Susan's Blog

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Eine Kleine Schmaltz Musik

The other day Mom was here and I did a beginner workshop with her, in bellydance. She was excellent; a very fast learner (no surprise; she is brainy and athletic). She loved it, too! Mom suggested I make a DVD for her so that she could practice when she is away from me.

So now I am fantasizing about making a DVD that is about my kind of bellydance: Bellydance for The Rest of Us. Or Bellydance for the Middle Aged Mama. Or Bellydance for Housewives. Filmed right here in my livingroom, with a tour of all my costumes and sparkly stuff. Then I will go through all the moves, step-by-step, and end by showing how I create a choreography (not teaching a choreography, but giving people the tools for making up their own. Give me a dance and I dance for a night; teach me the dance tools and I dance forever. Something like that. Works better with fish. Anyway, the idea is that I will show myself exactly as I am, so that my viewers will realize that you don’t have to be skinny or young to be a bellydancer. You just have to be passionate and love moving to music.

My most common experience is of women blushing and then saying, “Oh, I can’t do that.” Or “No one wants to see this belly dance.” And I feel so bad for them. Bellydance feels so good and looks so good, no matter who you are. And if you have a spouse or partner or lover in your life: he/she will love to see you do it.

I just have to get the word out to older gals like me that their lives are not over just because they have some belly fat. A little schmaltz is actually usually a good thing; ask any cook.


I like the idea Susan, go for it! I for one will buy this DVD.

BTW, I signed up to take a belly dance class but found the teacher a real turn-off. She seemed only to praise the young slim yoga-toned women and had very little interest in us older grayer zaftig types. Who were actually the majority in the class! A spirited white-haired woman asked her one night if she could teach us a little routine that we could dance for our our friends or loved ones, but her request was shunted aside with a “Too complicated and time consuming. We are just learning basics, here. Anything else is beyond you people.” She then touted her other classes around town as a way to get to “that level.”

Well, I am sure it is true that we could not be technically excellent dancers in a few lessons, but why not teach a few simple routines for fun and romance, incorporating basic technique into it? I left the class shortly after this, feeling dispirited and even dissed.

— added by Nancy Bea Miller on Friday, December 26, 2008 at 12:17 pm

See, that’s exactly what I want to redress. That attitude should never be. A student should be given the tools to attain whatever her dreams are. If it is complicated, then break it down; ask the rest of the class if they would like to go in that direction. But don’t shut it down!!

If someone is motivated, then nothing is too complicated or too time-consuming; it is the teacher’s ultimate wish, to have students who want more! I hope you’ll look for another teacher. I’ve had around 10 and it takes a while to find one who is just right…

— added by Susan Senator on Friday, December 26, 2008 at 12:25 pm