,  “They’re not being kind.  That’s the Tribal Sisterhood.”  She said it’s how they teach and how we learn.

I could feel what she was saying, I actually stared tear up, but I couldn’t articulate what she meant.

Not yet.

It’s a new idea for me.  Or maybe it’s a really ancient one.


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