About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Coin belts, goddesses and the shimmy

When people think of belly dancing, usually images of sultry women sha-shaying with scarves in a tent in the middle of a desert come to mind.  Well, in my beginning belly dancing class, we're more awkward than sultry, although we do wear some pretty cool coin belts.

I started belly dancing class in early February.  My reasons for doing it were pretty basic--I thought it'd be fun and sexy.  What I'm learning, however, is that it's much harder than I expected--both physically and spiritually. (Yeah, I said spiritually.) 

During the first class, my teacher told us that belly dancing is about feminine power--not about men, although they like to think otherwise.  She said it's about telling a story of who we are as women, of connecting to a tradition that goes back for centuries and about accepting ourselves for who we are, as we are.  We had to look ourselves in the mirror and acknowledge the positives, rather than negatives.

Then she gave us an assignment--come back to class with a feminine Divine mentor that models our inner beauty, motivates self-expression and inspires us in every role we play as women.  She suggested we ask ourselves the following questions:
  • What qualities, states of being or understandings about yourself does she reveal to you?
  • What does she call forth from you?
  • How does she help you understand yourself as a woman in all of your roles? 
I thought--What the hell? Assignment? I'm here to shake it and have fun, not connect with my inner Goddess. 
Yeah, well, I'm kind of a brat when it comes to "homework", even at my age.  I probably rolled my eyes and sighed--and I was wrong to think that way, even for a minute.

As I've listened to the other women take turns presenting their Divine mentors, I've heard qualities of compassion, empathy, determination, fierceness, love, peace and strength emphasized.  It's all quite beautiful, really.  We, as women, are stunning and fascinating beings.

Aha! Now I get it!  The art of belly dance is more than the shimmy and snake arms--which use muscles I didn't know I had, by the way. The dance is about knowing yourself inside and out, about confidence, about expressing your inner beauty through outward expression, telling your story and accepting yourself.  It's about tradition, power and grace.

This week is my turn to present a Divine mentor and highlight a feminine quality for us to focus on during class.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  My ideas are all over the place, but I'm excited at the process.

I love being surprised.  I joined thinking it would be fun--which it is--but it's much more than I anticipated.  I feel like I'm returning to my roots, to a time when I danced as a child and put on shows for anyone who would watch, to the free-spirited me I used to be.  Who knew belly dancing would be all of this?  I didn't.

We laugh a lot in class.  We're learning not to take our mistakes seriously and to accept ourselves for the outstanding women we are from the inside out.

Belly dancing is liberating.  It's fun. It's sexy.  It truly is an art form.  And I absolutely love the sound my coin belt makes when I shimmy...makes me smile every time.

7 comments:

  1. This is something I've threatened to do for decades (not only because I love gauzy scarves & coin belts). I had the same first reaction as you to the whole Divine Mentor idea, but by the time I got to the end of your story, I knew who mine was! WOW! Powerful stuff!

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    1. It really is powerful stuff. Now I have a great deal of respect for the art of the dance and the tradition that's gone back for centuries. It's fun! All of it--the connection to the body, mind and spirit is truly liberating. I'm not very good at it yet--lol--but we'll see what happens. I'm willing to work at it.

      I still don't have an idea what I'm going to present on Wednesday! Ugh. I'm sure it will come to me.

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  2. It's amazing what you learn about yourself in class!

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  3. It's amazing what you learn in class! The new ways you learn to control your body connect with your awareness which connects with your inner self. It gives confidence, shares appreciation and imparts a sense of power. HUGS! So glad you're enjoying class!

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    1. I am now. I hate to admit it, but at first it was so hard to watch myself in the mirror--all I noticed were the mistakes, the lack of grace, etc. Learning to switch that around and recognize the positives has been HUGE for me. It's something all of us need to learn to do--instead of always looking for imperfections, embrace the good within ourselves.

      Hugs back, Britt. :) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Well, tonight's the night I need to present my Goddess and an animal of some kind that represent my feminine journey. I've chosen Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, War and Art--the favorite child of Zeus, who also feared her power. Although a warrior goddess, her focus was on strategy rather than bloodshed and was known for giving wise counsel. She fought Poseidon for Athens and won--introduced the Olive Tree which provided nourishment for the people. My animal is going to be the shark--see previous post if you need to know why. From these examples, we are supposed to tell the class what two attributes to focus on during the hour. I'm choosing grace and wisdom.

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