Just Dance

My students (first/ final troupe performance Spring 2005). Photo curtesy of Jen B.

I just realized last night - it's been six and a half years since I last taught a bellydance classes.
From my first ever performance (with Qismah) fall 2001. Photo curtesy of Ginette N.


I did teach one mini demo class when Remy was about 2 -- it was after mommy and me yoga. Very brief. It was at most 20 minutes. Still, that's almost four years ago!


And weirder, it's been almost two years since I've performed.

Just before my last performance, Feb '10.
I never made a conscious decision to stop teaching/ performing bellydance (like I did with acting, which was stressing me out way too much). It just wasn't the right time and or place. There were a few haflas a year for me to perform at in Mobile, which was enough and new (special needs) motherhood meant I did not have the time or energy to teach.

And now that we've moved again (and I could conceivably start teaching) I don't know if I want to. Teaching has drama drawbacks I don't know if I'm prepared for (again).

And I feel so out of practice that I don't want to jump back to performing, either (not with something big). And I don't know anyone here, not really. I haven't found my peeps. Is this an east coast west coast thing or I wow, I'm actually quite shy sometimes thing. (Or both. Probably both. Mostly the strange shyness.)

Tribal Cafe, summer 2004 (photo via Gilded Serpent)
It took me two years and a half years in Toronto until I gathered enough students to be able to teach. Tribal was so new back then, I was one of the few people in town who had any experience with it. (Now there's been an explosion, I am proud to say, and there are many teachers, performers and troops.) It was really hard for me to get past the discouragement of offering a first teaching session (no one came!) and offer another. It took me a year and a half and many, many inquiries until I relented.

I'm sure Tribal would have exploded without me (thanks to Rachel Brice), but I'm glad I got to play a minor role in the beginnings.

Northern Oasis (2005? 2004?): just dancing at my friend's house.
Here in Jersey, there are pockets of all kinds of bellydance, including the style I love, Tribal Fusion (my Tribal Fusion is more of a Tribal World Fusion, but let's not quibble on terms). And yet, I haven't been able to reach out and make friends, much less find contacts. Jersey is too spread out (and I don't really know it all that well yet, I have only been here for slightly over a year).

Perhaps I am too hard on myself. It takes time to get acquainted with things.

And perhaps I have just moved on, I don't know.

I have dancing almost my entire life (my first workshop was at the age of 7 or 8). I have a unique perspective on the evolution of the (tribal) bellydance community. And yet, I feel like a poseur: I don't dance enough. I don't teach. I don't have the latest, greatest costuming or music. I am out of touch.

Screw it. Just dance.

That I can do.

[Blog housekeeping, in thecCountdown to post 500: this is post 497!!! 3 more to go!!]