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Posts Tagged ‘belly dance’

  • Take Care – 
    Although “self-care” has become entangled with commercialism, I still find value in the original essence of the concept. Pausing to make time for ourselves and our spiritual, creative, or physical needs is important, especially when so much weighs us down. Between the news, some stressful situations at work, and such, I left my exercises on the back burner. Tonight I decided to fit in some belly dance and yoga, and I’m so glad I did. I feel much better, and I’m energized to practice more.
  • Feral Witchcraft
    I mentioned some stress at work. I love my job, but I definitely had to unleash my inner mama bear this week! When I got home, I learned that a very generous person gifted me with access to the upcoming Feral Witchcraft Course from Althaea! My dear, anonymous benefactor saw a tweet that I’m interested yet unable to afford it this time around. I am simultaneously shocked, humbled, and extremely grateful for the present! This is a timely gift given how I’m digging my feet in to stand up for those who need it in my community, and bringing my dreams to fruition on my own terms. There’s still time to sign up if you’re interested! Althaea is an amazing witch and teacher. I. Am. Hyped!
  • Writing Update – 
    I decided to join in with another writing challenge on instagram. Just one this time. Two became a bit much for me some days, especially once February break ended. I do so enjoy these, though. They spark inspiration and I appreciate an opportunity to share and connect with other writers and readers. Here’s the latest excerpt I posted featuring Lacey’s want as the story opens.

    ch 1 Lacey excerpt (1)

    “The old kayak dream is back,” she wrote. “I wish I could steer my dreams with a paddle and figure out where to go from here.” Lacey tapped the end of a pen against her lips. “There was a tune this time. I recognize it from somewhere.” From RIVER MAGIC by M. A. Phillips

     

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“So, what is a Druid doing belly dance for?” you may be wondering.  “Shouldn’t you be doing céilí?”

Well, first of all… a modern Druid can dance however she wants!

Second… I never seem to be able to find a céilí class that is convenient for me.   Or find one at all.  When I lived in the Mohawk Valley, I was lucky enough to try céilí dancing once at a workshop.  It was a lot of fun and I would have gladly taken the class but something came up with work or college…  There are step dancing classes here in the North Country but they’re for wee ones and teenagers.  I’ve emailed about adult classes but never heard a response.  C’est la vie.

Third… belly dance is amazing!  To be honest, I would rather belly dance than just about anything else…  (Although I would still like to learn some ballroom and, yes, more céilí.)

I first became interested in belly dance in high school.  I obtained one of those “kits” at Barnes & Nobel.  You know – the themed boxes that have books with supplies in them.  In this case, it was a red and yellow box with a book about belly dance, a somewhat low-quality DVD, some silly body stickers, and a pair of zils.  I practiced in my room and had the worst posture ever.

In my freshman year of college, I broke up with my first boyfriend.  It was really upsetting to me and did a number on my confidence.  It was around this time that I became very spiritual.  Paganism became a much bigger part of my life.  The time I used to spend talking to my boyfriend went to reading about Wicca, practicing magic, finding other Pagans…  It helped my heart heal.  Belly dance was the other cure.  I remember finding out about a local class, stepping into that studio for the first time, and feeling so welcomed.  Back then, I was moving from eclectic Wicca to a really shallow exploration of Kemetics.  When I was younger, the Egyptian Goddess Bast was my patroness and she was very dear to me.  Finding a studio that focused on Egyptian style belly dance seemed like just the thing.  Hell, Bast was all over that place physically and spiritually.  Here were women of all shapes, ages, and sizes moving seductively and feeling beautiful and confident!  It was here that I really learned how to feel music, to dance, and to love me.  It was in belly dance that I started to feel sexy and desirable again.

Bast and I went our separate ways shortly after that.  She is associated with beauty and seductiveness, and I found that in myself through belly dance.  Perhaps she was leading me and initiating me into womanhood.  The woman I was becoming was not a Kemetic priestess, but we made our peace with that.  Life twists and turns.

When I moved to the North Country, there didn’t seem to be any belly dance.  Work, my wedding, and then grad school basically consumed my life.  Now that I have my MA, am comfortably married, and settled in my career, I felt I should look around for belly dance again.  I recently found a studio at St. Lawrence University offering a tribal belly dance workshop and excitedly registered.  I’m so glad I did!  As soon as I walked in, I felt that welcoming spirit.  I was embraced by women of all shapes, colors, ages, and sizes.  We worked together for two hours learning basic belly dance movies and tribal techniques.  I shimmied my hips, snaked my arms, and undulated my whole body.  I felt womanly and alive!  The lady leading the workshop, Ms. Tina, a visiting belly dance instructor, emphasized that tribal belly dance (which originated in America as a blend of traditional styles with other forms of dance) is about women.  It is danced by women for women to celebrate our bodies and our energy – creative, seductive, loving, self-absorbed, sisterly, motherly, and all our many moods.  It’s a time and a place to celebrate our curves, to sweat together, to laugh together, and to feel sexy.

I love it.

The woman who teaches belly dance in St. Lawrence County, Basimah, focuses on Egyptian – my original style.  I’m hoping to take some of her classes in the future.  It’s not céilí but it speaks to my soul.

Plus, I can always combine my favorite form of dance with one of my favorite forms of (very Druidic) music!

And, you know… it comes in handy around drum circles at festivals all over the world. 😀

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