Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Will shimmy for shoes

Tonight in class I had the opportunity to turn back time, and revel in the joy and enthusiasm of being a freshman in college. One of my students brought two friends along...and after I learned they didn't have a ride home (they were going to wait for a cab), I offered them a lift back to campus. Of course, I had to force one of them to sit up front so I didn't feel like their mom, and they were very quiet and well behaved on the way home...but nonetheless I felt that glimmer of giddiness and joy that we all had when we first left home and headed out into the world.

We talked about how hard some of their classes were (okay they talked, I listened) and I became excited to find out they had been taking Italian. Seriously, I dream of going to Italy just to be romanced by hot Italian men who chase me around shouting 'bella, bella'. And amongst, the chasing I get to eat loads of fabulous pasta, drink hedonistic amounts of wine and then shop for shoes.

When I told them how I dream of those shoes but probably couldn't afford all the ones I wanted, the three girls suggested I could belly dance on a street corner to earn extra money. Literally, shimmy for my shoes. One of them even suggested I could use a extra bra as a place for tips. So, now I'm even more distracted as I think of how my 'cups could runneth over' and in exchange score me some hot Italian heels. It's such a lovely thought, wrong in so many ways, but still just as lovely :-)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Connecting to joy

Sometimes we forget at time how much this dance form touches, uplifts and transforms women of all ages. I certainly cannot imagine who I would be today with the dance and the music. Maybe my closet would be a little less shiny, perhaps I’d have a little less credit card debt but I have no doubt I wouldn’t have as many moments of joy and utter happiness.

Last night at the show, one of the guests performed her first solo on our stage. She’s been dancing for several years and has taken from a variety of instructors in town. However, I was her first instructor through UT’s Informal Class program. Every time I see her at belly dance events I’m tickled that she’s stuck with it so long and works so hard at this art.

We were talking at one point and she confided that this dance has been such a boost in her life. I didn’t know until last night that at the time she first started taking classes from me, she was going through a very difficult time in her life. And, the only time she felt happy was in that class, for those few hours and those few weeks.

I was certainly touched, and very impressed that’s she’s come so far. But, I’m not that surprised at her reaction. I think that as women we can become disconnected to our real spirits, our souls and ourselves. If we’re given the chance to let go of distractions and frustrations and focus on moving our bodies in a safe and supportive environment than we can open ourselves to joy…even if it is fleeting. It’s not a matter of disappearing into the music and movement but rather connecting to it on a deeper level. And, if we’re lucky we can take that experience and bring it into other parts of our lives. So, here’s to joy, happiness and lots of shimmies!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Someone should read her own blog!

Now I'm laughing, really laughing. I just wrote about feeling moody before the show and then went out to the blog to see the post. The funny thing is the last time I posted I mentioned I was moody as well! And, I'm not all that moody of a person, I'm usually upbeat.

So, grousing and griping aside...I'm officially working myself to the pumped up and excited phase. In fact, I may skip out of work early just to devote extra effort to that endeavor.

I'll blame it on the weather

After our brief foray in spring and summer temperatures (we're talking 80's here), we're now back to the dreary cold (okay 40's and 50's) and rain. I'm not too excited about the gray skies, but since central Texas is in a drought, I'll take the rain. However, for reasons we could not predict, we're down to half of the troupe for our show tonight. That's right...out of eight dancers we have four that will dance tonight. Thankfully we've got four guests scheduled as well so I'm not scrambling this afternoon trying to find people to dance on short notice. The irony of it all is I thought about not going to the show.

I've been in a little bit of a dance funk lately, and I've been busy and preoccupied with many other things. I rarely miss shows, and the last time I chose not to dance but just come watch I was regretting the decision immediately and dancing in my chair. This week, I couldn't come up with any good reason to sit out the performance so I figured that some time between leaving the house and 7:30 p.m. I would start feeling inspired. And as much as I love dancing, some times it's a bit of drudgery.

However, it probably has less to do with the idea of dancing and is more related to the obligation of being somewhere at a set time. The good news is that with fewer dancers tonight I can do a little longer song. So right now, I'm going a little moody with one of my favorite numbers Bitswanna Beek. It's that odd length, too long for six-minute sets we usually try to stick to, and too short for longer performances in other venues that require 8-10 minutes. And even though I just groused a little about going somewhere to dance, I know I'll really enjoy the show because this music makes me feel a little languid, a little loungy, and more than just a little sultry ;-)