belly dance and the grump-a-tron

bellydance1 Since taking a taster course back in the summer, I am having a full-on smooch-filled love affair with all things belly dance. Who wouldn't? It's the dance o' the goddess, it's beautiful, magical and mesmerizing, it's also freakin' hard. REALLY freakin' hard. So when my belly dancing teacher announced that she ran a two hour fitness and dance class each Thursday, I was super-keen to sign up. The fact that is was being hosted at the local university didn't phase me at all. Well, until I actually walked through the door to be greeted by over 70 late teens with super-toned bodies and not many clothes on.

Now, I know I'm a confidence - self-esteem coach and all, but I got a belly wobble. Not the kind that I could pass off as an actual dance move, but inside, deep down, where all that past conditioning lives and the story-telling 'bout all things life-y happens. It awoke the grump-a-tron, she of bad-mouthing and toxic thoughts, and within minutes, the internal convo went a little bit like this: 'Seriously chica, what are you doing here?' 'Look around you, these girls are super-fit and ready to work out for an hour, you on the other hand, will be sweating within minutes.' 'Do you really think you can compete with these girls? Go home now, with your dignity in tact.'

A few years ago, the grump-a-tron would have seriously won out. I'd have grabbed my bag, turned right back around and walked out of there as quickly as I could.

'Cept now, I answer the bitch back. Hah.

My convo went something like this: 'Yep, those girls sure looked fit and fabulous, and I want to BE fit and fabulous, so it actually makes sense that I was in that room, right?' 'And of course I don't bloody look like them, they're 18 years old, I'm 32 - 33 in 2 weeks time, all cards and presents gratefully received! - comparing is a no-win contest that we'll NEVER win because there's always someone thinner/taller/younger/richer, delete as applicable, than us, I'm me, I rock, I love belly dancing, now bring on the lesson!'

Yep, I stood at the back, but I was there and I was doing it. Yep, I did some serious sweating, but it felt freakin' amazing and even when the super-fit, Lycra clad 18 year-old bronzed beauty stood next to me gave me a back-pat of pity and told me 'not to worry, I'd pick it soon enough' I smiled and took it as positive encouragement.

Oh, that last bit? That's a lie, because for a split moment, I wanted to punch her on the nose. HARD.

What? It was only for a split second and then I smiled and took it as positive encouragement. Anyway, while I did leave the class a li'l broken, don't EVER get it twisted that belly dancing is easy, it's absolutely, positively not, I also felt a whole lot of awesome, and that, quite frankly, is the most important thing of all.