Shimmy and Shake!

From now on, Friday night is Belly Dancing night. Together with cousins and friends, October 1 was our baptism of fire!

We learned so much from our teacher, Ms. Bing, on our first belly dancing night. Actually, in normal clothes, we didn’t know that she was our teacher ‘til she changed into her costume. When she put on bright red and gold and started moving, her femininity and beauty exuded in a so much different way! When she started dancing to the music, I saw a different, beautiful and self-confident woman through and through. I want to be like that.

When we invited some mommies to join us, we got comments like, “No thanks, ang tigas ng katawan ko at lalabas ang mga bilbil ko jan…” or “Naku ang taba-taba ko!” or the “shy” mommies would say, “Um, no thanks it’s not my cup of tea.” So we ended up with just nine moms. Why we pushed belly dancing to mostly the moms and the timid, is more of to celebrate being a woman, because moms forget how special they are except on Mother’s Day, and they forget that they are still That Woman. It does not matter what shape you’re in. What counts is that you are in sync with yourself and accepting who you are, the whole package. It’s embracing yourself and loving your imperfections. Besides, beauty has nothing to do with being perfect but with your attitude, outlook and acceptance.

After the class we all felt so light and wished we knew about this years ago. You see, we’re not really fans of fast aero dances and the gym. We didn’t bring costumes yet but our teacher let us wear clanging coin and bells belt-scarves. Actually it’s the costumes that tend to the baroque that I love! …Silky, colorful outfits adorned with beads, bells, sequins and other bangles – ooooh sexeh.

We started out with the basic hip dances and I loved the Arabic music. Our teacher said that belly dancing has core-strengthening benefits. All the shoulder shimmying, hip-tilting and toe-tapping also help relieve arthritis & join pains, promote flexibility and drop pounds, the neck movement is for the thyroid, plus the breathing exercises give the lungs healthy benefits. We’re working muscles that we never use! Actually I think it has some similarities with yoga and pilates, except that with belly dance you dance with exotic, seductive music. I think it’s excellent for coordination, where I’m poor at, and the brain, too.

Honestly I am really a poor dancer and not really comfortable with my own body. It was hard for me to “open-up” too. But when I psyched-up, I felt at ease and comfortable. I think those who belly dance are naturally warm people. It’s more of like sisterhood. I love being around warm, loving people. The dance can make you come across as more self-confident and sensual, which what you (and your marriage) need. (Wives, think like a mistress who always tries to keep the magic alive! Believe me, belly dancing will make you into a sex-bomb and not sex-bum, sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa!)

Under our sweat pants and tank tops we clad ourselves in exotic, shiny and colorful scarves. We swooped, spun and writhed. I tried to follow the tightly choreographed display of movements. Aimee and the rest were a natural. Charlene had to belly dance with baby Chloe on one arm (haha). After each segment we gave ourselves applause and ululations. All the while I thought belly dancing was going to be just moving your hips, flowing around the room and shaking like Beyonce, but then upon seeing it my first reaction was, OMG this is harder than I thought it would be!

*

Our body is amazing! It can make thousands of different movements, isolating many parts of the body besides the belly, in so many combinations. A hip-circle together with the head-slide, or a serpentine move together with the arm waves, the painful rib-cage circle with the snake arms. The dance routine was intricate, slow and then fast! Love the rhythm! It’s very natural and beautiful. The cacophony of movements up, down, left, right, spin up, spin down make my head spin literally, and it would be really hard for a photographer to grab a nice shot, it’s like shooting a flying butterfly. It involves lots of hand gestures, physical speed and coordination.

I am so into the mystique of the dance now, I just want to learn how to shimmy better, though.

We heart belly dancing!

*Video grabbed from cousin Elise! She owns FunPrints Factory.

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