The Bellydancing paradox

My bellydancing teacher just sent out by email a  180 picture slideshow  of us dancing at a little gathering she called a “Hafla”.  What is strange about it is that I’m not completely repelled seeing myself at nearly 200 lbs dolled up in skirt, coins and the various upper layerings. There really is true  beauty and grace in the movements of bellydancing, along with the jiggly reality of woman flesh being deliberately shaken. What I see in the stills is an acceptance and joy in the women’s faces, mine included, and unconditional love.

I don’t think I’d be bellydancing at all at this time of my life if wasn’t for my teacher. I love rhythm, percussion, dance, drumming and music a lot, but actually doing the bellydancing and showing up for class is still  quite a stretch for me.  Sometimes I find her slow, deliberate,  controlled and  repeated instructions  irritating. I’m used to cranking out the energy to drum for dancers, and it’s taken years to be able to do that, so this is a very different energy.

But it is that exact level of  loving  intention and pace which challenges me to be present visually and emotionally. It’s a completely different space and it’s changing the way I feel about myself day to day. I can feel something eroding and dissolving very slowly. I think it’s a lot of buried contempt for  being female, fear and self hate.

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About Shirley

I started this blog to expand and explore my rhythm horizons as a hand drummer. That exploration includes touching on the rest of my life and inner world as authentically and truthfully as possible.
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