Sunday, June 20, 2010

That's why I love belly dancing

I took the family to a belly dance hafla today. I was something of an impostor - it was the hafla of a different school from mine, but run by my teacher. I didn't know any of the other students, nor did I know how these things run and caused complete chaos because I didn't know I needed to be there early to get seats for all of us together.

However, when the dancing began, I had three entranced kids, an entranced husband and a wonderful reminder that not every activity requires a society sanctioned body shape. The dancers were fat and skinny, curvy and straight up and down, short and tall, and every physically possible combination. Fat wasn't covered (although flat chests generally get stuffed, due to the shape of the costumes), and straight up and down gals shook their thang with as much style and grace as their curvy counterparts. There was no condescension, there was no "isn't it nice to see a big girl dancing" there was just cheering and shouting and clapping. There were just dancers.

I was too busy kid wrangling and feeling awkward to take photos, unfortunately. Trust me, they were all gorgeous. I'll ask Georgie if I can link to some of her photos once they go up on Facebook.

Oh, yeah, I also danced myself. I was one of eight doing a Shaabi number. Shaabi is the style of dancing done in nightclubs in Egypt, so we were wearing jeans and high heels. (Not so high in my case, but I did dance in heels!) It wasn't the best of performances, but it was fun. I would love to have the time to really get good enough to perform, but lack of natural talent means the time required would be much greater than the time I have available. At least I have a lovely teacher who indulges me despite my inferior skills.

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