Thursday, December 27, 2007

But I Don't WANT to Be a Professional Bellydancer

The holidays are over in a big blur as usual. It was nice spending time with my family. We went to see the movie Juno, which was fantabulous. It starred my favorite age-inappropriate crush, Michael Cera, and my favorite if-I-were-a-lesbian crush, Jennifer Garner, so there was no going wrong. The movie was funny, clever, touching and warm all at the same time.

But yesterday, everything was back to normal so I headed to Grandview for my 9 p.m. bellydancing lesson. Every 8 weeks I fork over $90 so I can have the joy of a different type of exercise and increased flexibility. I also enjoy getting all fancied up and performing in shows. I like the women I've gotten to know.

The lady who owns the studio was there last night. The first thing I notice is she's dyed her hair midnight blue and is wearing a glittery red sweater with big poodles on it. I was feeling charitable last night so I chalked it up to the eccentricity that comes with being a retired bellydancer in her 60s or 70s. In fact, it was because she's an evil devil-lady.

How 'Bout I Pee My Pants in Front of Everyone & Call it a Day?

As the evil old lady owner watches our class, she barks that she wants to see me and 3 other girls do the dip-pivot-pull movement by ourselves. I panic when I have to do something in front of a bunch of other people - particularly something I suck at. She makes us do it a few times and barks out incomprehensible instructions in bellydancerese.

After a couple of minutes, she says, "Denise and Kelly, move to the front. You're doing it right. Now I want to see Peggy and oh-I-forget-your-name." "Laura," I offer feebly. "Peggy and Laura do it by yourselves because you're doing it wrong." If you're going to ridicule me in front of everyone, at least know my name!

At this point, there's no way I'm going to do it right and I'm so humiliated I'm close to either bursting in tears or punching the owner. She made us do it over and over and I just couldn't get it. In fact, the second you make me do something by myself in front of people, my brain shuts down.

This bellydancing stuff doesn't come easy to me. I'm a bit of a klutz. I didn't grow up taking dance or cheerleading or gymnastics - I was in the marching band, for goodness sake. I weighed over 200 lbs between ages 22 and 26. It's a miracle I'm up there at all and now I'm not so sure I want to be. I hate giving that woman my money.

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