I’ve been delightedly dancing for over a decade. Together, we have learned about music, culture, movement, and expression. Friendships have blossomed. We found the truth in “it’s cheaper than therapy!” We have laughed, cried, argued, and loved together, all because of our shared love of Raqs Sharqi, bellydancing, raqs beledi, artistry, creative movement, and music.

Motherhood has at times fueled and hindered this journey. I had a creative explosion after my first child was born. Joining the ranks of mothers filled me with the energy of discovering and exploring a new facet of my self. I began traveling to find more teachers, more information, more historical basis for what we do. After my daughter was born, she came to classes with me to share in the sisterhood of dance. I traveled and learned more. I expanded my dance universe. The Universe as a whole expanded with me.

My third baby was a big baby. I knew this before he was born and planned to be “off” for quite a while. Now that he’s practicing standing, I realize it’s been a very long while. And... my bucket of creative energy is empty. I am feeling called to paint, to write, to make music, to mother these children I have created and others that cross my path. I am not feeling called to dance like I have been most of my life. I shimmy when I must wait. I jump right in when a child demands I join her dance party. These days, dance is an oeuvre that I’m reaching past, like how I choose watercolors over oil paints. After reflection and conversation with loved ones and fellow artists (the Venn diagram is nearly a perfect circle), I have decided to take a sabbatical from bellydance.

Please keep dancing. Take classes with the other teachers in the area. Go to recitals, shows, concerts, and haflas. Cross train in ballet and ballroom. Learn a little Arabic, clap along to the beat and the rhythm, sing even though you don’t know what the lyrics mean. Embrace the other dancers you meet - we always recognize each other somehow. Thank you for being with me on this journey. It continues; I am exploring it with other mediums for a bit.

love and shimmies,
Jenny :)

About Bellydance with Jenahid

Middle Eastern dance has many varieties - the sparkly American variety of bellydance is for anyone but mostly draws women, while traditional folkloric dance is definitely for everyone - women and men of all ages, including children! It's low-impact and the movements are completely organic to the human body. No extraordinary strength or flexibility required - and a bare belly is optional!


Benefits of Middle Eastern Dance (aka "bellydance") are improved posture, a stronger, more defined midsection (including the back, sides and abdomen), and greater body awareness and appreciation. You may even discover that, despite what someone told you long ago, you are graceful, coordinated and a wonderful dancer.

Try bellydancing - you're probably GOOD at it!

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