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Last night I took a dance class, for the first time in a long… - adventures of a red-headed stepchild in the house of love — LiveJournal
mermaid on the mic
Last night I took a dance class, for the first time in a long time.  It was both a joyful and a humiliating experience.  See, I am in Basics 1... again.  I know what I *should* be doing, but the actual doing of it was a challenge, as often as not.  It REALLY helps that I remember the concepts, so all I'm doing ("all") is conditioning and drilling.  I have not lost it ALL - just most of the physical side.

It was depressing to see myself in the mirror.  I want a waist again!  It was fun dancing with the other dancers though.  And kinda cool that I am now the "more experienced" dancer who understands how to trade the lead, and can help the newest beginners (not like I am teaching, but just by dancing together, you learn a lot.)  I totally remember taking classes up at the studio on Church street with the fabulous windows, being partnered with dancers who had a lot more experience than me... not only did I learn from them, but it somehow helped me dance better in the moment too.  Hopefully my experience will be helpful to the newbie dancers as I learned from the experienced dancers when I was starting out.

My teacher is a dear friend, and someone who started taking classes around the same time as me, back in 1996.  She's now a professional dancer and instructor, who has taught both locally and internationally.  And I am in her basics 1 class - where I clearly belong.  Why oh why did I let it go?  (She says "you had a life!" but what I mostly had was a MESS.)

Today, I am feeling it.  I'm not sore, but I am definitely feeling it - in the obliques (from taxim), shoulders (from holding my arms up) and oddly enough the soles of my feet are a bit sore - I didn't expect that, since I am on my feet all day cutting, but I usually wear shoes with some support, not the flat little ballet slippers I wear to class.  (I used to dance barefoot, but after picking up a painful plantar "wart" (its really more like a hole in the sole) from a dance studio, I stick to the ballet slippers now - a bonus is my feet don't get so cold, and they slide well for turns, yet grip when necessary too.)

Well, the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.  And I certainly feel there are miles and miles ahead of me.  I HAVE to get it back, though!  How could I let myself lose this - something I love so much?  I could cry if I think about it too much.  I actually did feel myself start to get a bit teary during warmups, when a certain song I know and love and remember well came on... it is a group of women singing, very folkloric, slow and beautiful - it ends with them making "whinny" sounds.  I don't know if I have this one, will have to dig around in my middle eastern CDs.  But it is used in FCBD's classes a lot.

Today, I have a lot of work to do... tomorrow I'm going to either do yoga at home (from a video) or perhaps the new Rachel Brice arms dvd.  I am DETERMINED to get there!  And I have a deadline - in May is a bellydance festival that I'll be attending with my good friend Lane, and taking some classes there.  So, I'm training.

Wish me luck!
24 smooches or Gimme Some Love!
smoofy From: smoofy Date: January 10th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
"It was depressing to see myself in the mirror." For the record, I think you are totally adorable >^_^<

As for the at-home-yoga stuff- I really recommend the pilates videos they have on Youtube. They're sweet!!!
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you for the links, and the kind words. :-)

still want to get together before you leave town!
penguingrrl From: penguingrrl Date: January 11th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay for getting back into dance class. I know you will get back into it rapidly and as good (or even better) than before. You taught me a lot when we first went to classes together. I am forever grateful to have had you there with me.

I am excited to check out Rachel Brice's new video...I love her yoga/belly dance video.

I saw that those classes were being offered in Alameda and my friend Nancee offered a ride. I am sorry to say that I really do not have money (or time) to go but feel the same way you do about needing to get back into the "groove." Life is about passion and if we do not follow it, then what are we doing?
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
the class was great - Wendy is a really good teacher, and the class size is small enough to get personal feedback. you can drop in too... so did your friend take the class? if so I must have met her!

I'm going every wednesday for the next 9 weeks. yay!
silverfae From: silverfae Date: January 11th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Fuck, I need to do that too.
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
it's so worth it! let me know when you do - we can cheer each other on through lj.

hugs to you too, sweetheart. miss ya!
dolphin42 From: dolphin42 Date: January 11th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
this is my get in shape year, too...
if I can do it...
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
you can totally do it - and I know I can too. it just takes *doing* it. it feels really good to get started, I have to say.

you coming to FC in a couple weeks here?
dolphin42 From: dolphin42 Date: January 12th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep I have a room and a car and my FC ticket all ready to go :)
inushnu From: inushnu Date: January 11th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
You can totally do it. Just remember to GO, no matter what. Even if you feel a bit down just drag yourself in by telling yourself you'll just bring your clothes and watch.... you will ALWAYS end up joining in and be glad you did.

And keep writing about it to inspire us!!

AND snatch those "what happened to me" thoughts as soon as they form and throw them into the fire and watch them burn while you laugh in a sinister way. You're better than those thoughts.
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you! you are totally right, and I really appreciate the encouragement.
From: daubentonia Date: January 11th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
So proud of you for doing this!!

I just took two spin classes after 8 mos. of nuthin'. I'm feeling your pain, though in different places.
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
yeah, it's crazy how true "move it or lose it" is. yay for getting back in the saddle!

and thanks for your lengthy and detailed trip reports - I read them all with great interest. what an amazing adventure, into a world few will ever glimpse! thank you for sharing it with us.
robotter From: robotter Date: January 11th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Awesome abs

I've been doing the cross-legged situps we do in my martial arts training, and my waistline looks great (at least it does, underneath all the flab). Definitely find yourself a routine that works your stomach muscles...as you know, you need them for bellydance, but building your core is just good overall. Your waistline will be well-defined again in no time.

I'm glad to hear you're doing this. I know how rigorous and precise bellydancing is, but remember the important part: having fun!

I want to take classes with W. So lucky you get to hang out with her!

I'm very much looking forward to my friend M. moving back here this summer from Florida. Apparently she's been studying tons of bellydance, and will be teaching classes. And she has promised to teach us to spin fire and belly dance at the same time!
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Awesome abs

cross-legged situps? can you explain?

yeah, one of the great things about bellydance is that to do it right, you are always moving from the core.

thank you for the encouragement! I'm sure you'd be amazing at firebellydance! there are a few folks out here who do that and I think they blend really well.
robotter From: robotter Date: January 12th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Awesome abs

cross-legged situps. (it would be easier to show you, but since i can't...)

sit with your legs crossed, and cross your arms across your chest. now, do situps. don't pull yourself up with your head, don't throw your body up. try to keep your legs on the floor, and pull them in toward you as you sit back up. cross your legs the other way once every 5-10 situps.

start slow, and work your way up to about 50 every day. you'll be amazed at how fast it tones your stomach.

this will not give you flat abs, btw. but they will be strong and toned!
bearfairie From: bearfairie Date: January 12th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Whee! Yay for you for getting out and actually doing it. I've been trying to get my butt back in gear with dancing too. For me with the autoimmune disorder it's totally tricky stuff, but I'm doing so much better overall that I too have decided this is gonna be the year. I'm gonna watch you for inspiration! Keep posting, please! :)

I so feel you on the feeling way discouraged on ending up back in a basic 1 class. I used to dance semi-professionally, and I'm totally a basic 1 girl now too, and logically I know it's the right place for me to be, but emotionally, man... feh. I end up needing to breathe thru the internal voices that say "I could *teach* this class! What am I doing here with these newbies?!" and breathe thru the "omg it HURTS I can't do it anymore! I fail!!!" and just try to breathe myself back to the place of "dance is fun and beautiful and every little bit is wonderful and amazing... I am here in this moment and the moment is awesome".

djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you so much. you are always so awesome and supportive!

my humiliation has to do with the physical difficulty I'm having doing moves that I know well. then again, if I keep at it, drill, and do yoga too I should be able to get at least part of it back (I started 11 years ago, so who knows if I'll be able to regain everything.) bellydance is pretty gentle on th body (well, except for drops and some knee bending stuff, which isn't required to dance well) so I should be able to do it for years to come - as long as I *do* it, that is.

really looking forward to seeing you at FC! I'm making a pink ninja outfit... the icon is a preview of the hat. ;-)
bearfairie From: bearfairie Date: January 13th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
The dance totally comes back once you start being regular in the discipline part. Your muscles remember, even if they grumble and get tired in the beginning.

Yay! Pink ninja bunny! How totally awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing you too :)

thecatsmeowww From: thecatsmeowww Date: January 12th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Lots of luck, babe! HUGS!
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you! hope you're having a rad new year - you certainly deserve it.
thecatsmeowww From: thecatsmeowww Date: January 12th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, hun...as do you......so far the year is going pretty well :) HUGS!

Did you ever get my message on your sign??
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 12th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
yes, we got it - thanks!

the web page that updates the sign also sends us n email with the messages, so even if another message comes in before we happen to see one, we'll see it in email (and can send it back to the sign too if we want.) Jovino did an awesome job with it. I <3 our LED sign!
thecatsmeowww From: thecatsmeowww Date: January 16th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
YAY!!! Glad you got it! I have to get one! :)

BIG HUGS!!!!!!!!
24 smooches or Gimme Some Love!