Tuesday, September 02, 2003


The first time I heard someone hissing at a bellydance performance, I didn't understand that it was actually a sign of approval. Because of course hissing at most other kinds of performance is Not A Good Thing. But if you watch bellydancers watching other bellydancers doing slow stuff--taxeem, snake arms, like that--you'll see that they hiss in appreciation.

A couple of hours ago I stepped out to the art supply store because I had, apparently, too much cash on hand and a great desire to get away from my computer. This art supply store always has good music playing--the employees bring in their CD's. Once I even heard the Red Elvises come up in rotation as I looked over the oil paints. Anyway, I always dance a little there, in the aisles, practice something I'm trying to learn in class, whatever.

Tonight as I was waiting in line to pay for paint, I started working on something that's been giving me a tremendous amount of grief--undulating plus shimmying--I can do one, or the other, but the two together just shut my brain down entirely. Like my head has been encased in a block of ice. Undulating has always come easily, actually, but I've had to reverse-engineer my shimmy to meet my teacher's standards, which have a lot more knee involvement than I'm used to. So I decided that instead of shimmying, I would just taxeem, which is much slower, and try a little undulating while I was at it.

And I think I'm finally starting to get it. I'm keeping my elation down because it isn't consistent or reliable yet, but I could see the edges of the thing. I can almost pull it out from its hiding place. I practiced all the way home.

People walking by me must wonder.