Belly Dance Unplugged

Monday night is my belly dance class. This week I had a fine, but entirely normal class. Last Monday was another story. A violent thunderstorm blew through the area only minutes before the class was scheduled. The power in the center of town was knocked out for over an hour. Were we going to cancel class just because of no power? Uh-uh, baby, this is belly dance. An art that goes back to ancient times. Fortunately the store that hosted the class has plenty of candles. We lit up sufficient candles, I brought a couple hand drums from my car, and we had class with a return to the primitive.

It was so much fun that way, the evening got written up on the store’s web site.

I am titillated by this knowledge of you. Visions of amber cast, illuminated, bare bellies. The flicker against the undulation… rotoscopic, sublime, subliminal, sensuality. The snake glistens under the moon, his strike as light. No less delirium in the sweet venom.


Umm…you are a female?

Oh, don’t let that stop you, hon. But yes, Johanna = girl.

Wow, devilsknew, that’s some writing! Gave me shivers up and down my serpentine spine. Thanks! Can I print out your poem and read it to my dance class?

matt_mclmy hero <fluttering eyelashes>

I just welcome the opportunity to show off some pics of belly dancers that I took :smiley:

If you are so inclined, you can see them on my fotopage : #s 37, 38, 39 and 41.

I would think that twirling circle skirts and open flames could get a little dangerous.

Well, not that there’s anything wrong with that if she weren’t, but my prose might have taken on a whole new and slightly more embarrassing meaning.

Yes, sure, if you’d like! To the muse/es my tribute.

That sounds like fun! Anyone do shamadan? (That dance where you balance a lighted candelabra on your head)
What style of bellydance do you do? How long have you bee taking class? I do Egyptian cabaret and have on and off for six years or so. I love it.

I’ve done hula in the dark. It was pretty cool - the instructor was a visitor from Hawaii, and he took the opportunity to describe what it was like to dance out in the wild there. Very fun.


Oh, awesome. A friend’s girlfriend is (I hope) going to show me a bit of hula quite soon. I’m looking forward to it.

That sounds awesome. I was really into bellydancing up until around Christmas last year, when for some reason I stopped. I need to find the time to start up again, I loved doing it. I’ve been looking into dance meditation, too (lots of spiritual soul-searching stuff going on in Marli-world right now - long story) and I’m enchanted with the idea of turning off the lights and turning on the drums and just moving with it. Outside under a tree would be ideal, but my neighbors would probably call the cops if I tried it.

Dancing in low light with your eyes closed is very fun.

I haven’t taken class in a month and a half, but I hope to get a new classcard (set of 12 or 24 classes) maybe in a couple of weeks. Marlitharn, how long have you been dancing?

Two years. Wow. It doesn’t seem like that long. I’m pretty out of shape right now, though.

Dorjän, from a native Clevelander, thanks! Wade Circle is the prettiest part of Cleveland and your pictures brought back pleasant memories. I paraded with belly dancers myself last year, in the March for Women’s Lives in DC. The dancers in your pix look quite glamourous, wish I’d been there.

Lissla, I saw a shamadan dance at the Egyptian Embassy last year. They didn’t drop it. I also know a dancer who is a Ghawazee expert and dances with a sword balanced on top of her head. She has been learning for years and is really, really advanced.

I am currently learning some sort of Egyptian belly dance. I would like to try Turkish style, but the teacher I found is doing Egyptian, so go with it, it’s all good. I just took a few lessons last year and then after a long interval went back to it this spring. Somehow I learn quickly. It benefits from my drumming and other musical skills. As Gershwin proclaimed, “I Got Rhythm.” I let the groove permeate my being and I just flow with it. This worked for me when drumming, and it works for dance just as well. The teacher keeps telling the other students to “look at Johanna” for a good example. The skills and grace came naturally to me as soon as I began. I just have so much innate dance-a-tivity that wants to express itself. I had to make up this new word to describe how it feels.

“Just moving with it” — that’s it! At night, under the trees, with the throbbing drums… you know it.

Arabesque Dance Company- the people who teach me- have an Arabic band, performances, and Arabic dj-ing every Sunday at a club downtown. I haven’t been able to get to it yet, because I generally work Sundays, but I’m going soon. It will be awesome.

I’ve never performed. I just dance at home or go out clubbing.

I’ve done some Greek, lots of classical Egyptian cabaret, and some folklore- Saiidi, Zaar, assaya, sufi whirling. I love dancing. It’s one of the most fun things in the world. And, as you said, the best thing is just moving to the music. Choreography is great for techique and some performances, but for sheer fun, just dance.