ATS, beauty, Belly dance, challenge, Commitment, Dancing, Dancing in Wales, Devotion, FatChanceBellyDance, gratitude, Journey, Living Life, Strangeness of Life, Tribal Unity
I’d like to share something I’m very excited about right now and the story of how I’ve found myself shimmying round my day-job-shop when customers aren’t looking!
I’ve always known that I wanted to dance, but could never find the right style.
As a child I tried tap dancing, in my teens I attempted a contemporary dance class – which I mostly remember as running from wall to wall, over and over, never quite got where that was going – throughout my life I’ve read Gabrielle Roth’s books over and over. I tried salsa, which I couldn’t get my feet round… In fact, the only thing that worked for me was whilst at uni when I would go out, step onto the dance floor as soon as the doors opened and only leave to down a pint of water before returning to the dance for as long as the music played.
Until now. Last spring I had five weeks of tribal belly dance classes in the Black Sheep style. The teacher, Lyza, became a friend of mine through connecting afterwards to share dancing. At that point I suspected it would be another phase. A subject I would be excited about for a month or two and then would fade into the background. A few core things have stuck with me long-term but many many other passions come and go. I was secretly certain this might be one of those…
But that excitement didn’t go away. I researched the histories of belly dance. I practised what little I’d learnt under my own steam. I kept hoping to return…
And then Wendy launched an ATS(r) class in March and I couldn’t go! It clashed with the teaching course I was on and the seminars I ran. I looked at it every week, waiting for the course to finish so I could join in. In June, finally, I walked through that door and into a new tribe, Tribal Unity Wales.
I dash to class each Tuesday with joy in my heart. No other hobby has ever had me this excited. Just two months of dancing with Tribal Unity and I managed a fortnight camping and trekking round Amsterdam, bookended by two 16 hour coach journeys, without back pain. (It was our honeymoon, and yes, it was fab!)
And it has so many layers! There is crafting and aesthetics for costuming, researching history, learning new steps, the challenge of getting to grips with them, constant opportunities for improvement, performance, the endorphins of exercise, music, self-expression, the flow of energy, stories, community and friendship, shows to watch, events to explore, cultures to investigate… and there are many different styles to learn about (and perhaps learn one day).
With so much to play with it is no wonder I’ve found myself thinking about it almost constantly!
This Friday we performed at Lampeter’s World Dance festival. I made so many mistakes, almost fell over with soft shoes on a slippery floor, missed cues, got confused… and yet could not stop grinning. I loved it. Dancing with these lovely ladies, sharing something that has brought me so much delight and returned my strength, and challenging myself to improve all combined to fill me with delight. Tribal style belly dance has utterly enchanted me and I feel like I’ve come home.
Friday’s performance, my first time dancing in public:
The moral of this story? Keep looking, keep trying, keep putting that desire out there even when you don’t know exactly what it is you want. Eventually the Universe will bring you to precisely where you need to be. And even if you make mistakes and feel like it is all going wrong, it is still beautiful and the world doesn’t end! It is preparing you for what is to come next…