Leonardo's Male Drawing

Belly Dance Blog 2004

Here's an ongoing description of events in my belly dance journey, in reverse chronological order. Performances, workshops, festivals...
Enjoy, and check back regularly!

More recent events are described in Belly Dance Blog 2005.

- o O o -

September - December: Moira's class.

I keep going to the classes at Toadal Fitness with Moira once or twice a week. Most of what I see in class are the feet of the teacher. I try hard to copy her footwork and get little time to look at anything else if I don't want to mess up completely. This is harder than I thought! Still, I feel that I am making progress and that makes it worthwhile. There may also be some competitiveness involved that makes me want to continue taking the classes. Sometimes it is frustrating to see one of the younger ladies come in and follow the steps without any effort, learning in a matter of weeks what took me months. I do feel like a klutz sometimes, but there are good moments too when I feel really in sync. Anyway, Moira's classes are a good workout.


September: First belly dance lesson.

My girlfriend Nakisa has been taking belly dance classes for a while with SeSe, and on a whim leaves a request at Toadal Fitness for belly dance classes. Against all odds, two weeks later they are there! I am curious about the reaction to a man entering the class, and kind of interested to learn the moves as well, so I want to take a class as well. It feels like an experiment in how far emancipation has come... The first time that we go there together we can't find parking space in time. I decide to blow it off that time because I don't want to barge into class as the only male after it has already started. So the next week we make it to the class with time to spare, and I get my introduction to belly dance. I had braced myself for a possible negative response, but everyone is very welcoming!


March 21: Rakkasah.

We visit the Rakkasah belly dance festival in Richmond with our friends. We see lots of dancers on stage, and see the last minute of Jim Boz's show. We especially enjoy the performance of Naheda, a dancer from Germany. She has a fabulous costume and puts on a breathtaking show, and at the end jumps into a split! Contrary to most dancers she got a standing ovation, and she was visibly touched.

Unknown Belly Dancer Naheda Fahtiem Suhaila Dance Company
(Click on any picture for a larger version - photography by Sharif).


February 14: Valentine's day.

On Valentine's Day we go to the Morocco restaurant in Pleasant Hills with friends, and see some belly dance performances there. We enjoy the food and the performances, but I don't like it much when afterwards the dancers invite small children on the dance floor and start dancing with them. For me it completely spoils the mystery and allure of the dance.

Dancer at Morocco Restaurant Dancer at Morocco Restaurant
(Click on any picture for a larger version - photography by Sharif).


February and earlier.

My girlfriend Nakisa starts taking belly dance classes somewhere in early 2004. I am amazed at the gracious moves she shows me after only two lessons!

Before February we saw some belly dancing demonstrated on local TV network that inspired us to look into it, but we did not really follow up on it. We also went to the Renaissance Faire a couple of times and seen some belly dance troupes perform there. For us they were some of the highlights of the Faire! In retrospect, we have definitely seen John Compton's troupe and the Suhaila Dance Company dance there.

Dancer at Renaissance Faire Suhaila Dance Company at Renaissance Faire
(Click on any picture for a larger version - photography by Sharif).