It has been a very long time since I have tried to learn a skill that feels so awkward -- Belly dance is definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone.
I have had my third class in belly dance, and have been practicing 4-5 days between each weekly lesson. I am now experiencing little tiny glimmers of success. I am not there yet --- but sometimes, for a second or two, I feel I am on the cusp of getting a move down. I have a "Woah, did I just do a chest circle? Was that a real shoulder shimmy?" moment, and then it disappears like a glimmer on the water...
Every Sunday through September 30th; Rick and I and the kids fill up the Wonder Wagon and push and pull it the couple blocks from our house to the Fulton Street Farmer's Market. On Sundays there is no produce -- only Artwork and hand-made creations... Thus, the title "the Fulton Street Artisan's Market". Rick and Rose stay the whole time, manning the booth. Pearl and I and some of the other kids come and go... It is a lot of sweaty work, and takes commitment especially from Rick and Rose. Last week Rick made $12.00. But success is not always measured in dollars and cents. It is a great way to meet people and connect. Today I chatted with a woman with a booth across from ours, doing henna tattoos, she has been belly dancing for about 5-6 years and had words of encouragement for me in my beginning stage of belly-dance... Lots of great people share their wares and lot of great people come down to see the creativity and support local artisans... Come on down if you can-- and if you are far away, send some positive thoughts and prayers our way! Sundays 11am -- 3pm.
I found this quote on Pinterest and it brought me some encouragement. I am practicing belly dance every day. I feel fairly confident in the belly dance warm ups and warm downs -- but the actual practicing of the movements has been very discouraging.
I feel like the Tin Man before he was oiled thoroughly. So stiff and clunky and unbendable.... So I remind myself -- I am new at this. Baby steps.... fall down, get up.
I am an artist. I decided to be an artist in first grade. I was 6. The journey has been bumpy for me, but it has always kept moving. When I was young, I envisioned my path in art as being a straight line to "success". A linear path that lead me to having "arrived". When that did not happen to me at 22... I was confused. I have struggled with artist block from time to time in my life, usually because my imagined plan did not pan out. I have learned, through my life as an artist and living with my husband who is also an artist, that life is generally more circular and seasonal than straight and linear. Living a creative life is now my aim. To me this means there are seasons of living. You would not try to grow a tomato plant outdoors in winter in Michigan -- it wouldn't make sense. Similarly, I have observed seasons in my life, and my husband's life where different creative pursuits have come to the forefront while others -- didn't go away, but were simmering on low... on the back burner. So now, painting is in the lime-light and Belly Dance wants to steal the show and rug hooking is waiting in the wings-- and there is gardening and summer fun and 6 monthes from now-- who knows what will circle around? I am open to it!
I started a beginners belly dance class last night -- as an extreme amateur it was both terrifying and exciting! I have found as I have gotten older and my body has changed and my place in life is different, I have lost the confidence and freedom I once had dancing. I have always loved to boogie, but as I have left the nubile young woman stage - I crave a new vocabulary for dancing. Many years ago I saw a documentary about belly dance in the Middle East, and how it was created by women and for women -- to celebrate all ages of women... and how the older women were revered because of all the years of experience and emotion that were translated by their body movements. It is a dance that expresses the life of a women - sensuality, birth, sorrow and beauty and joy. Wish me luck as I persue this new venture!
This is not the video I saw years ago, (I could not find it) but it does show it is a dance for women that celebrates all eras of womanhood.