First off it should not be called belly dancing. It should be called some type of abuse. The act of shaking and shimmying is not for the faint of heart, or weak in the knees.
Everyone should take time to do those little things for themselves. We all need the “just me” time. But also something that challenges us. For me, Belly dance class is that perfect space and combination of both. I go there and there is no work, no planning, no money, no phone, no traffic, no stress, only me. And my heartbeat. And my will. As I work on the small moves, and the extreme muscle isolation, I sweat, I breath, a strain, I try. And as I tense then relax, then tense, then relax my muscles, I want to scream, I want to let out all of the frustration, I want to cry. But instead, I put all of the into a camel, and I roll my stomach, circle my hands, hold my chest up, turn my hips, and my legs are bent in perfect belly dance stance, arms out, for a hour.
Feel the burn, work through the pain, the instructor says. And how your legs, thighs, stomach and arms do burn. But we work through it, my classmates and I. We push through because we know at the end of class, at eh end of this series, it will have been worth it and the finished product will be beautiful.
And isn’t that what we have to do in life? We just have to work through the burn and the pain. We have to keep picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off. We have to keep our chin up and our head held high. We work through it. And when we are done with whatever hardship we faced, the result is a more beautiful, finer, more defined life. For two years I had a rough “class” and had to work through the pain. Now, as I leave the dance studio, I realize what all that hard work helped to define: a wonderful life. My dreams are coming true. I have a job I love, a wonderful man who wants to marry me, a steady paycheck, and a great family that cares. Yes, it was worth all the burn.