Great Gatsby Hafla, or My First Bellydance Solo (with Video! :^0)
*Raqs assaya is a traditional southern Egyptian dance that is performed with a cane.
I've skated solo many times in shows, but I've only been bellydancing for a little over two years, but why not? One has to start somewhere, and Jess assured me that this particular hafla was very casual and fun, and a mere intermediate like myself dancing solo would not be looked upon as inappropriate or weird. So I agreed. (Solo is actually easier than dancing with someone else because you do not have to worry about sticking strictly to the choreography, minding your spacing in relation to another person/people, or staying in-sync with them.)
I have been off-and-on regretful about that for the past month, not because I was worried or nervous about dancing solo but because 1) the very next week is when I pulled my piriformis, which took me fully out of dance for a week and very tentative for the week after that with some lingering effects even now, and 2) I have been ridiculously busy, so the time for regular practice, including videoing and critiquing myself, just wasn't there. Know when I finally got to video myself doing the dance in costume? Yesterday afternoon in our cramped, low-ceilinged basement. :^| Ah well.
Yesterday was ridiculously rainy, and the studio, which was located in a business park, was hard to find in the dark. We had to keep driving up and down the divided highway, trying one driveway after another and, when that wasn't the one, driving back down the highway, making a U-turn, and trying again. I will admit that, in that moment, as the clock crept perilously close to the time I was due at the hafla, I said out loud that I wished I hadn't agreed to it.
But that was short-lived. We found the place eventually, and I had an awesome time. I am nowhere near satisfied with the dance as it is, but as I watch the video, I am also not cringing in horror. I did a decent job for someone who has only been dancing (in this form anyway) for two years. And, yes, it was ridiculously fun. I love performing and always have. (Take that, tumblrites who think that introversion = social anxiety!) Jessica asked me if I was nervous, and I said, "Eh ... no." She laughed and said I was Zen. She insists I am the most laid-back person she knows. (Which is funny because I so rarely feel laid-back at all!)
Me and my instructor Jessica (Halima). Proof that I can put on makeup and shine up real nice when I want to. :D
The theme of the hafla was holidays and Great Gatsby. My number fit neither theme. (I wasn't the only one!) Jessica did a 1920s number and then a more traditional drum solo; she rocked.
All of the dancers, serious and then silly. One of the things I love about bellydance is its acceptance of all women, no matter their age, looks, shape, or size. It is an art form that shows that beauty is not limited to the unrealistic expectations of the fashion industry. This particular hafla also included all ability levels, from beginners to pros.
And last but not least, the video of my dance.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!