Last time it was Dee’s fault — she arranged for the fusing/flameworking workshop that made me realize I could play with fire in a carefully arranged home studio. This time it’s Andrea’s fault. She found that Nazeem Allayl Studio offered a Saturday morning walk-in workout class at their Perimeter studio, halfway between her place and mine, and convinced me to go with her so neither of us would feel too old or too fat by ourselves.
We were both relieved that first morning to find that she was not the largest, nor was I the oldest, woman there. So we went back the next week. And the next. By then I had found that this was actually do-able, damn good exercise plus a whole lot of fun!
When the next six-week class session came around, I decided what the hell, let’s try a choreography class as well and learn an actual dance — an actual BELLYDANCE. Yep. BELLYDANCE. Traditional Raqs Sharki, Middle Eastern folkdance, is done by women of all ages, shapes, and sizes as part of their own culture, and Nazeem Allayl Studio encourages that in their program, so why not?
So I took one choreography class, then another, then another. Last week I started a fourth choreography combinations class on Turkish style; tomorrow my basic technique drill class starts so I can learn to do the moves precisely and properly.
I started doing bellydance for exercise, but as I told Schadia after class last week, “I want to dance, not just sweat.” For me, most forms of exercise are B-O-R-I-N-G and tedious and I won’t stick with them. Bellydance accommodates where I am now and gives me lots of room to grow as a fit and healthy person — exercise I can and hopefully will stay with as long as I can move.