A Great Bellydancing Gig At The Bennington Museum Last Night

Julz, Emily, Me, Callie, Trish

I’m still a bit high from Bellydancing last night. All I have to do is think about it and I smile.

It was the first time I danced in front of an audience who were paying attention and the first time we performed together in three years because of Covid.

And we had a blast.

We danced really well and laughed and supported each other through the problems.  I know the audience picked up on how together we were and how much we were enjoying ourselves.  Even I who, at times, was confused and a little lost could feel it.

We danced on a small patch of grass, except its very different dancing on grass than it is on a wooden floor.  You have to work harder to move around, your feet having more resistance from the soft uneven surface. But once Julz turned up the music, everything else disappeared and it was just the five of us dancing.  All of us doing our best.

We started the first set in a circle facing each other.  Julz led us in Gratitude, which is a combination of moves honoring the space we have to dance in, the music, and each other.

It was a wonderful way to begin, a way of connecting us to each other and giving us a chance to ease into the performance. I always get a little emotion dancing Gratitude even in class.  There’s some superstition around it too.  There are many stories about the mishaps in performances when Gratitude is forgotten.

Trish, Emily and Julz resting between sets. 

I was surprised to hear the audience’s applause at the end of the first song.  It was definitely encouraging.  The only other time I danced in public was at the farmer’s market and mostly people just walked by and stopped for a  minute or two.

Our little patch of grass, lined with a low slate wall was like an outdoor stage.  Most of the people were there to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the Out Door Sculpture Show.  People who care about art and were also interested in watching us dance.  But there were some children there too.

At one point there were four or five girls around 10 years old watching us.  Later I saw them dancing together, their arms high in the air, their bodies swaying.

Performing is different from not performing.  I feel like class will take on more meaning for me, knowing that will be doing something like this again soon.  It makes me want to learn even more, to try new moves that I don’t usually do in class.  To practice so I can do more and better next time.

And for all my fears and worries, I can’t wait to perform again.

I can’t upload the videos that Jon took onto my blog, but you can see us dance here. 

12 thoughts on “A Great Bellydancing Gig At The Bennington Museum Last Night

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed watching that! Wow! I love the outfit, Maria! And you make it look like it is effortless!
    I used to do belly dancing, but my current back problems would get me in trouble within a minute I fear.
    And what I liked even more is to see mature women without emaciation in their bodies, proud to strutt their stuff.
    I cannot believe that you are actually recovering from Covid still – Great job!!

    1. Nice to meet a fellow bellydancer Nicky. Its so much about not being ashamed of my body. Or at least it was in the beginning. I still have my “stuff” but I’m so much better with it now. When I saw these same women dance the first time five years ago I thought I want to have the same attitude they do. I’m getting there.

  2. WOW
    That was delightful and and I can see you were really enjoying yourself. I am so excited for you.
    You really had your glow on

  3. Glad you enjoyed yourself and are happy with your afterthoughts. Knew you would do well you always put your best into all you undertake. Peace, happiness and stay well. ♥️

  4. Wonderful dancing, Maria ~it was easy to see that you were having a ball from your radiant smile! I am inspired to take classes offered this fall in our small town. The movements look like so much fun…

    1. Oh Anne, do it. I love that we were able to inspire. And you’re so right about the moves. They actually feel good to do. It is such an old dance form, I tend to think there is something very basically human in it. As if its the way the body wants to move.

  5. Don’t know what to say but WOW, WOW and WOW. You ought to still be smiling today. Your gang of belly dancers is magical, I watched each video twice and will watch again when I need to feel good!
    There are many words to describe what went through my mind when watching you all having so much joy dancing together, Jon as always described it oh so well!
    It makes me want to belly dance too!
    Love and gratitude! Gail ❤️

    1. Well, that’s just how I felt the first time I was these women dance Gail. Thank you for writing and letting us know. It’s is as if you’re yipping and zagahreeting for us! Maybe you could find a group near you. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

  6. Your group put on a fantastic dance. Well coordinated and beautiful to watch!
    I can see that your hard work of practicing together has formed a cohesive group. Well done!

    1. Ah, Thank you Holly. Since the dance is inprov being coordinated and having the effect that is called “Flock of birds” is so important. But the group the individual women and our connection to each other is also such a big part of it. I’m glad you could see all of that in the video.

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