Day 41: Take A Belly Dancing Class

A couple of years ago my sister and I were going to sign up for a belly-dancing class at the community college. Well, that never happened, and ever since, I have had this strange desire to go into Shakira mode. So much, in fact, that I have even been known to YouTube belly dancing tutorials and practice in the privacy of my room. (Yes, Morgan, this phase was when we shared an apartment in State College- always when you weren’t home, of course. I wouldn’t have wanted you to get jealous of my fantastic YouTube shimmy!).

Needless to say, trying to personify the 2-D image dancing on the YouTube screen in front of you in your own room isn’t quite the experience I was going for. However, it did cut the risk of being laughed at for looking like an awkward-moving mannequin.  By the time this blog rolled around, I was determined to get to a belly-dancing class!

I just recently discovered The Yoga Loft, in downtown Bethlehem, and was pleasantly surprised to find a free introductory belly dancing class on the spring schedule. I love free things! I was also pleasantly surprised (and blessed) to have my good friend, Chelsea, want to come with me! So tonight, we dressed in our sparkly, tasseled bikinis and skirts and drove down to The Yoga Loft, ready to unleash our inner Shakiras. (OK, you got me- we didn’t really wear bikinis and skirts.) I felt somewhat confident in myself knowing that I was in decent shape and coordinated, but I started doubting  when, after walking up the 3 flights of stairs to get to the Loft, I had to catch my breath!

There were only about 8 people that had registered for the class and at first I didn’t know if I thought this was a good thing or a bad thing. I was hoping to maybe blend in with the crowd, but on the bright side, fewer students meant more mirror space. Although, more mirror space meant that any awkward movements I made would be all the more pushed in my face. I wasn’t too sure about this…

Our teacher, Amala, was a beautiful woman and made every move look effortless and fluid, as if she had been doing this since birth. In actuality she had been doing it for 10 years, and let me tell you, if I can dance half as good as she can in 10 years, I will be very satisfied.

Throughout the class we learned separate movements to combine together at the end for a full dance. First we had to learn how to isolate all our body parts from the others. So we practiced moving our head from side to side, our chest up and out, our hips back and forth, our torso back and forth, and our hands in these beautiful circles and waves (that didn’t look quite as beautiful when I looked in the mirror as they did when I looked at Amala). I think I ended up just moving everything in all directions. Through out the whole class I kept forgetting to pay attention to my arms and hands! I couldn’t focus on all the movements at once.

I wish I could say Chels did a fabulous job, but in truth, I wasn’t even paying attention to anyone around me. I just tried to continually watch Amala and avoided looking into the mirror. The mirror, for the first half of the lesson, was not encouraging. Remember when I went cross-country skiing and looked like an awkward gazelle? Well at least it was in the privacy of my backyard! During the first half on tonight’s lesson, I looked like an awkward snake… in front of 9 other women! I didn’t mind, though, because I’m sure they were all feeling the same way. Chels and I just made eye contact every now and then in silent laughter, knowing that we were not going to be a back-up dancer for Shakira any time soon.

By the end of the class, however, things started looking up. I graduated from Class ‘I suck at belly dancing’ to Class ‘OK – Officially Klutzy’.

I’m thinking of buying one of the $25 hip scarves. That way I can at least look like I know what I’m doing at my next class. And yes, there will be a next class. Shakira better sleep with one eye open.

Trying to look graceful like Amala. Is it working? Didn't think so.

Tomorrow, Chels and I are going to embark on another adventure- a winter beach getaway!

 

 

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4 Comments on “Day 41: Take A Belly Dancing Class”

  1. Chelsea Knechel Says:

    AH Im so sorry I’m obnoxiously prominent in these pictures. I’m all up in your space, haha.
    GREAT experience tonight, Im glad we could do it together!! Can’t wait for tomorrow!! Don’t forget your boogie board.

  2. Susanna Says:

    what are you guys wearing hahaha


  3. […] I saw that The Yoga Loft was offering a free intro class! This was the same place I went for the belly dancing class, and I knew that it was good quality. Images of senior citizens doing slow, fluid movements in a […]


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