My most cherished part of the journey that the road (or mountain!) of bellydance has given me is the appreciation of myself as a woman, and the joy of embracing the differences of the beautiful women (and a few men!) I've had the pleasure of knowing and sharing the art of bellydance with.
Whenever I've had the pleasure of taking a workshop or class with a dancer I admire, this concept is passionately expressed, and a safe place is experienced by everyone. There is a simple and utter respect and trust that is shared. No one feels ashamed, body issues are checked at the door, learning is filled with wonder (and for me, the ability to laugh when my body has a mind of its own), and a sense of sisterhood appears.
Of course, there's always an exception. But, as sad as it seems when this happens, I always try to brush it off. The ability to not let others actions effect our happiness seems to be an easy choice on paper, but seldom as easily executed in action. But, the more you do make this choice, the more you begin to see others in a different light. No one is perfect, no one has everything figured out. The joy is in the journey, especially because this one, for me, has no end. It is the journey itself that brings joy.
Hopefully, everytime I dance, teach, learn, even blog, about bellydance, I bring that feeling to others. There isn't one reason we can't celebrate differences and enjoy the journey together.
Recently, I've seen many sides of people I surround myself with, good and bad. Sadly, I sometimes let the bad effect me more than I should've. And, even more sad is the fact that I didn't allow the good to really envelope me. But, everyday, I try. And that is what is important.
With this in mind, the reaction I've come to know may sound naive, but I don't feed into the negative. Believe in the good. Celebrate. And try not to live in the ugliness that tries to get to you.
The dance is as much for your soul as your body. Learning to feed it and feel the beauty is