During my first belly dancing lesson, my mind was bombarded by one question...
DO YOU HAVE JOINTS THAT I DON'T HAVE?
But let's start at the beginning...
I went to class 10 minutes early. There was a hip hop class still in session. I was beyond nervous. I was afraid that myself esteem would suffer after walking in and finding out that I would be the oldest and fattest one. But that's totally not the case. All that worrying was for nothing.
The first thing I noticed was a little girl sitting in the corner playing with an ipad. I scanned the class for the little girl's mother. It could be anyone in the class. They all looked to be in their early 30's and at least one of them is a mom. Whew! I was instantly relieved. While they are all very fit moms in their 30's, I was just happy to know that I won't be the only one exposing a tummy with stretched and wrinkled skin.
The previous class had already ended and I still haven't seen any signs of other students coming in. There were 3 people ready for class: me, another student from the previous hip hop class and the teacher. I haven't experienced the same level of anxiety since my last piano recital some 17 years ago.
"There were supposed to be 8 students total, but I guess they're a no show." The teacher announced.
What? What? What? Just the three of us dancing in this studio full of mirrors? There is no where to hide! I was totally expecting to be able to stand at the back of the class. As I started to panic a little, the teacher started the warm up. Hm...that doesn't look too hard. I can do that. After the warm up ended, the teacher started teaching the choreography for the dance. That's when my self confidence hit rock bottom again. I looked at myself in the mirror while doing the moves and I cringed. I looked like I was mimicking the walk of an ostrich. I wasn't sure what kind of dance class I was in: belly dancing or locking. That's how awkward my moves were. I avoided looking at the mirrors and concentrated on observing the teacher instead. Much better.
At the end of the class we were able to put our moves to the music. Although my moves were not even in the same planet as being perfect, moving to the music felt great. Exhilarating! I was smiling! So who cares if I looked like a flopping ostrich. I'm having fun!
Before leaving the class, the dance teacher stopped me and asked "where have you been taking belly dancing lessons?"
"No where. I've only taken a couple of classes 5 years ago, before I had kids." I answered.
"No way! You have kids? You look so young! You haven't been taking belly dancing lesson regularly? I can't believe it. You dance so well!" Teacher commented.
"Thanks, you really don't have to say that, I still plan on coming back since I've already paid my tuition in full. Don't worry. But really, thanks for those kind words and encouragement anyway." I said sincerely.
I walked out of class a lot more relaxed, more confident than when I walked in.
What I learned from belly dancing class (besides the belly dancing)...
- Once you take the first step, the rest is easy.
- It's not about how you look, it's about how you feel.
- To be young at heart.
- Be more positive, things are never as bad as they seem.