Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to the Dance

I first started belly dancing in January 2000.  For Christmas, my mom had purchased a gift certificate to dance at Cory Zamora's studio in Fresno.  I was super elated.  My mom would take me to class and sit in the back of the dark, converted garage attempting to keep busy with a crochet project.  The class started off with eight girls about my age.  Within three or four months it dwindled down to three.  After nine months I was taking private lessons.  I had an opportunity to finally perform at a Renaissance Faire (Kearney in Fresno in November 2000).  Unfortunately, I never really felt apart of the troupe.  That combined with a lack of cash flow forced me to depart the studio sometime in 2002. 

In 2005, I stumbled on a video of Rachel Brice.  I was reinspired to dance.  I found a monthly belly dancing night at Full Circle Brewery and dragged all my friends along.  I re-enrolled at Zamoras, this time studying with Bay'la.  She had to be the quirkiest lady I ever met.  She was also one of the most beautiful veil dancers I ever had the opportunity to watch and work with.  Again, the class started off with 8 and dwindled down to just me and my friend, Kathy.  I loved Bay'la but I couldn't reconcile with her desire for strictly choreographed dance.  My first couple years belly dancing was completely improvisational.  With Bay'la, every class seemed like a rehearsal for some group performance.  There's nothing wrong with that, in fact I thought I wanted to do performance dance, but I just didn't feel challenged.  Again, after a year I had to walk away due to financial issues.

The following year I enrolled in a tribal belly dance class at Cynthia Merrill's.  The class seemed overly crowded, and I didn't stay past two classes.  I was also having some major issues with my weight and was just too embarrassed to spend an hour looking at my fat self.  I just didn't come back.

Fast forward to the last year.  I told myself when I finished school I'd get back involved with yoga and belly dance.  Jeff tried to help me with the yoga part, but the timing was bad and I just couldn't find a groove with it.  I decided after the first of the new year, I'd enroll in belly dancing classes if I could afford it.  It was a stretch, but I went back last night.

The class was unbelievably small.  Just four girls.  I'm not complaining, though.  I love the small class size, it was much less intimidating.  Unfortunately, we showed up at the wrong time.  The class was published incorrectly online.  It's not Mondays, but Tuesdays.  I'm a little bothered by this, but I'm going to try to make it work.  Hopefully Tuesday night class isn't overly crowded.

My first class back was surprisingly hard.  Not because I'm out of shape or lost muscle memory of the steps, but because I found it difficult to not just TAKE OFF!  I was even amazed Lydia (the instructor) recognized me after all these years (she was a member of Zamora's troupe when I first joined).  I still struggled with staring at myself in the mirror, but I did have a great time.  Since I paid for the whole session, I have no excuses about not showing up.

No comments: