Last night I went to my very first Belly Dancing class. It was, to say the least, an experience. First, I need to preface this by noting that I was attending a Belly Dancing class offered at my Gym, so it's not the kind of class you'd get at a Belly Dancing studio, although I have to say the instructor (who does own a studio) was most definitely a dancing instructor.
One major thing about Belly Dancing, you can't be shy. All of the moves are devised specifically to show off your body in the most sensual way possible. So yeah, it was a tad embarrassing to be learning them in a room full of strangers. It will, hopefully, do wonders for my social anxiety though. I mean, seriously, once you've learned to belly dance, gyrating awkwardly (for me at least) with two dozen perfect strangers, how bad can dinner be? Maybe this will help get me back across the deck into a pool.
I'm also hoping it'll do something to help me move more gracefully. One of the biggest issues I had during the class was that my body is trained to be a martial artist. I move in strait lines, usually with a strike at the end. I am not graceful, I am powerful, but I'd like to be graceful.
There was a lot more leg strength involved than I would have thought, as most of the time you're up on the balls of your feet on at least one foot, and you're almost always in a bit of a squat, keeping your knees bent slightly. I did not feel the workout in my abs as much as I was expecting, but that may be more to my level of inexperience than any failing of the exercise. I'm betting that as I learn to do that hip shimmy thing right my abs will all of a sudden have something to complain about. So far, I can shake, but I can't shimmy.
Thank you to Melissa for the links to her daughters blogs (both of whom are apparently belly dancers!) I will replug them here, as I'm sure they will have more intersting and informative things to say on belly dancing than "Hur, it was hard!" like me ^_^ (I would also like to point out that having skimmed the most recent few posts on all three blogs, I am very happy to have three more blogs to add to my reading list)
http://funwithhypergols.blogspot.com/ - Lots of inspiring insights, including a very intriguing writing exercise.
http://kentuckybabe.tumblr.com/ - this ones more a poetry blog, beautiful stuff!
What scary, brand new, challenging, or exotic things have you tried lately?