Wednesday, January 19, 2011

beginner belly dancing: hips don't lie.

this is not me.
As part of the Rediscover Your Wonder project I participated in this past fall, I took a private belly dancing lesson with the lovely Joharah of belly up.  I felt like a fish out of water but by the end of the class, Joharah had me doing some solid beginner moves and left me wanting more.  She signed me up for the beginner intensive course, which started last week.  I somehow managed to talk my friend Lolo (not her real name) into coming with me, figuring it's much more fun to make an ass of yourself in good company. 

My goal isn't to look like Joharah (well, maybe one day).  Kidding aside, what I find most challenging about the class is figuring out how to isolate certain muscles to make them do things they have NEVER done before.  And that's not kinky talk (though I did laugh when Joharah referred to the space between her ribs and her hips as a "woman's toolbox").  Having never taken dance I just haven't been required to connect that way with my body.  She says left, my body goes right, she says down, I go up.  I try to stay off to the side so I don't throw everyone off with my lack of coordination but Johorah somehow manages to catch every shimmy and drop I do.  Thank goodness the room is full of true beginners so I'm not the only one who is having a tough time keeping my feet flat on the floor while I do hip thrusts from side to side (you try it - it ain't easy!). 

I love how earthy the movement is - it makes me feel very grounded.  The idea of being able to truly connect with my body is fascinating (and here I thought walking while chewing gum was fancy).  With four more classes to go, I'll be happy if I get a decent shimmy going and can line up my lefts and rights with everyone by the end of February.  There will definitely be more belly dancing in my future! It's addictive (and a nice break from the intensity of P90X).


  1. Anonymous3:22 p.m.

    Listen sista...I'll be shimmying with you until the sun don't shine!
    Thanks for the intro....Lolo loves it!

  2. Hi Katrina, I love your enthusiasm and energy from the very first time you set foot in BellyUp. Teaching beginners has got to be the most rewarding level for me to teach. To see all the students walk in on day one feeling kinda like "what the heck have I got myself into" to seeing them improve and unwind and just enjoy the fun and beauty of moving their bodies and appreciate their bodies curves and dimples is really special. There's so much to teach and I wish (though I'm sure you don't at this point) that I had all of you girls for an entire night - I've got so many things to show and teach you. All in good time for sure and at the rate of you girls are going I'll hope to have you obsessed by week 6. lol. Remember you can practice anywhere! See you next week and love all your updates.

    Happy hip drops,

    Joharah (p.s. note the spelling)


  3. Lola - shimmy shimmy sista!

    Joharah - thanks! sp fixed :-)