I felt inspired to write this after attending the Northwest Blues Recess Massive last weekend. I was invited to come participate in the event and teach three belly dance workshops – Belly Dance Fast Moves, Belly Dance Slow Moves, and Belly Dance Combinations for Duets. I taught one of those workshops on a cliff overlooking a quarry. It was beautiful, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of that recess.
I was in awe at the love radiating out of that community and the comfort that most everyone had with their bodies. They demonstrated no shame with the ways their bodies looked and moved, both on and off the dance floor. After several discussions about it, I realized that this self-acceptance was not automatic. For most, this came to them after years of blues dancing and building a community that embraced each as they were.
It got me to thinking about my journey to loving my body and the affect that belly dance and its community has had on me. I can only speak to my own experience. Here’s some of what I’ve been working with: