At the encouragement of a friend, I enrolled in a bellydancing class this fall. It ran from Halloween to this evening, on Sunday nights. The dialogue went something like this:
Friend: “Let’s do a bellydancing class!”
Me (internally): Can’t do weeknights, it will have to be a weekend, the class is only on Sundays, and Sunday nights are nuts for me. And, oh my God, it will be right in the thick of the dayhome buildup for Christmas. Maybe if I do more work during the day, I’ll be able to make the class. I love to dance, I’ve always wanted to try this.
Me (out loud): “Okay! Let’s do it!“
Let me tell you how excited I was about this class. I bought my first ever pair of yoga pants (MEC Messina pants are lovely, if you’re interested). I dug out the sea-foam green, French silk scarf my mother-in-law had gifted me, and tied it around my hips. I LOVED the music, especially the North African stuff from Morocco and Egypt. I LOVED the movement, and how my stiff, athletic, totally not sinuous body would find the beat and move effortlessly for a minute. A whole minute!
I’m a dance-hall style dancer. I learned to dance in basements, community halls, and VIP rooms packed past capacity with all manner of misogynistic, anachronistic, politically incorrect, hip hop, reggae and R & B. There is a LOT of booty, a LOT of overt sexuality, a LOT of heart-beat-pounding, blood-pumping, sweaty, shaky, find-yourself-inside-the-music kind of movement in dance hall.
Belly-dancing is like that. Just more polite.
Anyway, I missed the first class because it was Halloween night. The kids enjoyed their costumes, got some good loot, and Shelton tried not to be too horrified by all of the strange people gushing over him. (“He so cuuuuute!”) He was, of course, absolutely terrified by my neighbour’s one-pound, wiggly, little frou-frou dog. But that’s a story for another day. (Shelton: “I DON’T WANT YOUR MEAN DOG OR YOUR MEAN CANDY!”)
I missed another class because I had already done three trips to the pool, three trips to the gym, and a round of vinyasa flow. Dance, you say? No. At that point walking was a serious struggle.
I missed another class because my son put a dried blueberry up his nose. He and I spent the evening (Greycup Sunday) at Emerg., and then returned home for more cuddles and take-out comfort food.
After having missed two classes, I arrived, excited to dance. My instructor handed out a printed routine in a language of numbers and steps that I did not comprehend. And then she moved us through the first third of the routine, and I was lost. I picked it up, I think, by the end of the class. I was confident that I would be able to keep up with the group next time.
I missed another class because my son’s best friend gave him norovirus, and Shelton became an explosion of foulness both in output and in attitude.
And that was it for bellydancing, for me. The last class is tonight, and I won’t be attending. I don’t want to slow the other ladies down, or mess up their routine by not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. I reviewed the sheet our instructor had printed out for us. Still don’t comprehend it. It is just for fun. I know that. But there are ladies in the class who take it more seriously. I don’t want to ruin it for them.
Also? My number one son slept in until nearly 10am, and woke with a mild fever and a head full of snot. And it goes on.
So, I’m crossing this one off the list. Bellydancing was a good experience, and I will totally do it again. But maybe in the summer, when cold, flu, Halloween, Christmas and dayhome preparation aren’t already packing my days.
In the meantime? I might need to find a good dance hall. It really has been too long.