Monday, August 22, 2011

By the Way, I Bellydance

In keeping with the blog name and some other posts, I was going to label this post "She Looks Like a Bellydancer," but the fact that I bellydance seems like such an aside. I didn't put it in my bio, and thus far I'd only mentioned it in comments on other people's blogs. So, by the way, I bellydance.

The studio I go to puts on a student show every year. I had performed a level 2 bellydance choreography as a duet with another student at the 2009 student show before Ms. R joined the scene. I then took a break from dance classes to raise R, and this Spring I finally enrolled back in classes again. It feels great to be back.

"Saharne" Level 2 Duet
Level 2 Duet, 2009 Student Show. I'm the orange one.

Remembering the rush of feelings from that, my first show-- everything from excitement, to anxiety over forgetting the next steps, to overwhelming pride afterwards-- made me want to do it again this year. I'm so glad I did. I don't have pictures from this show, but I do have the excellent videos that Senpai took.

This first dance was choreographed in a folk dance style called Khaleegy. In the Khaleegy style, the women wear embroidered robes that they show off in the dance, and they also show off their beautiful hair and jewelry. My duet partner, performing under the stage name Leyla Nyx, has been dancing for 9 years. She is a student of the highest level classes, and also is a member of the professional dance company that performs at events around the area. I had asked her in passing once, back when I was still pregnant, if she wouldn't mind dancing with me sometime, and I was thrilled when she said yes. When talk started turning to this year's student show, I pinged her on it again, asking if I could join her in the slot where she'd usually do a solo. Once again, she said yes. It turns out that me sticking my nose in her dance was a good thing because she had vowed this year to try her hand at choreography. While she has danced numerous beautiful solos over her career, she told me that they're all mostly improvised on the spot. I'm glad I could help her to achieve that personal goal as she graciously took me on as a partner. So this dance is the first one either Leyla or I had ever choreographed. I hope you like it! (I'm the green one.)

After we left the stage, the announcer remarked, "I should have said in my commentary that Leyla and Kyla's HAIR would be dancing." Hahaha!

This next dance is a group number I performed with my level 2 and 3 classmates. It is based on the dances of the Turkish Romani (or gypsy) people. I was more nervous about performing this dance than the first, because it was someone else's choreography that I could easily forget the steps, versus my own choreography that makes sense in my head. Add to that the fact that I DID completely blank on stage during a section of the level 2 dance I had performed in 2009, and that's where my head was. After everything was said and done, I did do a couple of things wrong, but I hope I "owned" my mistakes enough to make them work. :-) (I'm the orange one with the blue headscarf.)

So yeah, I bellydance. ^_^



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