Monday, May 19, 2008

Mata-Mamma Hari

I dated this one guy for a couple years back in high school. His dad had been murdered when he and his brothers were kids, and his mom, Mary, worked hard to provide for her family.

Mary was a great provider and parent and a really nice lady. She was a 40-something strawberry blonde - pretty in an understated way, of quiet manner and gentle spirit, very pleasant and easy to talk to. We became friends.

She had the wisdom to etch out a little bit of time for herself as well. She was an active member of Parents Without Partners, and as her hobby, Mary had been taking classes and had become an accomplished belly dancer. As an advanced student, she had to write her own routines and would practice them at home. One evening, being that I was there, I was invited to watch one of her practice sessions. I was excited. I’d seen her working on her beautiful cabaret-style costumes from time to time and had wondered about her dancing. I was happy to be able to see one of her routines.

Mary came out in her costume – she seemed a little self-conscious wearing it in front of us at first – or perhaps it was only me, being the first time I’d seen a real (very sexy) belly dancing costume in person, and on my boyfriend’s mother at that. Either way though, that didn’t last. Mary proceeded to dance her routine – slow at first, and then with increasing tempo. Her tiny waist moved with power and control, her arms flowed with the ease and fluidity of the veils of her skirts, her brass zills and blue eyes flashed exotically. For those moments, quiet mild-mannered Mary became a goddess.

And from those moments on, I wanted to possess that gift.

The life of a young woman is tempestuous to say the least. That boy and I broke up and I lost touch with Mary. I didn’t know the first thing about finding a belly dancing class, even if I did have the time or money to do so. But I loved to dance. All through college and through my twenties, I went out dancing every chance I got – and the memories of Mary’s belly dancing and the unrequited dream to learn the dance stayed with me.

A few years ago my knees started bothering me when I did my preferred high-impact workouts of Tae Bo, kickboxing and the like. I started thinking about new approaches I could take for my fitness routines, of which are becoming increasingly more important as I approach middle age. I thought back to the days I knew Mary, and how much I admired her accomplished dancing to this day. I bought some videos and began to teach myself some basic moves. It was fun, sensual, and deceptively challenging physically. Unfortunately, I’m a poor self-motivator and didn’t keep with it regularly, especially with a toddler vying for my time in the evenings.

But recently, for whatever reason, I have been re-inspired. Something I can’t pinpoint has re-triggered this old dream in me, and I want to chase it. Chase it and capture it and make it mine. I have been doing some research and hunting around for classes. It took a while, and some soul searching in order to decide how far I was willing to commute, as there are no local classes in my residence of BFE. But I found one that’s both reachable and affordable. The class is offered at a real dance studio by a real belly dancer. There are also intermediate and advanced classes to move up to whenever the student is ready for a new challenge level.

My first class is tomorrow and I’m so excited I can barely stand it.

Those who know me in person might laugh at this pursuit – some even have. But I don’t care. I've seen how it can change a woman inside and out, and I want that. Many others have encouraged me enthusiastically, which fuels my fire even more. And the Hub? Well, he's always loved belly dancers anyway, so enough said ;).

Will I become as accomplished a dancer as Mary? I don’t know. But what I do know is I am making a twenty-some year old dream come true in pursuing this. I want to resculpt my body into something I can be proud of again and gain the confidence and power and femininity that belly dancers of ALL ages, sizes and skill levels seem to possess. I want to become a goddess.

I want to be a Mata-Mamma Hari! :)


Coffeypot said...

If you think about it, Mary was around your age, I think, as she was dancing for you. So I don't see why you can't be as good as or better than she was. Have you ever tried to get in touch with her? Like my daughter, Marni, did when she took belly dancing lessons, post some movies of your moves.

chesneygirl said...

Okay, so I never had a dream as you had/have. Actually I never really thought about it until you started talking about it when you bought the videos.

I think bellydancing is getting to be more popular as a fitness class which is why I think my gym added the class. (kinda like when kickboxing became the storm)

I know nothing about the person that teaches it but I asked the girl at the front desk about it and she said they have a really good turnout every week and some of the girls have gotten really serious about it and have bought and wear the skirts to class.
(apparently, it's been on the schedule for a month or so, I just now found out about it tho)

I'm so excited to start my class.
I'm even more excited to be able to compare notes with you! :)

Laugh at you? Now WHOEVER would do such a thing!? ;)

Curly-Que said...

Hey, I may have laughed, but it was all in fun! You know that right clewy? You sound hurt by my laughter and it was never meant to be like that. I'm sorry. :*(

clew said...

Of course I wasn't hurt, silly! LOVE YOU!!!

Martie said...

I laugh whenever I think of you Clew! But it's the good kind of laughing.......the kind where I'm happy just remembering our last time together!

Love ya! ;)

John Ellsworth said...

Hi Clew!
I don't really know if more kids are in the works for you. Just in case you are thinking about it I would like to share a word of caution. When my mother was 40 years old and pregnant with me she started taking belly dancing classes.
I am assuming that this is the cause of some abnormalities that I have had to live with all my life.
I was born with an uncanny dexterity in my abdominal muscles. Now while this has impressed almost every one I show it to, and while because if this I have never been constipated I can't help but think there has been adverse psychological effects. For example I have become the kind of person who would talk about constipation on another person's blog. And I ask you, is that a risk you are willing to take? Just something to keep in mind if you are still working on making small people. Regardless of what you chose to do with your body (and potentially the body of your unborn child) I wish you all happiness and pleasure.

Lori said...

How fun! I've heard that belly dancing is very good exercise and can firm up those abs. Let us know how it went and how it all progresses.

Anonymous said...

i think sharing imperfections makes life worth listening to.
today, clew, i cheated on my girlfriend. she is perfect for me, and yet the distance is unwieldy. my genitalia won the battle against my aristotelian moral reason and i kissed a bad kissing acquaintance.
on one hand, i know that she is perfect for me and that i don't deserve her. on the other hand (or head(; ), 4 months alone with constant temptation and without a way to reach her, at all!, seems unreasonble to ask my of naturally functioning hormones.
i, like u, find solace in the beautiful "soul-quenching" gaps in civilization, such as the indeed cliche yellowstone. i wish i could spend all my time there as a eunich.
but i, unlike you, think that god is not worthy of my gratitude. not really because he messed me up, but because he doesn't exist. that doesn't stop you from using Him though, does it Clew?
tomorrow night a different girl has offered to pleasure me. its not really because im that attractive physically or as a person. but i do have magnificent manipulative capabilities. so i'll be faced with the decision again. and i don't know what i'll chose. what would Nietzsche do? There's your answer.
I have friends that are actually insane and I also have 2 friends that died recently. They won't ever get the chance to live such a disgusting life as I. I'm a spoiled waste of society's advanced cosmetics.
Note the trees because the dirt is temporary. More to mine than fact face name and monetary.
Bellydancing is like a tattoo. It's only a weak mechanism to make you feel more accepted among certain circles, including your own consciousness. But it won't change the absolute fact, whether recognized or not, that you're aging and in-agile. Jesus would have taken the bellydancing class. But I think I'd rather bleed than shoot the squirrels like robin williams.
you may write my comments off as lunatical heretical feacies of the toros, but i warn you, that I'm extremely potent, patient and potential.
I'll end on that subtly cryptic alliteration, and return shortly to be vigilant of your blog response.
goodnight and, perhaps, farewell, Clew.