It’s all Andrea’s fault…

In spring 2009, she suggested we check out the Saturday morning walk-in workout class she’d found at Nazeem Allayl Studio. It was convenient, right there halfway between us at the Perimeter Studio just off I-285. 11 a.m. wasn’t awful, though I’m not a fan of getting up early on Saturday morning if I don’t have to. It was reasonably priced. I wouldn’t be alone because we were going to try it out together.

I was out of excuses, unless I wanted to use the “too old, too overweight” one, which I refused to do. I’ve always regarded those two excuses as rather lame. Besides, I knew I needed to start doing some kind of exercise, since my doctor was really getting on my case about that. I loathe the gym (boring), my knees (as well as the rest of me) hate running, and if I couldn’t make exercise fun I wouldn’t keep on with it.

So we walked in on a Saturday morning in early June. I found, much to my surprise, I was neither the oldest woman nor the largest woman in the class. I certainly felt very uncoordinated and clumsy, but I made it through the workout, albeit breathless and dripping sweat. Even so, I was smiling, because it had been rather fun.

We came back the next week, and the next one. I found that there was a studio at Windy Hill as well, which was closer to home. There were beginner-level choreography courses starting shortly, so I thought hard about it and decided to branch out into a full-blown dance. Andrea couldn’t join me but that was okay; I had become slightly acquainted with the teacher and was getting a little more comfortable with the whole idea of bellydancing. Why not get a little exercise on Thursday night instead of sitting there on my butt while Gary (my husband) was at his Korean sword class?

That first Thursday night choreography class, Haya Gat Alaya, led to another, then another. We both kept going to the Saturday morning walk-in class when it worked out. Then I saw a Technique I class coming up on Tuesday night and thought that would be a good way to really start getting the hang of the technique, not to mention that Gary had class on Tuesday nights as well.

Since then it’s been two classes a week regularly on Tuesday & Thursday nights, performances in two Studio Shows and one Hafla so far, lots of hip sashes and several pairs of harem pants, a dramatic increase in flexibility, and (by adding a low-carb diet to the mix) around 18 pounds down so far!