March 13, 2009

Connecting to joy

Sometimes we forget at time how much this dance form touches, uplifts and transforms women of all ages. I certainly cannot imagine who I would be today with the dance and the music. Maybe my closet would be a little less shiny, perhaps I’d have a little less credit card debt but I have no doubt I wouldn’t have as many moments of joy and utter happiness.

Last night at the show, one of the guests performed her first solo on our stage. She’s been dancing for several years and has taken from a variety of instructors in town. However, I was her first instructor through UT’s Informal Class program. Every time I see her at belly dance events I’m tickled that she’s stuck with it so long and works so hard at this art.

We were talking at one point and she confided that this dance has been such a boost in her life. I didn’t know until last night that at the time she first started taking classes from me, she was going through a very difficult time in her life. And, the only time she felt happy was in that class, for those few hours and those few weeks.

I was certainly touched, and very impressed that’s she’s come so far. But, I’m not that surprised at her reaction. I think that as women we can become disconnected to our real spirits, our souls and ourselves. If we’re given the chance to let go of distractions and frustrations and focus on moving our bodies in a safe and supportive environment than we can open ourselves to joy…even if it is fleeting. It’s not a matter of disappearing into the music and movement but rather connecting to it on a deeper level. And, if we’re lucky we can take that experience and bring it into other parts of our lives. So, here’s to joy, happiness and lots of shimmies!

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