Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just For the Joy

I decided after training for 5 years in Tae Kwan Do getting my red belt and having a few injuries….I needed a different expression for my body.

My friend Liddee invited me to an evening of dance at the studio where she’d been attending class.

I had tossed out my dance shoes years before, so I make a trip to my local dance store for the suede bottom shoes and crossed my fingers that I might be able to keep up. Funny thing, I had danced for years, in shows, musicals, reviews, because I HAD to, taking class was just to keep myself limber and prepare for another role. This time there would be no show,or would be just for the joy.

Patrick a beautiful African American instructor grabbed me and said," You must take the tango lead from the man." OYE…I had only done choreographed pieces, I never learned to let any man lead anything.

I surrendered, however after about 20 minutes, my brain clicked back on and Patrick said, “NO your brain is back and you don’t move as well.” Good information.

So I  shuffled  off to another instructor Santiago, a good 8 inches shorter, he'd make me dance salsa! He spun me around pushed me up and down and made this 52 year old look like Charo, well sort of.

I was sweaty and sore so I wrapped up my dancing night up in a down coat waiting for the culmination of the evening, a wonderful belly dancing demonstration performance by a young student who had just gotten her masters in psyc from UCLA.

She was lovely and happy, undulating to the beat of Middle Eastern drums, shaking the metal hip trusses in total confidence and mastery. Her beautiful hair whipping, veils waving and her face was beaming. Of course she was 25 and didn’t have much of a belly to dance but I was entranced.Good way to get new business.

So I survived my first two hour belly dancing class.After a long soak in Epsom salts, eating Advil and a ton of water, I've found muscles on hips bones, arms and toes I never knew I had. We were a group of women between 24 and 67 that came to shake, sweat and bond with each other, all faiths and life styles honored and supported. I thoroughly enjoyed the Iranian belly dancing task master who demands perfection from my pecs ...she gets to yell ,she's so good I don’t mind.

I think I'll try swing and might learn to be led, especially if its just for the joy!


John L. said...

Just for the joy... is a wonderful reason to dance. And when I think about it, it seems that's probably why dancing began.

I guess that's why I'm pretty much a freestyle dancer... immersed in the music and moving with the way it feels.

It's such a high that that joy brings!

Laurence said...


Today I get an email from a movement instructor and shiva nata. Which triggers a memory from my gymnastics career at the Univ. of Oregon and of fellow team mates at UC Berkeley, ( Dan Millman's alma mater ). We practiced body awareness drills at the U of O, but the UC Berkeley drill was more engaging. Which leads me Mike Clellands blog, which leads me to popping into your blog to see if you had anything new since the whispers journal. Low and behold, dance/ movement body awareness training. And JOY!

Three hits on body awareness/ movement and training in or with a group.

I miss joy, maybe this a "time to pay attention Laurence" moment that could lead me back to discovering what joy is to me.

All this rambling leads to is this:

I feel that synchronicity is a large part of becoming awake in the" non ordinary reality".

be well,


p.s. I like Don Juan's term so I use it here.

Moiraine said...

Oh how lovely! My friend and I signed up for belly dancing at the beginning of the year, but unfortunately the class was cancelled. There just weren't enough people to make it worth while for the instuctor.

Strangely, or perhaps, fortuitously the cancellation of the belly dance class allowed me to join a choir; something I haven't done since sophomore year of college. And I am so incredibly happy to be singing again! I didn't realize how very much I missed it.

I miss TKD too. I only made it up to blue belt before I had to quit so that I could focus on finishing up my thesis, and I still regret quitting. Hopefully, I'll get back to it some day.

I hope you continue enjoying your dance classes. I did some informal swing "classes" with a bunch of friends during grad school and it was FUN! Plus, the music is fantastic. :)

Serendipity said...

keep shimmying & shaking! living life for the joy of it!