I'm taking a bellydance class at our local YMCA, with the incomparable Malik Turley, founder of Hip Circle Studio and one of the troupe leaders of Zahara Fusion, a local bellydance troupe. We meet weekly and shimmy and shake and work those core muscles and dance with women of all ages and shapes and feel good. It's brilliant, and I'm happy to have finally found a medium which utilizes my many assets, including my rather shakeable botto! Hooray!!
Just a note about bellydance - it's not what you're thinking. It's not exotic dancing. As Malik says, we may dance exotically to exotic music, but we are not exotic dancers. Bellydance arose out of a culture of women supporting one another - primarily through childbirth, as those are the muscles it strengthens - but throughout life as well. It's a multi-generational celebration of the beauty of women. So there.
Over Christmas, Malik asked if I would join her troupe, and I jumped at the chance. So now I'm bellydancing twice a week, and we will be hosting a hafla at the end of this month, which is a dance recital of sorts - mostly a community-building event where we invite our friends and family to come and appreciate the work that we've accomplished and get other people dancing, too.
Anyway, this is all a long introduction to a short little video that I took of Olivia wearing my coin belt. Without further ado: