Mindful Dancing

tribal bellydance

‘So take your dancing into your own hands, heal and strengthen your body, as many a woman has done before you and will continue to do.  Set out on this great adventure with yourself and discover the universe’. Rosina Fawzia Al-Rawi in Grandmothers Secrets: The Ancient Rituals & Healing Power Of Belly Dancing, 2003, p 63

Just recently I decided to get back into Tribal Belly Dance – and I realised that the link to my other passion, mindfulness may not be that clear so here is why I’m back dancing…

I started dancing when my twins were 18 months old (10.5 years ago!) Up until that point in my parenting I had tried creative writing, drumming, kayaking, touch football – I was looking for that elusive activity that would give me back my identity as me, a woman, just a once a week, a break from being mum to 4 small children…

When I first danced in a beginners belly dance class with a group of women I had tears in my eyes – this is what I was searching for….a chance to be feminine without it directly relating to being Mum….a chance to connect with a group of women in a way that is as ancient as rock carvings on cave walls….and lots of fun.

And so began my belly dance journey – leading me to the point where I was teaching beginners, I became certified to teach Shemiran Ibrahim’s Belly Dancing From The Heart method to foundation level students and I began leading a Tribal Belly Dance group – but then ….it all changed – it got stressful, too political, there was too much criticism and I let self-doubt creep in and I gave it all away…..

In a way that was good – I found mindfulness instead and I began doing ceramics (another mindful activity)….but there’s been a gap, a hole…. I know that when I’m dancing I just feel pure JOY…nothing beats it for me….and so after months of thinking about it – here I go – branching back into Tribal Belly Dance!  I had a taster last year with a workshop with Devi Mamak in Lismore and LOVED it!

For me Tribal Belly Dance is very mindful -it requires all of your mind to hear the beat and instruct your body on how to move, as a friend would say ‘a complete emotional holiday.’

Tribal Belly Dance is about tribal dance moves taken from tribes around the world and a group of women using them to improvise and move with the music, telling a story with their bodies.

Rosina Fawzia Al-Rawi summed it up best when she said ‘To perform belly dancing it does not matter…the age, size or status of the woman.  Belly dancing is not a competition, competing is not part of its nature.  Only a woman’s life experience & sensuality can lend it meaning and true depth’.

She also said ‘Expressing her personality through dancing, at times alone, at times with others, enables a woman to take a new look at her sometimes negative self image in a supportive & strengthening atmosphere.  This uniting of earth & spirit, strength & grace, intensity and inner peace, sensuality & poetry enables many a woman to reach inner freedom.

THIS is what I love about belly dancing – and I didn’t want to quit doing it because I was feeling criticised, because I was doubting my ability to get perfect technique.   My desire to dance is to connect with other women and music in a joyful and fun way – not to become an expert.  And so I’m looking forward to the next chapter of sharing tribal belly dance with a group of adventurous women!!

Brene Brown in her Gifts Of Imperfection book dedicates a whole chapter to the need we have as human beings to dance, laugh and sing so that we truly live wholeheartedly and feel a deep connection with others.

How can you bring more laughter, singing and dancing into your life?  Even if it’s just in your loungeroom?

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