Dancing Machine
November 07, 2007

Hand Rolled Cigars

Shortly after S and C moved closer to us, C had been hinting that perhaps I should accompany her to the belly dance class she's been attending. At first I didn't want to just invite myself along, but the more she talked about it, the more I kinda wanted to check it out. The class is tribal style, which I had seen preformed before. There's usually a group, and they perform in unison. It's pretty fascinating to watch. And while I have no problem watching people dance, whether or not I can actually dance is questionable, but I figured I might as well give it a shot.

After a bunch of failed attempts (class canceled, the new Thursday night class didn't start until C returned from Europe), I finally went to my first belly dance class last Thursday.

Since I had never been to a class EVER, C advised me what to wear (black yoga pants and a tank top), and assured me there were usually beginners in the class who also wouldn't have any belly dance garb on. Well, the Thursday night class is different. Pretty much everyone was in dance attire. However, it didn't really seem to matter. All the girls were friendly and, as we chatted a bit while waiting for the class before us to end, I noticed they were all of varying ages and sizes. This seemed like a pretty cool group of chicks to be dancing with, and I was starting to relax a little.

So we start to file into the small studio space and, as we're figuring out how we can situate ourselves so we can dance without plowing into each other, I notice a guy wandering around. I assumed he was there to pick up someone from the previous class. I just couldn't picture a guy being there to learn belly dance (not that there's anything wrong with that). And here's where I think the universe is probably having a nice good laugh at my expense. Not only was he there for our class, but he was dressed appropriately and had obviously taken a belly dance class (or two) before. He had on a sparkly embroidered vest, and some puffy, floaty pants. It was like little Lenny Kravitz had dropped in on our dance class. And since he was the last one to show up, he ends up standing behind ME. So much for relaxing a little.

The addition of a dude to class shouldn't have made a difference, but I felt EXTREMELY self conscious the whole time. There were parts where I just decided I shouldn't even try what we were doing because I knew I wouldn't get the hang of it. There were a couple of moments where I thought I might just go sit down on the couch in the corner of the studio and wait for class to end. However, what dancing I did put some effort into was kind of fun. I was intrigued enough to try going to the Saturday class.

Having a better idea of what I was doing and the absence of Lenny made the Saturday class a MILLION times better. So I pre-purchased 5 more classes. I even bought my own set of zills, AND a hip scarf.

I'm definitely not very good at it, but I'm having fun, and added bonus: exercise! I'm actually kinda of looking forward to the next class. Eventually, I may even get the hang of this belly dancing thing (as long as mini Lenny isn't dancing behind me).



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.