Oh Shakira. Really, you could say she was what got me started dancing. In spite of friends mimicking her by bleating at me like a goat, I've been a fan for years. In high school I remember watching her music videos and attempting a shimmy for the first time. Of course, back then I didn't know it was called a shimmy - I just tried to shake my booty as fast as I possibly could. (This was usually done alone, so as not to frighten anyone...)
I loved watching the dancing in Objection and the belly dance type moves in Whenever, Wherever. Such fun! I began to think belly dancing would be a fun way to get some excercise - little did I know what obsession was in store for me years later.
I tossed around the idea of learning to belly dance with a friend, but we didn't know where to start and schedules never seemed to cooperate. Dancing went to the back of my head.
Then in February 2010 my world turned upside down: in one day I moved out of my house, bought a car and said goodbye to the 4 year relationship I had been in. This caused more pain than I knew I could endure at times, and lead to months of struggling with depression, anxiety and a very skewed self-image.
Getting back on my feet included going out with friends, gaining my confidence - even beginning to date again. Still, I needed something for myself. Something that could bring new friendships, better health, and much needed joy. So finally a friend and I worked out a schedule and committed to going to 6 weeks of dance class.
Now I have to give you a picture of what I was like pre-dancing. I was one of *those* girls. You know, any excuse to miss gym, never been to a fitness class in my life, heck - the bowling balls at the local bowling alley hurt my arms! My hobbies had always centered more around music, arts and crafts.
Going into this class, I knew it was going to be difficult. I decided if I could just get through it, I could at least have that small sense of accomplishment. I had no idea at the time how much I was underestimating the challenge and the gratification that would come from these classes, or how they would change my life.
Part Two tomorrow! :)