During my senior year at Oberlin, a group I was in called Sisters of the Yam (SOY) decided to perform a belly dance for Oberlin’s annual Colors of Rhythm Dance Show. The idea actually came from the mind of one of my nearest and dearest friends, and she had the wonderful ability to make everyone feel comfortable regardless of size, shape or ability. We had so much fun that semester, learning to dance but more importantly learning to love our bodies. The semester we did that performance was awesome, and the memories I formed during that time are some that I will never forget (and I am not just saying that because the experience was immortalized on facebook).
Fast forward 4 plus years to the present moment. I recently was feeling like I wanted to add a new, fun, and unique workout to my regular regimen—- which can be a bit intense at times. While running around one day I spotted an advertisement for an advanced belly dancing class. Immediately my mind raced back to my senior year of college, and the awesome experience I had with this art form in the past. While I looked over the ad I thought to myself: I showed my belly back then, I can surely show it now! I love to dance, and belly dancing a few nights a week would totally add some new fun to my regular exercise plan. I wont have to buy anything because I still own all of my accessories from when I first learned the art form at Oberlin. This could be a fun tool to sharpen and add back to my romance tool box…. After thinking it over for all of 5 seconds I made my decision and signed up for the class.
I am writing this post (literally) after my first class. The class was 2 hours long, but it seemed to fly by. When I belly dance the curve of my hip is celebrated, everything about me that makes me a beautiful woman is celebrated and valued. Just as powerful is that fact that in a group setting I can be a part of celebrating my classmates as well. When I belly dance I feel strong and powerful and beautiful and sexy—— very sexy. What 25 year old would not want that??
So three cheers for recognizing and celebrating beauty in all of its forms, realizing that every woman is powerful and beautiful and strong. The more I think about it, the more it seems that my original belly dancing experience may have been one of the many catalyst to my personal wellness journey. Because of it, I started to not see myself differently but really LOVE all of myself. I would highly recommend every woman try belly dancing at least once. It is not just a form of exercise, but a spiritual practice….