So I’ve been taking a belly dancing class once a week, learning to shimmy and undulate, make hip circles and snake arms.
Believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But I’m loving every minute. There’s just one class left and I’ll be sad to see it end.
You see, the class is a perfect vehicle for my vow to “live out loud” despite all the responsibilities that clutter my life. As my friend, Kristen, likes to remind people: Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Even for just an hour.
So after teaching Jazzercise on Tuesday nights, I’ve been joining a dozen other women — from a variety of backgrounds, walks of life and fitness levels — to give it a try. Our teacher, Tava, is fabulous, breaking down the moves in an easy-to-follow fashion. She is kind and generous with her praise and encouragement, and mesmerizing to watch as she demonstrates the steps.
Not since I tried Zumba several years ago have I found my limbs quite so challenged.
(I spent that Zumba class desperately trying to disappear into the dance floor and not gawk at myself in the mirror. After awhile, I focused on my freakishly long neck, and hoped others in the class were doing likewise rather than gaggling at my lack of Latin rhythm.)
As a Zumba dancer, I am much too lyrical. As a belly dancer … well, spastic comes to mind. You’d think my advancing age and gravity’s cruel pull would make it easy to shake things up. Not so.
Thank goodness there are no mirrors at the Jazzercise Center of Southwestern Connecticut. I can melt into a fantasy image of how I’m interpreting the moves, and join the other dancers for nervous fits of giggles from time to time.
It’s an ideal combination of escape and terrific fun that has me thinking, “What can I try next?”