Posts filed under ‘belly dancing’

Sawyer Dance Gene

On Monday I had another Belly Dancing class.  Unfortunately, I was in Kansas for the last class, but how much could I miss, right?  Well, apparently a lot!  All my classmates showed up in ornate little hip scarfs with sequins and coins.  I showed up in a pair of blue shorts with paint splatters on them.  My classmates were readily prepared to join a series of moves and components together.  Meanwhile, I awkwardly tried to mimic their moves. 

I was definitely the weakest pupil in the class last week.  Nonetheless, I still had a splendid time and really enjoyed the experience.  But, I do have to say there were moments were some Sawyer dance stories crept into mind and I doubted my wine-induced class selection:

Inherited Rhythm?
My grandfather had a hilarious story from his youth.  When he was a boy, he wanted to play the drums.  He got a drum set for Christmas and he embarked on some drumming lessons.  After a while, the teacher told my grandfather that he had no rhythm and that he really couldn’t master the drums until he had that key skill.  The teacher suggested that Grandpa should take dance lessons to help his sense of timing.

And so Grandpa signed up for dance lessons which he continuously fumbled through.  Eventually that teacher said enough is enough.  Again my grandfather was told he had no rhythm.  The dance instructor had a helpful suggestion on how my grandfather could improve.

“Perhaps you should take drum lessons.” 🙂

Adam Sawyer Quote
I love weddings.  The highlights– cake and dancing.  My cousin Adam’s wedding in 2000 was one of the best weddings for the latter activity.  My relatives and I danced up a storm!  I must have been out there for hours.  It was so much fun!  At one point in the evening, I went to check in with the handsome groom.  We stood on a balcony and looked down over the rest of the reception.  At one point, Adam looked over at the dance floor and shook his head.

“You can always tell the Sawyers,” he said, “They are the ones who can’t dance, but always do!”  🙂

So maybe I have genetics going against me in this belly dancing endeavor.  But my teacher is patient and I am enthusiastic.  At the very least, I will continue to have an hour of fun every Monday evening.  🙂

September 21, 2007 at 8:43 am 5 comments

Belly Dancing

On Monday, Ann and I had our very first belly dancing class courtesy of the YMCA Open University.  I expected to go through a period of humilation and awkwardness to get to the fun, but the atmosphere was instantly relaxing and free.  I had a very good time and look forward to the coming weeks. 

There were some less than stellar moments, however.  They had everything to do with my communications skills and very little to do with my ability to isolate motion in different body parts.

Since it was the first class, the instructor had us go around the room to introduce ourselves and tell the class why we were there.  The very first girl went and she spoke for some time on all the advantages she expected to see from belly dancing– exposure to other cultures, boosted self-esteem, exercise, all very good reasons.  As I listened to her well-articulated answers, I thought about my eventual answer in my head.  And suddenly I felt the urge to laugh.

I have Sawyer blood in me and inopportune laughter is one of our “features”.  My siblings and I demonstrated we inherited this trait early on, laughing at the word “naked” in church.  At my cousin Adam’s wedding in 2000, nearly our whole pew struggled to stiffle laughter during part of the ceremony (it was the antics of my father that were so hilarious– not the actual ceremony).  At least nine of us, representing two seperate branches of the family and two seperate generations, burst out laughing waiting at a funeral once. 

So as soon as my own thoughts struck me as amusing, I could feel the urge to laugh.  My belly dancing classmate was still elaborating on her variety of reasons for being there.  I hung my head and cracked a smile.  Thank goodness I still have all that Locks of Love hair to obscure my face.  Just when I thought I had fought back the urge to laugh, it came back with a vengence.  I tried, I really tried, but I couldn’t hold it in.

I laughed.

Now, this wasn’t a very large class and I was very audible to everyone present.  Worse– it looked like I was laughing at this poor girl.

“I’m sorry,” I said (still laughing!), “I’m just thinking about how LAME my answer is going to sound next to yours!!!”

The others seemed satisfied with my explanation and the teacher gave an understanding smile.

“Any answer is good,” the teacher told the class and then looked at me, “So it’s okay if you want to say, ‘I like the glittery costumes'”.

Oh, if only she knew.

One thing about my timing is good.  I’m glad I laughed during the first girl’s spiel.  The second girl was supposed to be in one of the rooms in Norris Hall on April 16th, but didn’t make it to class that day.  She said that event made her take an inventory of her life and she realized how much stuff she wanted to do in life that she had never tried. 

“And belly dancing is one of those things,” she said, “So here I am.”

Can you imagine if I laughed during that?!?!

Anyway, we go around the room and everyone has all these great answers as to why they were there.  Then the teacher calls on Ann.

“Uh……….” Ann got a glazed, deer-in-the-headlights look on her face.

“So… yeah…” I busted in, “Uh…we were drinking wine…”

I did go on to share some of positives draws of the class that peaked our interest, but when you get down to it, that’s the root cause in a nutshell.  Wine.  🙂

Regardless of the initial reason, the class is super fun and not bad exercise at all.  I checked in on my pulse at one point and it was elevated (far from “Angel Rest ascent” elevated, but an improvement over “sitting at a computer”).  And I could definitely feel somes muscles in action that normally remain idle.  I expect very, very good things to come.

August 29, 2007 at 9:40 am 8 comments


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