Belly Dancing Class, It’s More Than Dance

Some of the Bellydancing Jewelry and bits and pieces that I took home last night.

One two-three four   five/six   Seven.  Eight.   I counted to myself, my right foot, hip, and arms moving to the numbers.  Seven turned me halfway around and Eight set me up to start again, on the left foot this time.

I was in Bellydancing class last night practicing a new move ( I can’t remember the name) something I’d learned the week before.

Last week I couldn’t get my left foot to do what I wanted it to and my arms weren’t cooperating either.

But I’d been working on it all week at home, moving so slowly,  anyone watching would not have suspected I was dancing.

I’d practice while throwing the ball for Fate, at odd moments in my studio,  while I was waiting for the tea water to boil, or while the animal’s water bucket was filling up.

And then it happened, as I’ve learned it always does.  What I couldn’t do a moment ago, I suddenly can.

Muscle memory Kathleen always says.  Once your muscles learn what to do, you don’t have to think about it anymore.

Trish looked at me and smiled.  “You’re doing it,”  she said.

Trish remembered that I couldn’t do this move last week.  And she looked as pleased that I’d learned as I felt. I did it a few more times, appreciating her reaction.  I didn’t know that Kathleen had seen too.  But I knew she was paying attention because when we danced together she threw the move.

It’s just this kind of thing that makes me love our Bellydancing Class.  That kind of looking out for each other, being happy for each other, and helping and supporting each other.

I do it now too when I can.  Making sure the new students have the best spot so they can see Julz when she’s teaching. Or passing on one of the tricks for doing a move better which  I’d learned was helpful for me.

The last fifteen minutes of class we usually spend drilling a new move,  practicing balancing a basket or sword on our head, or just dancing together.

But last night we sat in a circle on the floor and Julz emptied a big bag of belly dancing jewelry in the center.

Julz found the jewelry when she was cleaning out her basement.  “Whatever you don’t take,” she told us, “I’m throwing out. I’m not bringing it back home.”

Kids in a candy store, a slumber part with your very best friends.  That’s what it felt like.

Just like when Emily helped me with my makeup last week, I was finally experiencing those things that teenagers often do and I never had.

“Someone else should have this,” Callie said holding out a blue choker, “I already have one like it.” It looked perfect with Emily’s royal blue velvet choli.   Kathleen told us how to make an elastic sleeve to hold the eight-inch long brass cuff bracelets.  And Trish said she would make a fabric backing for the brass necklace, made of small tarnished squares, so the green wouldn’t rub off on her skin.

By the end of class, we all had a pile of jewelry in front of us.  I took anything that had fabric attached to it.

“I guess I’ll throw these out,” Julz said as she filled a little bag with tiny miscellaneous beads and odd bits of broken jewelry.

I added the bag to my collection.

In July we’ll have two performances.  We’ve had more new students come to class in the past six months than since I first started dancing.  It feels like a shift is happening.  Like belly dancing has been out of favor and it’s coming back again.

In July I’ll have been Bellydancing for six years. I’m a world better than when I began, but I still have so much to learn.  That’s one of the wonderful things about it though, there is always more to learn.

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