I danced at Rakkasah this weekend! It's billed as the largest bellydance festival in the world and I've always wanted to go, so this year I was determined to attend (as a spectator). However, a friend I met in a class this fall happened to call on the official "call-in" day and got a troupe spot. This in itself was nothing short of a miracle as there is only one day when all the dancers who desire a spot call in to try to get booked. My friend spent 3 hours hitting redial and somehow got through. She requested a troupe spot and quickly made up a name for her troupe. After this she sent out the word that she wrangled a coveted dance spot, but now needed dancers to form a troupe. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
As the event got closer, I kept getting more and more nervous. We rehearsed the Wednesday before, and I kept completely losing my place in the dances and was making stupid mistakes. Strangely when I arrived on Friday my nervousness was gone and replaced with excitement. Just before we went on I thought to myself, "Why aren't I a nervous wreck?" and while I was actually on stage I kept thinking, "I'm dancing at Rakkasah!!!" It was really fun, and I only had one minor screw up. Yay!
I guess the biggest thing is that when I took a local bellydance class some 5 years ago, I would have never thought of myself performing AT ALL, let alone at Rakkasah. You see I had never danced IN MY LIFE. I was so painfully shy that I never went to school dances, didn't dance at my own weddings (or anyone else's for that matter), and always made a point of avoiding any occasion that involved publicly moving to music.
I was so lame that when I started classes, my teacher suggested I take a few private lessons with her before even starting the beginning class. We're talking awkward. For some reason I stuck it out and started really enjoying it. I began to get to know other women who bellydanced and was struck by how accepting they were of their own (imperfect and poochy) bodies and how accepting they were of each other. It was also a great workout for my then 8-month post-prego body.
I find troupe dancing to be rather safe, so now my next challenge is to work on a solo performance.
So I've learned that it's never too late to try something new, and that one should never underestimate their own potential, after all, I DANCED AT RAKKASAH!!!