When I can forget all the overthinking and just dance, it's actually pretty nice (especially since I get to watch my beautiful friend leading the class) but those moments are kinda infrequent. At least I still remember how to play zils!
It has been *years* since I danced with any seriousness (other than messing around at parties, or out clubbing) and I have pretty much lost it ALL - except (most of) the understanding of what I need to be doing. Well, that, and zils (which was HUGE for me when I finally got it, so I really should try not to misunderestimate myself.... heh.)
I do think that if I can keep it up every week, and add in some yoga, I should be able to take classes at Tribal Fest in May without embarrassing myself. That is the goal, anyway.
One thing I especially enjoy is when we dance in groups (practicing leading and following, and transitioning between steps.) I love it because at those moments we're really dancing (rather than just drilling) and also because of the problem-solving aspect of it. When we're following the teacher, we're just following the teacher as best we can, and that's that. Dancing in groups, we have to figure stuff out ourselves! I love it! I got "stuck" twice during these times, but learned from what happened and I'm sure I'l go on to make new, more exciting mistakes in the future. Hooray!
Watching myself in the mirror is... interesting. I am the fattest I have been in a long time - perhaps evar, I have no real way to tell. Standing in front of a mirror - with my belly hanging out, no less - is freakin' SCARY! The weird thing is, that my bellydance clothes are actually incredibly flattering and I look better in them with my bare belly hanging out there than I do in some of my more covered outfits! Bellydance clothes are just mad flattering to the female figure, pretty much at any weight. This REALLY helps!
A couple years ago, I signed up for a series of classes with a local instructor without ever having taken one of her classes as a drop-in. I won't do that again (unless I already know the teacher!) This class was not a good fit for me, for a number of reasons - the (seemingly) smallest being that everyone in the class wore exercise wear, with a hip scarf. I was the fattest person in the class - which would not have bothered me, really, except that we were all wearing such totally unflattering stuff! OMG, it was nuts! Most weeks I cheated a bit by wearing one of those bellydancer unitards with the mesh midriff, and a really *nice* hipscarf - so I was definitely overdressed (compared to the rest of the class) and I still hated every minute looking in the mirror. Now I don't think I could even manage to wriggle into the damn unitard, but yet I look better in class than I ever did in that class! Being able to dress in a more flattering way makes a huge difference in my morale (and probably helps me dance more gracefully, too.) It's hard to be graceful when you feel like a baby elephant in track pants! %-) I am never gonna take another class that doesn't encourage us to be beautiful, even in class, ever again.
I actually wasn't able to see myself for much of tonight's class, as I prefer being to the right of the instructor (it's the natural alignment for ATS) so I only caught a few glimpses of myself when we were dancing in groups and I had the lead. That's ok, I don't always need to see myself. It's more important to watch the teacher (or the leader, as the case may be.) I saw that I actually looked GOOD, and also that the movements really do look good on me as I am now, maybe better than when I was little stick figure anorexia girl. (That look was NOT attractive, especially undressed - although it was considerably easier to find flattering clothing back then...)
ANYway! I am keeping at it. Trying not to get discouraged or beat myself up. It's only my third class since I started back, and this time we did steps that I remember, but haven't practiced, so I had quite a few balls in the air, so to speak.
oh, and GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!!!!!