Why I Love Belly Dance essay – Honorable Mention


Why I Love Bellydance
– by Hespera

I started bellydancing because I get bored easily with exercise and I needed to find something I could stick to. Also, I thought it might help with a pain I was feeling in my hip since nothing else seemed to have a lasting effect. So, I began doing bellydance/workout videos and it really helped. Within the first week I was addicted, but after a while I wanted more.

I still enjoyed my videos and the way they made me feel, but I wanted to pursue it further. My grandmother once mentioned that her mother used to dance with a bowl of water on her head and the idea intrigued me. So, when I heard about a bellydance class in my area, I eagerly enrolled.

Of course, I was nervous that first class. I was overweight and clumsy. I can seriously trip over my own feet, I am not kidding, and the idea of seeing (and being seen by) a size zero professional bellydancer intimidated shy, little old me. Much to my relief, the other students in the class came in a whole range of ages and sizes, so I did not stick out as much as I thought I would. Then, the teacher, Rune, arrived and she was not a size zero. She was a lovely woman WITH CURVES. I was still intimidated, mind you, because she was very graceful, but when she praised my execution of a move I began to think that maybe I could be graceful, too (gasp).

I kept taking classes, all the way through advanced, and I found out a few things about myself. I liked my full-figured body because it was strong and could move smoothly. And let’s face it, what’s a shimmy without a little something to shake? I was not bad at choreography, either. Most importantly, I liked myself better. I no longer needed someone else to make me feel good, I could do it all by myself. When Rune asked me to join her budding bellydance troupe, I was ready and we are still having fun. Our troupe has grown quite a bit since I started about 2 years ago and my favorite part about it is watching the newbies realize that they are beautiful, graceful women.