For the Love of The Dance

For the love of dance, butterfly wings.Welcome.  Please check your baggage at the door.  During your journey, common beliefs about sexiness, body image, and womanhood will be jumbled and rearranged by drops, shimmies and turns.  You are entering an age-old tradition, with roots in the heart of feminine expression and spirituality.  Welcome to the world of Belly Dancing.

I started my journey seven years ago, on a whim to “try something different”.  Little did I know that this impulse would drop me into a deeper sense of my feminine nature.  This worldly tradition of movement enticed my body to feel its natural power and sensuality.  The sharp movements helped break down my walls of separation from myself and other women.  The undulations unearthed my negative beliefs about my body, slowly replacing them with acceptance.  Shimmies reverberated through an underworld of feminine nature and brought forth soulful expression.  This tradition has rocked my world.

Now, as a student, teacher and performer I get to feel and share the magic of the dance.  There are times when the music calls forth slippery, serpent movements from my body.  Other times it beckons sharp, precise pelvic shimmies while my upper body remains centered and peaceful.  Lately, it unleashes joyful, unabashed energy and free expression.  Whether I am teaching, practicing with our troupe, or performing, I am struck by belly dancing’s ability to generate connections.  Its rhythms and movements have the ability to melt barriers, inside and out.

When I first start a class, I tell the women, “Men think that belly dancing is about them.  But it is really about US.”  People misbelieve that belly dancing originated to entice the opposite sex with its sensual movements.  Its movements are alluring, and many onlookers find themselves drawn in.  But, really, its encouragement is for the women themselves, to pull them inwards towards their personal power and essence.  In our culture, this seems more important than ever.  We are bombarded with societal ideals about our bodies, attitudes and lifestyles.  Yet, our inner pull is for personal truth and its forthright expression.  Belly dancing helps women anchor into their internal sense of feminine sensuality, not the external images we are told to convey.  I am blessed to be part of this womanly tradition.