Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rainy Saturdays and Bellydance

I wound up taking a day off from all exercise yesterday. I'd originally scheduled a 4-mile running session for the morning, but instead woke up to thunder and a downpour. So those plans were scratched, and I realized that I really oughta go sign up for that gym membership I'd been postponing since arriving in Florida last December! It would be nice to have access to treadmills once again, especially because rainy season 2009 has declared itself here in the Sunshine State in a long, drawn-out manner. 

Later in the afternoon, I went to see my sister-in-law perform in a dance recital that was organized by our bellydance instructor. She was already nervous from pre-performance jitters, but during our 15-minute drive to the community center where the recital was taking place, we saw a road-rage incident unfold at a stop light.  Both of the people involved were women, and the aggressor drove to the front of the other car and blocked it at the light, then got out to yell at the other driver. Somehow, the car that was boxed-in managed to get around to make a right at the light. The aggressor got back in her car, and sped off in hot pursuit of the other vehicle. And obviously, we called 911 about this.  

Lesson of the day: don't get road rage. It ain't worth it. 

Getting back to my original point, the bellydance recital was amazing. The performers ran the gamut in terms of ages (the youngest was a nine-year-old and her cousin) and shapes. My seven months pregnant sister-in-law was the second act in the show, and did wonderfully! I honestly couldn't see her nervousness.  

Her choreography maximed use of the veil. Not only was it a practical move - it made it more low-impact while pumping up the dramatic - but it perfectly brought out the birth and female empowerment symbolism our instructor had so wanted to emphasize. My sister-in-law began the performance almost completely covered, and then, with the thump of a drumbeat, she swiftly threw off the veil and emerged with her hennaed, pregnant belly. It was poignant and wonderful to watch. 

The rest of the show was compelling, and I only wish more people had seen it, too. While bellydance is a sensual and exotic art,  it's also one that can only be performed publicly by women. That gives it the power, and reminds everyone that there are certain mysteries that only women have knowledge of, and of bonds that only women can share. Male choreographers are active in the bellydance world. However, they remain firmly behind-the-scenes, and the women are always center stage. 

After the show, the family all trooped over to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate.  My sister-in-law was relieved to have that out of the way, and I was simply hungry! And I must say, my needs in life are pretty simple: a good slice of cheesecake with fresh strawberries makes me such a happy camper. 

Over and out. 


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