Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Confessions of a Klutzy Belly Dance Student

Last night was belly dance class night. My instructor sent me a text… and asked if I could come earlier to class as one of the students of the 4:30 class was also coming in earlier due to a schedule conflict. My instructor knows I enjoy the longer workout so I happily trooped, or  troupe-d off to class.


I am in a class that is more workout oriented in style… it focuses on repetition, and fine tuning the movements … but thankfully it has very little choreography. Not that I don’t try. Apparently I am severely allergic to choreography. I try like hell to remember dance moves that come one after another and my mind just scrambles. I start to figure it out and then the class goes up to real speed and… forget it.

A few weeks ago all the classes got lumped together on a Sunday, and it began with the workout style I am used to. Then it switched over to a new dance the performing troupe is learning. Holy crap it is fast, and I was a disaster while 8 other women (other students and the performing troupe members) effortlessly danced along to the music in a choreographed routine. Me, I went the wrong way, got lost, turned around and strained my knees.

Mortified, I hobbled off the floor. Sat there a moment, and then quietly went home and left them dancing away… Once I got home I limped in the front door, and loaded up on ibuprofen, icepacks, and Aspercream, Oh the indignity of it all!
I belong on the belly dance short bus. I go one way they go another, they spin I stand there…. It is NOT my forte. But I sure as hell admire the people who can do choreography and who perform.

I started taking belly dance class about 3 years ago… with the idea that it would target the mid-section of my body (it does) and that hopefully, possibly I would gain some flexibility and grace and loose some of my hopeless white-girl dance moves. (Which I actually have. I gained some moves- but tragically not the grace.)

I should confess that I am also considered hopeless with a veil. Oh I try like hell, but one memorable class a year or two ago, we were all working with veils and I managed to take out 3 people at once during the routine. Seriously. True story. I whacked two women in the head (Sorry Karen and Sherry) and stepped on my friends veil- she is much shorter than me, and as Jen was trying to move forward, it pulled her straight backwards and down she went, butt first on the floor.

Once the instructor stopped staring, at the amount of carnage one woman with an orange veil could cause, she began to giggle and to this day whenever I see that damn orange veil, that veil that I took out half the class with… I shudder. The last time my instructor recommended I practice with veils in the classroom I asked her if she had emergency services on speed dial. She thought that was hysterically funny. I was completely serious.

Last night my instructor sat down with me as we stretched out after a excellent workout and she gently asked if I would like to try and learn some choreography one on one. Damn the woman is persistent . I’ll give her that. I recommended if she kept the pace as slow as the performing troupes sword routine- without the swords or the kneeling, if she did that, I might be able to pull it off.

Dear gods. Me dancing with a sword? No. And a Hell, no! at that.  Surely me trying to learn to dance with a sword balanced on my head is one of the signs of the apocalypse. So no, there is no sword dancing in my future. Even my husband blanched at that thought. But maybe… just maybe I can pull off learning some very slow paced choreography. Something with no hopping or fast spinning that won’t kill my knees? We’ll have to see what she comes up with.

This morning after last night’s class, I am really sore along my ribs, sides and abdominals. Which I am happy about- because that means I worked out that part of my body hard. I busted ass in belly dance class! I like it. Simple, easy to remember. Maybe I should have that put on a t-shirt or something. Either that or:

“Warning: I am considered lethal with an orange veil… approach at your own peril!”

Blessed be, Ellen

13 comments:

  1. ROFL! It sounds like such fun! Your descriptions of the antics are a riot. Thanks for my first really good laugh in a while! ;-D

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  2. Ellen I am so happy to hear that you can't do choreography, I can't either and I thought that I was the
    only one. I have learned the moves, but it seems to take me a lot longer than the rest of the class. I learn it, and the teacher "fine tunes" it, which is another way to say changes it and I get all mixed up.

    Great post.

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  3. Ellen that was too funny, but I am not laughing at you but with you. Honest :) PS stay clear away of orange veils... got it!

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  4. I've always wanted to learn belly dancing. I can totally see myself exacting the same carnage with the veils. LOL. Thanks for sharing this hilarious story. :)

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  5. Oh my god, too funny! I can just imagine!

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  6. Oh man, I've wanted to take Belly Dancing classes for so long! Most I've gotten is the free on demand workouts though =P

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  7. Ellen when you come back to Montreal we will have to go out to the Couscouiere where they have belly dancers. These girls dance with swords, flaming torches, a candelabra on the head, and a live snake! Often the diners are invited to join them, you can bring your orange veil!

    -Andrew

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  8. I took Belly Dance for about 2 months in a weekly class format. I can dance to music, but knowing which move to do where really threw me. I'm more of a free spirit I think! LOL I love your post, I have left feeling like I was the worse dancer often. Now I just dance in my room for myself... I'm not so hard on myself when others aren't watching.

    Blessed Be

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  9. OMG! You are so funny! I've often told people that I needed a course in Remedial Dance.
    I'm lucky to be able to walk in time to music, so I totally get it.
    Thanks for your charming candor.

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  11. Oh the orange veil...I recently acquired an orange veil, and the first class I used it in, I got caught, tripped, confused, discombobulated, and stepped on it more times than I like to recall. And it's not like it was my first time dancing with a veil! It is a second-hand veil from one of the pros in my area who was cleaning out her closet...I was hoping some of her grace would be transferred to me through this veil. Apparently, not so much, lol! It must be the orange...

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