Bellydancing and Me

The fabric Carolyn gave me, the scarf I got at a thrift store and the Bellydancing Jewelry that Melinda gave me.

Everyone else was staying another half-hour, but I go home after the level two class is over. For the first time, I Zilled while dancing with other people in class.  And I wasn’t just following,  I even took the lead.

(Zills are the small cymbals that we wear on our finger and play while dancing).

I pulled the Zills off my fingers, took a drink of water and thanked the women I had been dancing with for the past hour and forty-five minutes.  That’s when I saw Julz, one of my teachers, make a beeline for me.

She does this sometimes.  With the focus and eye contact of a dancer demanding her audience to pay attention to her, Julz stopped abruptly, inches in front of me.  She was smiling, then reached out and hugged me.

“You did it,” she said to me. “Kathleen and I sat watching you Zill and dance at the same time”.  “Remember when you said you’d never be able to do that?”

I was too stunned to remember the rest of the conversation but I did tell Julz that I never say that about anything, anymore.

I knew I had danced and Zilled for the first time, but I also had to stop several times so I could get the beat again.  For me, it’s like jumping rope when two other people are turning the rope. Waiting to catch the rhythm of the turning rope before jumping in.

But that didn’t seem to bother Julz and Kathleen (my other teacher).  And I realized it’s been only two months since I started practicing Zilling and dancing in my studio to a video Julz made for me to follow.

I left class feeling great and wanting to practice even more.

As I finished Carole’s quilt this evening, I was listening to Rachid Taha’s album Diwan 2.  It’s his song Kelma,  that I’ve been practicing Zilling and dancing to.  A song came on that I never heard before and I just started Bellydancing to it.

As I danced I noticed, out of the corner of my eye,  the two beautiful strips of fabric that Carolyn gave me a few weeks ago.  I’d been planning to use them in a Bellydancing belt.

When the music stopped, I went into the house and opened the wooden chest that I keep my Bellydancing clothes in.  I pulled out one of my coin belts, a couple of scarves and the piece of coin Bellydancing jewelry that Melinda sent to me last year.

I’m not sure what inspired me to finally start making the coin belt, I think it was the music and dancing.  I laid one of the scarves, one strip of fabric and the coin jewelry on the floor.

Then I started sewing.

I’m not close to being done.  I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing.  I’m just making it up as I go along.   I’d love to have it finished so I can wear it to class on Thursday night.  But I don’t want to rush it.

And the thing is, I already had an idea for another coin belt, which tells me this is something I’ll be doing more of.

The more I dance and the better I get, the more I see that between the dancing, music, and clothes, Bellydancing is a part of who I really am.

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