Sunday, June 27, 2010

How did I become a belly dancer?

Me? A belly dancer? Well, I am proud and honored to be called such (even when I am not a professional dancer-this is only a hobby), although that was not always the case...

I still remember the first time I enrolled in a Middle Eastern Dance class. I did not tell anyone. Such is the stigma associated with it, I was afraid to admit I had finally given into one of my life's dream: to become a belly dancer. Being Hispanic, dance is a big part of our culture. I guess we learn how to dance at the same time we learn how to walk. My exposure to the "mysterious" art of belly dancing came in the form of movies, magazines and books. And it had always fascinated me. I tried to copy moves I had seen. But I knew that was still not enough.

Finally, in 2002, I enrolled in a summer class, and I fell in love with it. Still, I was afraid to admit it. The negative connotations associated with this dance form are so untrue, but I was apprehensive about it. That only lasted a little bit... somewhere I read that fear is fueled by ignorance. So, the more I learned about the dance, the less afraid I was. Now, I proudly announce to any one who cares to hear about my hobbies that I am an amateur belly dancer! Since my first class, I have been enrolled on and off. I performed at a student recital once. I have attended day long seminars by dancers recognized internationally (the last one in April by Cassandra of Minnesota-awesome!). It is not an inexpensive hobby, and since I had my last child in 2005, I have taken a break. But have always kept on the loop of things with our local belly dance community, which is an awesome community of women, a sisterhood of sorts.

I will be going back to lessons soon. I still have not forgotten my basic moves, but I need polishing and practice. For anyone interested, there are plenty of sources on the net. One of the most complete websites I know for anyone interested in learning about Middle Eastern Dance is I also am willing to answer any questions, just send me a message!

Keep (or start) shimmying!!

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