To Belly Dance Or Not To Belly Dance: Part One of Five
Written by: Pillow Talk Gal
When I was asked if I wanted to take part in a belly dancing class and write a five-part article about it, I was really excited. Then, the more I thought about it the more I began to worry a little. I have never really attended any kind of dance class (if you don’t count when I was little) so belly dancing seemed like a bit of a leap. I have to admit though; I was curious and nervous at the same time.
The day of my first class had finally arrived and my excitement/curiosity had made me almost an hour early. At least parking was a breeze (I found a spot literally in front of the building). I had some extra time to kill, so I decided to sit in the park right across from the dance studio. Despite the honking of cars and bustle of the city, it was very relaxing and helped to calm my nerves a little bit.
An introduction to the rest of my fellow dancers was given and everyone was gracious and friendly towards me (the new comer). Students had the option to bring their own hip scarves or to choose one from Brooke’s wide, not to mention beautiful, collection. Not having any of my own, I chose one of Brookes’ (I would later find out that she’s owned this particular hip scarf for 8 years- no pressure).
Once everyone was ready to begin, we all took our seats on our mats and Brooke began her introduction to what holistic belly dancing is all about.
The class was a safe space where women could share their thoughts and emotions without judgement. After Brookes’ explanations, we all sat in our circle and experienced the openness of touch with one another.
We all paired up and gave our partners hand massages using essentials oils (this exercise is practiced openly to learn to relax and give of ourselves but also to receive from others.
We were given a small demonstration as to how to massage the hand then we were off (of course it is clearly mentioned by Brooke that any and all activities done in the classroom are not forced upon students and anytime anyone is not comfortable with something, they are free to sit out with no judgement or issues). This said, I sat back and allowed my partner to give me my hand massage.
At first, I was clearly not relaxed as my partner was so keenly able to detect (by simply feeling how tense my forearm was). Then as she calmly told me to relax and enjoy, I found myself surrendering to the calming music playing in the background and found that my massage was actually very pleasant.
I found myself letting go of my tension and just giving into the moment.
Once we had given and received our hand massages, we gathered in our circle once more and captured what we had taken away from the experience, in our journals.
The group then proceeded to share their thoughts on the massage exercise and what they had taken away from the experience. I myself shared how impressed I was with my partner’s ability to almost immediately detect where I was holding all my tension in my forearm (carpal tunnel syndrome- a common job hazard among writers) and therefore she was able to relieve some of the pain.
Poses and stances were front and center and I awoke muscles my body seemed to have forgotten I had.
We observed ourselves in the studio mirrors so as to mimic what Brooke was showing us (to the best of our abilities).
Brooke gave us a phenomenal example of what we could eventually accomplish with these wonderful moves and she performed for the entire class.
It inspired us all and definitely made me want to give it a whirl.
The amazing part is by this time I wasn’t feeling self conscience at all. I was totally comfortable in the environment that Brooke had created for the class.
We all moved to the music, holding our belly dance poses and receiving encouragement from each other and Brooke.
The aspect that surprised me the most is that as a woman, I have spent the better part of my life trying to make my body giggle as little as possible.
Now, I was being encouraged to shake all my little bits as much as I could and it was fabulous! No shame, just pure liberation and enjoyment of the female form in all its glory.
As we danced and learned how to move our bodies, time seemed to just fly by. Before I knew it, the class had come to an end and it was time to cool down. Brooke gave each and every one individual high-fives and congratulations on a job well done. It was such a rewarding experience.
I am so looking forward to next week’s class and can’t wait to share it with you all.
-Pillow Talk Gal
About Pillow Talk Gal
Born and raised in British Columbia, she is a professional woman managing a career, marriage, and a teenager. Life can be challenging at times but she's a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason, and more often than not, she tries to understand those reasons.
"Join me in my journey throughout life’s issues and I guarantee you’ll be left pondering an issue or two." - Pillow Talk Gal
*Disclaimer: All photos of Brooke Megan are copyright Brooke Megan and all persons in the photos retain all their rights, interest and titles in the photos. All photos appear here with written permission on file with Brooke Megan.
About Brooke Megan and House of Lavender
- Holistic Belly Dance Group
Located at: 5582A Sherbrooke Street O, Montreal, QC H4A 1W3
Telephone number: 514-814-7557
Face book page: House of Lavender: Beauty and Wellness
Brooke Megan has been teaching belly dancing for 8 years and has extensive experience in dance through her teaching at Carlton University in Ottawa.
She herself was introduced to belly dancing through group lessons and was compelled to share this wonderful art form with others. She has performed at the Shenkman Art Centre in Ottawa, various art galleries and cafes. Her goal in offering belly dance lessons is to educate people with regards to the beauty and strength of exotic dance. She wants to have people experience this art form at a grass roots level.
Her six week program is open to all who wish to explore their creative side all the while relieving stress and getting fit.
For more information call 514-814-7557 or check out her Face book page: House of Lavender: Beauty and Wellness