My four youngest kids all dance, and three of them are good at it. One of them enjoys it, but has to work harder for it than everyone else.
I realized that I needed a dance class. I've taken gazillions of exercise classes over the last 20 years, but not a single dance class. I haven't had to do any choreography for anything in more than a decade, so I was rusty.
Heather the Awesome suggested a year or two ago that we take a belly dancing class that was being offered up at our rec center, and finally last fall everything lined up to make it doable.
It's been a little over a year now that we've been taking the class, and I am SOOOO glad that she suggested it. Our teacher is wonderful! She makes everything seem completely attainable, but is realistic that practice is necessary. And I've had the opportunity to perform with her and my amazing classmates at both a belly dance workshop/retreat and several smaller community gatherings.
I feel like belly dance might be one of the forms of dance that is the most accepting of all body types. I know that seems weird since we all imagine perfectly shaped women in their little bikini tops and toned abs. For the most part it isn't that. It's normal looking women who have learned how to isolate muscles that I wasn't even aware of having before I started belly dance. And for some moves, the more belly the better!
I'm not quite ready to bare my belly while dancing, but I'm becoming more accepting of the idea. Thanks in part to my religious beliefs and standards of modesty and in equal part the tremendous number of scars left by being pregnant with excessively large babies, I'm still a bit hesitant to don a spangly bra and let the rest of my torso hang out. But I think I'll get there eventually.
Here are a few of my favorite ladies from our very first performance last Spring: