Friday, December 31, 2010

Not feeling so serpentine just now.

I've been bellydancing for seven years.  That makes me feel a little old.  I've flitted in and out of periods in which I danced a lot, and periods where I danced not at all.  I'm coming out of a not-at-all time, and good riddance.  I hurt my back last winter, and for a very long time any kind of strenuous physical activity brought on an awful ache reminiscent of battle-wounds before a storm.  I have been feeling better and having fewer problems lately, and being able to do anything without bringing on an itchy pinched feeling in the middle of my back (just to the left of the spine) is such a relief.

I love being at home, and it's a relief to be somewhere rural after four years of college in what seemed like a super-urban area.  I wasn't even in a city, but in comparison with home it was maddening.  When I hear forest preserve, I think miles and miles of unspoiled wilderness.  On my campus it meant that you couldn't see houses in all directions in the middle of summer, but winter was another story.  The downside of being home, where I can see the stars, and hear the waves crashing on a quiet night, is that a lot of the cultural diversity I became accustomed to is gone.  Not only are there no authentic bellydancing classes taught by stunningly talented and beautiful Uzbeki ladies, there are no bellydancing classes.  None beyond a beginner level, within an hour and a half drive.  I thought for a while about teaching, but the necessity of being certified to teach a fitness class was just too intimidating.  I still think about it, but I've never been formally trained by an established school and it makes me feel a little insecure.  I'm well aware that there are infringement problems with teaching the moves of other troupes without citing them properly, and that is the last thing I want to do.  A friend who taught classes at school bought more than a dozen DVDS of the well-known troupes, watched them to exhaustion, taught the moves, and could therefore properly cite them.  For now, as much as I miss a tribal community, I am on my own.

I got out my Serpentine DVD and it is kicking my butt.  Or rather, between my shoulder blades.  I don't get sore from dancing so much as I get sore from having good posture.  My shoulders don't know what to do with themselves when they aren't rounded forward.  Sad, but true. Anyway, here is my review of Serpentine:
Dear Rachel Brice, 
You're amazing.

If I was going to write a more extended review,  I would say a lot about how perfect the yoga is - it's gentle, it's a hard workout, and the stretches are excellent.  I would talk about the awesomeness of the choreographed dances, and how fabulous it is that you watch the dance, and then she teaches it to you slowly, repeating every segment to cement it properly in your mind.  I would probably talk about how fantastic the shimmy drill is, and how consistently the camera angles show you everything you need. 
But that will have to wait for another time, because my thermostat is at 60 and I am now freezing my tummy off wearing only a sports bra.


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