Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why Belly Dancers Dance

My friend Cinderelly is smart and beautiful--and shy. So, I was amazed when she took up belly dancing. What is it about belly dancing that gets people so hooked? I know Cinderelly loves Halloween; she decorates her house inside and out and makes herself and her grown daughters amazing costumes. I've never been to a belly dancing competition, so I went to see her group perform today.

Large silken hangings transformed a hotel conference room into a place of mystery. Sinuous music played on the PA system. Vendors displayed coin-encrusted bodices, chains to wrap around necks and waists, and diaphonous skirts and veils. The most enchanting thing to see, however, was the women and girls in their costumes. Even just walking through the room, they jingled, their hair floated around their heads, and their eyes sparkled. They loved the way they looked and felt, and it showed.

"Do you know why these women dance?" Mistress of Ceremonies asked, "They do it for love of the art form." Someone murmured to her, and she added, "...and for the costumes," then she said, "...and for the bling!"

I greeted Cinderelly after her performance. "Now I know why you do this," I said, "It's 'dress up day' for grown-ups!" She was still kind of shell-shocked from being on stage , but she said, "Yes, it's like Halloween every day!" Snap! The woman is definitely on to something. If we could all find something that makes us feel as joyous as when we were kids who dressed like princesses and as powerful as when we thought we could do anything, we could stay young forever. At least in our hearts.

Bravo, Princess Cinderelly. You're my hero!


cinderelly said...

gracias amiga! you bring tears to my eyes! it's the fun that we had playing dress up as kids, and the women are fabulous. they are wonderful, and gracious, and strong. i love them all! and as terrifying as it was, after our performance, i felt like i could do ANYTHING! how is that for empowering!?

Bemused Boomer said...

Cinderelly, that's some fabulous empowering! Of course, I've known all along that you coud do ANYTHING!