Went over to R's before bellydance class last night & as I opened the door of the grimy old house in which she lives I could hear her Middle Eastern music and her finger cymbals chingety-chinging. Made my way up the funky green-shag-carpet stairs and went right in because she never locks her door.
"Hello dahling!" she yelled from her bedroom over the cheesy Arabic pop I'm starting to appreciate, and came clackety clacking shimmy shimmy shimmy into the front hall, big smile, long blond hair in swinging pigtails. She is so cool.
We gossiped and stretched in her little empty kitchen (there's a tiny sink, a little stove, and a fridge, plus enough room for two goofballs to lie on the floor and stretch their legs) and listened to music for half an hour. Then we walked through the neighborhood of big funky old houses and enormous trees, warehouses and abandoned fields, and the recent rain had washed everything clean. All the early spring flowers are blooming like mad this year, and we walked beneath a gorgeous pink dogwood tree, every inch of it covered with big bright pink blossoms. The owners had taken the consideration to paint the window frames the same bright pink outlined with black, and the effect was dramatic.
We walked under the big trees right down the middle of the quiet street and I couldn't remember the last time I had done that, but not since I was a child.
The sky was brilliant and dark and bright with luminous Oregon clouds, cat-whisker rain, and a train came chugging through, clackety-clackety, splitting the air with its whistle as it separated the downtown. We had to wait but not for long. We crunched through the train yard's gravel and crossed the street to the dance studio.
Class was great-- Astryd kicked our asses with shimmies and combinations of shimmies. A shimmy is not an easy thing to do... done properly, with good posture and the action generated by the knees moving front and back very fast, the motion manifests itself in the hips, which move down and up as each knee is respectively bent and straightened, with the rib cage "floating" above the tremendous amount of energy focused in the hips... we were all very sweaty.
Astryd made us shimmy for 30 minutes, sometimes with a big shimmy, sometimes a medium shimmy, sometime a vibration that is just like shivering when your're freezing your ass off except it's not always easy to do on command. It was a good class. My legs were shaking from exhaustion by the time I climbed into bed.
R & I walked back to her home, giddy and giggling and telling stories about ice cream. She is very excited about tomorrow night at our coffeehouse, a May Day bellydance celebration. She's going to wear red and use a red veil, dance to some sassy Arabic pop tune, ooh la la. Me, I'll probably do a Natacha Atlas song called Soleil d'Egypte, it's very pretty and has a good driving beat. I know at least four other girls who will get up there, and I think a fifth can be coerced with a bit of red wine. I think our coffeehouse will be packed. I'm a tad bit worried about the frat boy fest that will be going on at the concert hall next door, but I think we'll have enough banshees to dispel any dumbshits.