Yes, I took a belly dancing class. It was hard to follow and I looked ridiculous. But it was kind of fun.
Of the ten women in the class, six had committed to the wardrobe. They wore hip scarves with little tinkly coins on them. At first I thought they might be working toward a performance, but the more I watched them, the less likely that seemed. Then I wondered why anyone would buy something so silly.
By the middle of the class, I really wanted one. They were pretty to look at and listen to, plus dress-up is just fun.
I did ok at first. In apparent disbelief, our instructor, Delores, asked whether this was really my first time. I was feeling pretty cocky, but then the warm-up ended and the real dancing began.
My performance in this class made my Zumba® debut look like a Shakira concert.
This was the sixth class in a series, so I was the only one who didn’t know the routine. Every so often, Delores called out an incomprehensible (at least to me) direction and the whole class came shimmying toward me, at which point I ran away, shimmying as I fled.
Delores seemed to have a wonderful time. She smiled with her whole body. This is a woman who enjoys herself.
Like any self-respecting belly dancer, we danced with veils, flinging them around in cunning ways. Delores and the tinkly girls shrugged and the scarf magically jumped from their torsos to their necks, streaming narrowly down their backs, at which point they wrapped their arms around the scarves and did sexy snake arms. Yes, you read that right. Sexy snake arms.
My scarf ended up in my face and I couldn’t keep it centered, so it festooned only one of my snakes. But I was standing next to the fan, so there were forces working against me.
I was trying—really I was—but I didn’t get much of anything right.
As silly as I felt starting out, and then you know, continuing, it was kind of…sexy. I totally get why those girls invested in the hip scarves. Playing the part of the sexy belly dancer felt great. I’d like to go back.
But next time I won’t stand next to the fan.