but I can't help it that when choosing my costuming, I just want pink and green. Someone is going to have to stop me from sewing alligators onto my hip scarves. That being said, I think belly dance is a great addition to a fitness routine. When I first started classes, I found myself treating it like Zumba...workout clothes, ponytail...but I quickly realized that it was going to require something else...push up bras and heavy eyeliner. That's because a really important part of it is tapping into feeling super confident and great about yourself. Zumba makes me sweat but I'm not going to lie, I am grateful that we aren't in a dance studio facing a mirror at all times. In that class, I can look at our awesome instructor Beth and how cute she looks dancing and imagine that I do too, without the pesky reality of a mirror reflecting the truth back at me, since I'm sure I look red-faced and awkward with some of those undulations and salsa steps. With belly dancing, I'm not sure my movement is any better, but it makes a difference that I think I look cute in my harem pants and dance shrugs.
The thing about belly dancing is that you kind of have to be simultaneously really into yourself and dance without vanity to get some of those movements down. Whereas with most dancing, you are trying to keep your abs and stomach tight at all times, with belly dancing you have to let that go. It's important to release your abs as often as engage them for some of those moves to look right. As a result, you might have cringe worthy photos if someone is snapping them. But in the moment, when you are looking at yourself in the mirror and a hip lift or a vertical figure eight REALLY looks like a hip lift or a vertical figure out, you're not really thinking about how it photographs so much as the fact that you are doing the damn thing and it looks awesome!
So thanks to Dana for turning me onto this, and to Tami for really making it fun and exciting, as well as humoring our obsession with playing dress up before we start class. I'm not saying I'll ever be good enough to take it to the streets, but this class has really introduced me to a new way of connecting with this body which makes it so much easier to do keep on track with working out and eating right.