Monday, December 19, 2011

Attn: Lovely ladies of Lexington, and beyond

I’m just going to throw another odd bone out there and see what bites. I’ve got an idea, first aimed at my fellow massage school mates, but actually I’d love to share it with others. I notice that while I am FAR from mature-perfected-confident in any massage modalities, I do have strong body mechanics and I fully attribute them to my long-gone belly dancing days.

I never was or will be some flowing, undulating dance goddess, by a long shot, but six years of dancing did teach me a lot. It took me a very long time to find my core/stance/base/what-have-you in bellydance, but once I did I was entirely changed; physically and mentally I became far more solid, as well as movable (like bone and muscle!) Once I had that tool I was able to progress as a dancer without pain. I hear too often that massage therapists (though it can be any profession really) quit after just a few years due to overwork and/or bodily injury. I imagine much of this is not overworking our bodies but misusing our bodies. Of course they are teaching us to use our bodies correctly in school, which is wonderful, but I have an idea to start a bit of a group anyhow. I am not a teacher or master at bellydance, (or nutrition or farming for that matter!) but just someone with some experience I’d love to share to anyone who’s interested. I have no ego or issues about what LHAA is teaching us, just throwing out there that if anyone wants to spend some more time working on their core, and have fun learning some dance moves and stretches, maybe we should get together! Art, dance, massage, cooking, they are all so similar-we can be given the toolbox, but what we will actually create with them is by far the most challenging, and most rewarding point in the journey of our various practices. I don’t intend to teach anyone to bellydance, but I can teach what I have learned from my years dancing about how to hold the body correctly, and move. Just as Anne keeps telling us-massage is a practice, not a perfection, and while I can find my core I need practice staying in it while focusing on someone else’s body.

This is not some kind of selfless act or anything, don’t get me wrong. As winter approaches and I no longer live on a farm, my days are spent more and more indoors and in cars and not moving my body. It’s so silly how much time we spend finding ways to “justify” our greatest passions because we don’t have time and obviously can live without them. The excuses get me through the days, and life is truly wonderful right now, but priorities are in constant flux, and movement is high on the list again. It may be nuts to try to add this to my week, but heck, I loved to dance once, surely the time I make for it will in fact increase the beauty of my days, which is a desire far greater than to have more hours. I, not unlike most people, find it’s much easier to get motivated for an exercise class, even if I already know what it entails, than to do it alone at home.

My house would be a great place to start as there are two large un-rented rooms. Some mirrors would help, but we can certainly work without them. Since this is geared towards my classmates I’d say getting sweaty before a Fundamentals class would be less than ideal, and we have a test to cram for for nearly every Anatomy class, so maybe before any “other” classes, like Ethics? I’m generally off work at 3 weekdays, so a 4-5 sort of thing may work, or even 4:30-5:30. Weekends are a possibility too, though I’m guessing anyone from out of town isn’t going to make an extra trip. I also have the totally geeky ulterior motive of using this as a study opportunity! Maybe it’s a long shot, but I’m sure we can talk in muscles, bones and movements when describing stretches and dance moves.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m writing this to women only, not to be exclusive, but to respect a rare space for us. I’ve taught and attended classes both ways and it’s truly remarkable how differently women behave and feel with merely one man in the room versus none. While we all enjoy the bountiful holiday meals and family time, mull over this and maybe we can kick off the new year with some dance!

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