Thursday, January 05, 2012

Weaving dance through my life

I started dancing when I was young. I remember a little ballet and performing baton twirling. I remember taking a parks and rec belly dancing class when I was about 12-years-old and already almost six-foot-tall. I continued to study dance forms as a teen. I was totally fascinated with Korean fan dances when we lived in Pusan. I took more parks and rec belly dance in Huntsville, Alabama, where the first choreographed dance we learned was to the song "Don't it make my brown eyes blue" by Crystal Gayle.

I started dancing seriously after my daughter was born. I studied, worked out and danced some more. Our living room had only` a dance barre', a large mirror and a bare floor. My two little kids loved it. In 1987 I auditioned to perform at the Colorado Renaissance Festival as a belly dancer. I developed my dance style along with my character from the early 1500's. Rahamina Maya was the daughter of an English architect sent to the Holy Land to learn how to add their minarettes and towers to the English castles. I performed there and many other places in southeastern Colorado through the 1991 season, developing my costume design and creation business along with the dancing. I wrote articles about dance for Jareeda, Connections and other magazines.

I had a small dance studio in Canon City in the early 1990's where I taught belly dance and yoga, which I had been studying since 1982. Life changes took me to Rocky Ford, Colorado, where I opened a dance studio in 1994 and taught until 1999. The style of dance I taught was based on Egyptian cabaret, mostly solo dance with a focus on isolations, body awareness and veil-work. Then, being a newspaper editor consumed my life. I kept my horses for my physical outlet, but mostly gave up dance, except for a very few festivals.

Fast-forward to Mountain View, Arkansas, 2012. Several people have been asking me to teach belly dance here for a few years. I now have studio space available to teach. I've been doing morning yoga and while my isolations aren't crisp and my body is much older and stiffer, I think this awareness would actually help me as an instructor. But I'm a shepherd and a crafter and a manager...

I guess I'll walk through the door, write up a class syllabus, negotiate with the studio for time and see where this path leads me. I'll let you know if the class happens.

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