Thursday, October 09, 2008

Belly dancing post-pyramid

My legs are almost normal now, but yesterday…oh, boy! I could hardly move. It’s not like going up and down that tunnel was really all that rigorous, but it sure did a number on my stair-climbing muscles. I repeat: I could hardly move. I’m not sure if I’m really that much of a wimp or if it was that carrying Rachel was too much of a strain.

Either way I spent most of the day sitting on the couch. Rachel, of course, wanted me to play with her so I would make her run off to grab a toy or a book and bring it to me. And then we would play with it/read it on the couch so that I wouldn’t have to move.

Soon it was time for me to get ready to go to belly dancing class. I was still in agony but I chased Rachel around the house anyway, trying to get her dressed, and managed to get out the door on time. I hobbled down the street to the Sharp’s house to drop Rachel off. They only live on the second floor, but I called the elevator anyway. There was no way I was hauling Rachel up the stairs!

She went inside willingly. Lora and Tanner were eating dinner, and although Rachel had already eaten dinner she is an excellent mooch and is always willing to eat more. I left and called the elevator again.

Elevators are such a luxury. Our apartment building doesn’t have one and usually it’s okay, but sometimes it would just be really nice to not have to use the stairs. Like days when my legs just don’t work. Like today.

Riding the elevator down was such a treat. Walking to the CSA was not. I feel like a complete idiot when I walk. I’m not sure if my legs are actually doing what my brain thinks they are. I really hope they aren’t because my brain thinks they’re all over the place. My shadow looked fairly normal, so I can only assume I didn’t look like a moron. I just felt like I looked like one.

My dance class is on the second floor of the CSA , but since they count the first floor as the “ground floor” and the second floor as the “first floor” my class is technically on the third floor. And there is no elevator. I climbed the stairs as fast as I could, which wasn’t very fast and got dressed for my class.

Don’t worry, although we do wear a jingly scarf around our waists, we don't wear the full belly dancing costumes for our class. Truthfully, I'm not sure I would ever be caught dead in a belly dancing outfit. I dress in yoga pants, a t-shirt, and bare feet.

I stood on the floor with Lydia, waiting for our instructor, Anki, to show up. Anki is from Finland, but has studied belly dancing for about 17 years. She's been living in Cairo, teaching, performing, and studying dance for the past 5 or 6 years. And she's really good...just a little bit late sometimes, which is fine because she often has us dancing 10 minutes after class ends, so that makes up for starting late.

After doing some warmups, which actually felt really good on my stiff legs, Anki announced that we'd be focusing on our arms and torso today. I was really happy to hear that! Although my working my legs a little bit felt good, I was sure I would collapse if we had another 10 minute shimmy session for our legs. Instead we were shimmying our shoulders, which I found difficult beyond belief.

Belly dancing, in general, is difficult. Everytime she introduces a new step, it takes me several days of practicing before I can do it right. But I think I'm making progress because I find it relieving to go back to old steps--steps that I previously thought I'd never be able to do but after doing them for several weeks in a row now feel pretty comfortable.

Not a whole lot was feeling comfortable today, though. Everytime I tried to move my legs was torture. And all my arm movements are choppy. You might think that a shimmy is just a shimmy, but it's really quite technical.

After practicing our shimmies for like 15 minutes, we spent the last few minutes of class following Anki while she did a "teacher improv." We tried to mimic her dance but ended up absolutely slaughtering it. It was quite sad, really. I guess that's why we're the beginner class...