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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2011
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    Statesboro, GA
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    Default New to the forum and to the dance

    Hello~ I happened to find this forum when I was searching for ways to improve my dance moves, and just knew I had to join. I'm prone to lengthy intros when I try to tell a little bit about myself, so I apologize if this turns into a long read...

    My name is Tiffany and I've recently picked up belly dance after two years of hoping I would one day live close enough to a place of instruction. After a recent move, I found a wonderful instructor who provides affordable lessons and finally had the opportunity to experience this beautiful dance.

    I still have difficulty defining myself as a dancer. I took ballet briefly when I was 4 years old, but it was little more than practicing some stretches and learning to walk around in organized circles. I ended up quitting shortly after my first recital as I had "graduated" to the next level and was placed in a class with a bunch of girls I didn't know. By this time my insecurity had kicked in (I've been overweight since I was 2, and children and family members were quite brutal at times) and I decided to quit dancing.

    In the following years I fell prey to childhood obesity and found myself growing increasingly uncoordinated and clumsy. My dad's side of the family called it "the Frazier curse." I still had a love for dance, but no guts to sign my pudgy self up for classes. When I graduated high school, left home, and lost 40 pounds (I still don't really know how) I started attempting dvd based dance workouts. I found myself getting disheartened quickly because the excited instructors with their mildly ridiculous electric-slide-ish choreography ("one, two, three, tap! grapevine! ... two, three... hop! clap your hands!") just weren't clicking with me. Even when I wasn't tripping over my own feet, I still managed to feel disconnected from the "dance."

    Another big move and lifestyle change later, I started doing yoga with "Namaste," a FitTV network show. Then, as I would sit cross-legged enjoying my inner peace, a show called "Shimmy" would come on. At first, I simply watched. I'd always been fascinated with belly dance, but had long since decided that I was too fat to do any sort of dance. But as I watched, I started thinking things like "Wow, I could probably do that..." and "Hey, this looks like fun." I started to participate, and soon my morning yoga was nothing more than a prelude to my morning Shimmy.

    Then hard times hit and our underutilized cable TV was the first thing to go. I continued to search for live instruction, dvds, video clips... anything the internet would grant me. I found the belly dance version of Dance Off the Inches for cheap at a Best Buy one day, but was disappointed in how cheesy and ungraceful the movements were.

    Finally, another move landed me in my current town... One with an experienced belly dancer providing excellent lessons for an affordable price. I asked for a 10 lesson pass for my birthday from my mother, and finally felt justified to take classes.

    In these three short months since then, I feel my dancing has changed dramatically. Belly dance is the only thing other than yoga that makes me feel so connected to my body, but unlike yoga it has an element of energy and fun that keeps me coming back for more.

    It's strange to me that someone like me with no middle eastern or tribal background save for some distant Native American roots can feel so connected to this dance. Although I'm by no means a skilled dancer (3 months of instruction has been extraordinarily helpful, but not miracle inducing), I still feel as though this is something I've always been meant to do.

    In this short time, belly dance has given me such a strong connection to my body, to music, and to my identity as a woman. I'm continually amazed at how strong and loving the bond really is between belly dancers, and I'm so proud to think that I'm becoming a part of this fantastic community.

    I apologize again for getting long-winded, but belly dance has become a very emotionally charged subject for me. I'm so happy to have found a place where I can both express my love for the art, as well as find helpful tips from experienced dancers apart from just my instructor. I'm looking forward to chatting with all of you.

  2. #2
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    Welcome to the forum!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia, but a Kiwi
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    to the forum & your addiction, glad you found us, mind you the forum can be very addictive just as the dance is I think it is wonderful that you are feeling such a strong connection not only to the dance but your body & your identity. Enjoy your journey, don't put high expectations on yourself at this point, there is a lot to learn and perfect ( and we all continue to try to perfect our dancing even years down the track) - keep the joy and practice, practice, practice, slowly but surely you will find that you are getting better & better.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany (Hannover)
    Posts
    19
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    Default welcome and..

    i hope you never let anyone tell you that being overweight will not allow you to dance! People can be so arrogant..

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