Tuesday, May 09, 2006


My camera's come home! Yay! In celebration (and to make sure it's working) I took the accompanying picture of the cat. The second I pointed the camera at her, she came over all coy and decided to pretend she was asleep.

The hafla was a lot of fun. Some of my (more advanced) fellow students performed -- one to Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," which went over pretty well. My teacher and two of the members of the Tribal class did some improv dancing, the teacher playing zills the whole time. Then they did a piece of a choreography that they're putting together for a show next month -- dancing with swords! That was pretty cool. At one point they were each balancing a blade on one hip while dancing, and at another point they had the blades on their heads (like this). Wow.

After all the performance pieces were done, we moved some of the tables out of the way, joined hands, and did the "circle bellady" dance we'd been taught while our teacher played zills and her private student/apprentice played a drum. I managed to do that without tripping over myself. Then she put on some music and we cut loose. Well, most of us did. I got hit by a wave of shyness and sat down a little while after we were done the circle dance. I preferred to watch people who knew what they were doing and make mental notes.

I brought my friend the Chief Loon with me. As we were leaving the party she turned to me and said, "Now I want to belly dance." She also pointed out that you could really see the difference between our teacher and most of the students. She's right. When we dance, we concentrate on the muscle we want to move and hold everything else fairly still. When my teacher dances it appears effortless and fluid. I wonder how long it took for things to get like that.

I'm noticing some improvement in my own dancing. This past Sunday was the start of a new 8-week session. Most of the women who were in the class with me last time have graduated to Belly Dance 2 -- they'd been in BD1 for quite a while, some of them at least a year. Last Sunday we had six new people, one other woman from the previous session, and me. Our teacher went through the whole introduction again--positioning, arms, walking--and then had us walk in a circle, just like last time. I caught sight of myself in the mirrors and was pleased. I look like I know what I'm doing. I don't have to remind myself to keep my lower abdomen pulled in, or to roll my shoulders back. Looks like I'm catching on.

I'm on my lunch break, so I have to cut this short. I'll try to remember for next time to explain the difference between "tribal" belly dance and what I'm learning.

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