Friday, July 24, 2009

All I needed to learn in life I learned from Tribal Bellydance

Well, I figure an update is long overdue. So here is what's new and exciting with me:

There were open auditions for the 'semi-pro' group at my dance studio. We have several dance troupes there, a professional, semi-pro, and a student troupe. I have danced with the student troupe before, but was looking for a bit more in the areas of commitment and excellence. Imagine my excitement when they announced the auditions of the semi-pro troupe! Yippee! Here was my chance to see a dream of mine come true! There was quite a bit involved for the audition.

1.I had to write an essay as to why I wanted to join.

2.I had to prepare a solo with a prop of my choice. (I chose a sword because I feel so damn powerful with that huge scimitar in my hand, yalla!)

3.I had to dance with my instructor and another member of the pro troupe.

4.There was also a time of dancing with all the other audition-ees to fast, slow, and semi fast music.

5.I also had to perform an impromptu solo to a song I had never heard before.

During this whole audition, there were times where I was in the lead and other times where I followed. Add to this huge mix the fact that I was so nervous I simply could not get over myself!! Needless to say, it was a very LONG and exhausting day.

It took almost a week to finally hear the results and I was one of the three ladies that was chosen for the group! Yay for us! Unfortunately our joy was tempered because a couple of the ladies who tried out did not make it and were very, very devastated. I really felt so much for them because none of us were guaranteed a spot and we all gave our absolute best shot. Fortunately, I am proud to say that these ladies are of great character and have bounced back and are looking forward to next years auditions!

The dance troupe has been an intense exercise for me. Learning to intimately know these ladies and to dance with them is far more demanding than I even expected. We are a Tribal belly dance troupe, which means we are completely improvisational. There is no choreography, so we work off of cues. This entails some real practice of awareness. Watching the other dancers body language and looking for cues are very important. But it also important that you do not LOOK like you are looking for these cues. In other words no staring at the dancer's butt! :-) There are obvious reasons for this, (you might look a little silly) but there are so many subtle movements in the body, that by solely focusing on the lead dancer's hips you may actually miss the cue for the next move. Learning to watch peripherally is a very important skill to cultivate.

I think in many ways this awareness will help me in the other parts of my journey of life. Learning to not stare intently at situations that come up, so as not to miss the subtle cues of change. Keeping a peripheral eye out for the subtlety of change without losing my awareness of the present moment. Having my opportunity to lead and to follow. Learning that a good life is not just about the fast and jumpy songs, but also about the slow, darker, even slithery songs. These important times provide balance, rest, rejuvenation and an intense physical and emotional release.

I am really looking forward to my time with the troupe and the ladies of the troupe. I think there will be so much to learn, and not just about dance. After all, what is life, but a spiral dance, and what is tribal belly dance but a wonderful metaphor
for life.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lavender Love

In my neighborhood there are some amazing hidden treasures of which I am beginning to discover. One of these treasures are several lavender bushes that a neighbor of mine has. I have been admiring these bushes for some time and joked with my daughter that was going to sneak up in the night and help myself. Of course she discouraged me saying, "Bad karma!"OK, fine, I would certainly not want anything negative revisited on my own little garden. So one day last week, I grabbed a pair of shears, gathered up my courage, and went up and knocked on her door."Hi, I'm your neighbor and I was wondering if I could have some of your lavender."She looked at me a bit peculiarly and I mentioned where I lived. She then seemed a bit more relaxed and said "Sure!" I was thrilled needless to say, and I asked her how much could I take.(I know me, talk about a kid in a candy store!)"Take it all! We are trying to grow them as hedges and they need trimming."

"Really?! Are you sure?"

She just smiled and said, "Enjoy!"

I was in HEAVEN!!!Imagine that! I had just been given carte blanche at my neighbors lavender bushes! Count 'em four bushy lovelies and they were all mine for the picking! See, it pays to be nice and just ask. ;-)

The following Sunday morning I went over with my shears, basket and a box and got to gathering. It was such a euphoric experience. The fragrance was so heavenly and I was sure I was a bit high from all that heavenly fragrance. The really lovely thing about it was she came out to chat with me while I was working. It was so nice to get to know her. I was also able to chat with a few other neighbors and even give a bit of sought after counsel.

Especially being able to (as my friend put it) have my 'office' open, meaning I was able to speak into the lives of a few folks who passed by.It felt so good to be out there in my neighborhood, gathering lavender and helping others in the process. Really I was so unbelievably happy! I realized right then and there, that this is what I really want to do with my life! I am a medicine woman! I love the earth and I love plants and herbs and flowers and green! I feel that I have been given such a gift from Above with all of this!
After I was all done, I went back over and gifted her with a couple bars of homemade soap, that a dear friend had made. She was thrilled and then gifted me back with some fresh chamomile.

What a great way to do commerce! ;-)

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