This satisfies the MOWer's blog topic: self-esteem!
When I first began belly dance class, it was at night in the neighboring apartment complex. I had never attempted it before. I had my shoulder replaced in March 2010 and began belly dancing in August of that year. It was difficult for me at the time. I can't lie. I had already finished my physical therapy but still did not have full range of motion in my right shoulder. I didn't have a lot of flexibility everywhere else~back, neck, hips, and legs. I also didn't have a lot of self-esteem. If I was going to go back to dancing, I was going to have to be that same person that held nothing back and just let loose. If I couldn't be that person, then I was going to have a hard time dancing. I also knew if I couldn't allow myself to dance again, that would be like a death sentence.
I only went to the apartment complex belly dance class 4 times. Then I thought it just wasn't for me. I felt self-conscious and as if I just couldn't keep up. I thought for sure everyone was watching me and wondering what was wrong with me. I just knew that I stuck out as someone that couldn't dance because there was "something wrong" with me. I felt every one's eyes looking me over, up and down, and through me. I couldn't go back...I failed!
A couple months later, a bunch of people went out for my birthday. One person that works with my hubby, who happens to be a long-time belly dancer, gave me a gift certificate for class with the same dance instructor that was at the apartment complex but at a dance studio. I thought I should give it another try...
Meanwhile, we adopted our son Michael. We brought him home, and we got settled. Then I returned to belly dancing once more to give it another try. I felt better about it this time for some reason. I was stronger. My right shoulder's range of motion was back to normal, and I was feeling pretty good physically. I began in February of 2011 when Mick was only 2 months old. I started in the Saturday Beginner Class. At first, it was a little hard, but not as hard as it once was when I was going at night to the apartment complex classes. I felt like maybe I could catch on faster now that I was physically feeling better. By the end of that first class, I had a confidence that I had not had in soooooooo long! I really needed that class! I had my friend Ang come visit from out of town, and she joined us for one class to learn the very end to our dance. She caught on extremely quickly, and she did an awesome job especially considering that she had never taken a belly dance class ever. At the end of that class, I took one more Saturday Beginner Class, and then was moved up to the Intermediate-Advanced Class!
I couldn't believe it! By the time I left for my brother's wedding in April, 2011, I had already completed my first Intermediate-Advanced Class! I had no problems keeping up either, which made it so much more enjoyable and worthwhile. I began taking both the Beginner and Intermediate-Advanced Classes together so that I could take more than one class at the same time. I fell in love with belly dance!!!!
Just last weekend (January 15th), our belly dance studio had a performance. We were asked to get together with other people in our class in November to perform a dance or by our self to perform a solo dance in the show. I was asked by 5 different people to do a dance with them. Talk about a boost in your self-esteem! You know that when others ask you to dance with them, they appreciate your talent or else they would not ask you to dance with them. I was honored and excited to begin practicing. Of course, I was going to be out of town for a lot of the holiday season which meant that I would miss a lot of practice time, so I opted out of the January performance. I told everyone that I would love to dance with them in the spring performance in March or May.
The holiday season has come and gone so quickly. We returned from visiting family in St. Louis, and were ready to get back into our normal routine again. I had made an appointment with my hip orthopaedic surgeon way back in November to see him on January 4th. I had been having some problems with the right hip~clicking, sticking, popping, pain, grinding, and I feared that it was near total collapse. My fears were actually made true when I was told that the right hip could collapse totally any moment now. I am continuing to belly dance though until I can no longer do it physically. I went to the performance eleven days after my news from my orthopaedic surgeon. I cheered on my fellow classmates.
Two days later, I went to my belly cardio class, which is fast paced and super-charged fun! I danced my body and my heart out as if nothing was wrong with me physically. I told no one in my class about my hip. I just wanted to be "normal," to feel "normal," and to only have people look at me for how I danced because they liked my dancing! OH, I danced as though my life depended on it! I held my head up high and my shoulders back! I was so proud of myself! No one can make you have self-esteem, it is
The music began...I watched myself dancing in the mirror next to all the other women and young ladies in my class...I couldn't even tell...I don't think anyone could tell...I truly couldn't tell...I moved my hips, then my shoulders, and I could keep up with everyone in the class~old and young alike...No one even knew I was about to break...No one knew I was less than perfect...it looked as if I was afraid of no one or nothing...I gave the impression that I had so much spirit, brevity, courage, spunk...I obviously feel comfortable in my own skin...I know what I'm doing...This is so right!...I am worthy!...I am a dancer!...I am dance!...I am not this disease...it doesn't define me!...I am worth so much more!...
You don't wake up one morning and say, 'I will become a dancer.'
You wake up one morning and realize you've been a dancer all your life,
And you say to yourself, 'I am a dancer.'
'I am dance.'