It’s been a pretty mad time – work and deadlines wise. My presentation for the session I’m doing at Romance Writer’s Conference next month was due on Monday (tick), and I’m working hard to fill in the gaps to get I Want You Back off for structural editing next week (on track). Behind it all, work in my day job has been pretty full-on too. Whatever – that’s life.
In the meantime, I’ve been to my first belly dancing class in almost 10 years. I’ve been meaning to go back since I stopped doing it – but there was always an excuse. The friend I was doing it with moved, I’d put on weight, I wrecked my shoulder, I was travelling that term, I’d put on more weight, I wrecked my back, I was travelling, I put on weight, I wrecked my ankle, I put on weight. Yep, there’s a theme.
Yet when we were packing to move something stopped me from putting my bag of coin belts into the bin. ‘I could go back,’ I said.
‘Is this like Dad’s career break from soccer that’s really not a career break?’ my daughter asked.
‘No, seriously,’ I said, ‘I could go back.’
It wasn’t until I decided that I was going to send the heroine of my current novel to belly dancing classes though, that I decided the time had come for me to do the same. So I did.
It was really like going to my first belly dancing class ever. Aside from being 10 years older, I’m also 15 kilos heavier – most of which is around my belly.
I was worried that I’d feel like the oldest and the fattest in the room – and I definitely was the fattest – but everything was so comfortable that I very soon forgot all about that.
Some things came back to me quickly – hip drops, hip rolls and those ones that look like you’re drawing a great big M with your hips. The hip shimmy also was something I remembered, although these days when I do a shoulder shimmy it feels a little like my boobs are moving as one back and forth across my chest. Note to self: must wear a better bra next week. As for the shimmy walk? Not a chance. It took me a few classes to get it right all those years ago, and I suspect it will again.
It’s confronting facing a full length mirror – especially at my size – but it’s times like these that I’m grateful that I’m short-sighted. Seriously though, once I started, all thought of age and weight disappeared. It didn’t matter – not in the studio – that was a safe place. All that mattered was feeling the beat again – and that was fabulous.
What about you – have you tried a dance class lately?
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