Tuesday, 17 July 2012

It's not about the glutes

OK, so it’s just a little over a week since the Suhaila workshop and let me tell you that the lack of posting is not because of that. (I am actually in the throes of moving house again – farewell to our nuisance ‘neighbour’ Steve with his 3 am jam sessions and unnecessarily vocal girlfriend. Am I happy that I soon will not share a bedroom wall with him? YES! YES! OH, GOD, YES I AM!)*

Today, I am coming out as a Salimpour convert. It’s not that I hadn’t been exposed to the teachings before; one of my teachers in Wellington was Level 3 certified, so I’d done a fair bit of glute squeezing and squat pulsing and what have you. But like anything received second hand, there were loose threads and missing buttons. Perhaps it was a great example of tailoring, but it didn’t hang on my frame very well.

[That’s enough of that second-hand clothing analogy now, thank you – Jilly.]

Right, ANYWAY. For some reason** I had decided that Suhaila’s format was based on ego and athleticism – my two favourite turn-offs. When she announced to us that taking a workshop with her was the belly dance equivalent of a contemporary dancer getting to take a lesson with Martha Graham, I could feel my tall poppy syndrome flaring up. But she’s right, goddammit. Is that really ego or just a refreshing lack of false modesty? “You really don’t need to work this hard to be famous,” she pronounced, surveying the human debris scattered on the studio floor after the warm up (yes, just the warm up). “In fact, don’t. What are you, crazy? But if you want to be a good dancer then you do need to work this hard – either in my format or in some other way. My way is not the only way, but I truly believe it’s the best way.”

I’m paraphrasing. She said something like that – I concentrated as hard as I could over the din of my inner thighs, which were screaming very loudly indeed. “This is a bit like labour,” she murmured sympathetically. “Y’know? It’s awful at the time but before long you forget and you think ‘That was totally worth it. I’m doing it again’.”

She’s right about that too. Despite my misgivings about her cult of personality, I am won over. We were warned that we wouldn’t ‘get it’ over the course of a weekend, but oh my stars I really, really want to get it. At the ripe old age of none-of-your-business I think that, effectively, I’m about to start over as a dancer. Because I’ve been lucky enough to have had awesome teachers this doesn’t mean scrapping everything I’ve learnt already, but it does mean approaching my practise with more dedication and a new attitude. This is scary, but also exciting.

Here I go.

*Stay tuned to win my old stuff! – like Jilly on Facebook to be in with a shot

**Closely related to spending too much time reading bitchy forum threads.

1 comment:

  1. SO excited for you and want to join the journey :)