This is my thirty dollar decision for September. If you are not familiar with my thirty dollar decision, basically I do new things every month that I have not done before or would never do in an attempt to experience new things and try to make myself a better person. So for the month of September I took a belly dance class.
I initially wanted to try a pole dance class so I emailed a few local places in Las Vegas. Surprisingly, only one responded and that was only after I contacted them twice. I explained to them my thirty dollar decision and that I am a local boudoir photographer simply wanting to try out their class and blog about my experience. The pole dance place wanted to charge me the regular class rate PLUS an extra $100 to have a private class because I am a guy. I found that funny because in reality, it's just an exercise class and nobody it taking their clothes off and dancing for tips in it. Besides, I have taken plenty photographs of women wearing a lot less that gym clothes. Just saying.
Because of this dilemma I posted on my Facebook page my situation. Luckily, a great friend came to the rescue. Gabriela, the owner of GKDance said that she would teach me a private belly dance class for $30. Awesome. I could not pass up on this offer.
I photographed Gabriela and her dance troupe, La Femme Zahir, back in February. It was an amazing experience watching how they danced and how easily they moved into some very difficult poses while I photographed them.
During our class Gabriela taught me the history behind belly dancing and that every movement is a constant fluid motion. Everything involves making horizontal or vertical figure 8's, or infinity loops with your arms, hips, and abdomen.
We started out with some arm movements. They seemed simple, almost like I was doing some old-school break dancing. I got the arm movements down pretty quick. Next, we moved to some waist movements. Now it was starting to get difficult. I had trouble focusing on going forward or backward so Gabriela drew a figure 8 and placed it on the floor in front of me. She reminded me that belly dance is all about movement and figure 8's and to follow the path of what she drew. Ok, cool. No problem. After a few minutes I got the body part down. Next was the hip drop. I completely failed at this movement. Maybe it's because I am a guy and I am not used to moving my hips in such an awkward movement, but I just could not get this one as easy as I got the others.
We put all the movements together into a routine and did it a few times. I think I did pretty good for my first time. I was not expecting to be a pro, but with lots of practice and a few more classes I can see myself becoming good at this.
Here is what Gabriela had to say about my experience:
"Today I had the pleasure to work with Bryan. A few weeks ago we discussed a private belly dance class. I was happy he was open to the art of belly dancing considering it is a female dominated dance. Bryan came to my studio GKDANCE and learned the basics of belly dance. Throughout the class he was focused and interested in learning the right posture and movements. What I love is that Bryan asked many questions whenever something wasn't clear and he let me know right away. As a Dance Instructor I appreciate this type of communication and interaction because is difficult to help when a student just remains quiet. The beauty of teaching a one one class is that I can modify the moves according to student's level of expertise. I am sure Bryan picked up on the few things from today's class."
Yes, I learned quite a bit. If you would like to learn belly dance too, check out www.gkdance.com and set up a class with an amazing instructor. Thanks again Gabriela.