When I first started bellydancing I was having hip, sacrum, left shoulder stiffness and chronic pain in all those areas. I had gained weight and did not want to look in the mirror at class at all. I wasn’t very comfortable with the skirts, coin belts, tops, bulging midriffs, jewelry or moves. I could barely hold up my arms, much less do wrist rotating florios and snake like wave motions with my arms.
A few classes back it was only me, the teacher and another woman who does a lot of dancing, is a fit and foxy over 60 paragon. We were doing stuff and the teacher repeatedly corrected me with the other woman chiming in and I got quite pissed off at them both.
I bellydance once a week. I do not practice or do any kind of bellydancing moves outside of class. I don’t look in the mirror while we are at class because I dance by feel, just as I drum. This doesn’t mean I don’t use my eyes, but expecting me to have correct form when I don’t have a clue what I look like and don’t practice is, in my book, wrong. I said as much to them, not Ok with being seen as someone they can just pop off at whenever the whim to do so strikes them.
Last night the class was larger and we did a lot of arms. I was fatigued because I’d done a 90 minute ashtanga yoga session with a teacher and I was sore. We did a lot of snake arms and the teacher was being exacting about it because we had some newcomers and so on. More comfortable now that I can wear the clothing, silk flowers and jewelry, and make a few moves, I was able to watch my arms and shoulders as I did snake arms.
I could see that my shoulders do lift some as I raise my arms and watched my upper arm meats wobbling away. But I am so grateful I am not in pain, can raise my arms, even when fatigued, and that is progress for me. I’m more focused on dealing with chronic digestion and elimination problems than perfect bellydancing form.