I took up bellydancing when I was still in a long distance relationship with Mr Zeus. We had both just started new jobs, making it difficult for both of us to ask for time off to see each other. It was October 2005, and I wouldn't be seeing him until that December. In order to keep my mind busy and not go nuts pining for him, I packed out my week.
I had university evening classes twice a week and Greek class every Friday. I needed one evening a week free to not burn out, so I had one spare evening which I had to do something with. So I decided to learn a dance and settled on bellydancing because it didn't require a partner and it was a fun, vibrant way to balance out my boring day job.
Last night I took part in my first bellydance show with the girls from my class and it was great! My only mistake was not taking part in the introduction solo dances, when each of the girls takes the stage in turn to do a few steps while the rest of us play instruments (finger cymbals, tambourines or dumbeks). I watched the other girls take their turns and chickened out. I thought "Look at me compared to them. The audience will say they didn't pay to see a little ant in a coin belt." I felt like a sucked out mango next to them, plus my teacher's attitude wasn't helping my faith in my own abilities.
I'm starting to have issues with my teacher. She's one of those other worldly types, in that talking to her feels like talking to some kind of fairy creature and this gets tiring because sometimes you want to have a serious conversation. One week I'm her favourite person and the next I'm on the sidelines again. It's like she can't remember me from week to week. For me to extract any praise from her is turning out to be nearly impossible. No matter how hard I try, I only hear "Bravo Bollybutton" in my dreams. I don't know why, I'm not that bad and I've been going to her classes for a year and a half. Not to mention I costume nearly half the girls for each show. Maybe I've become so thin that I actually AM invisible and she can hear me but can't see me.
Anyway I wasn't going to let personality clashes stop me from elbowing my way into the show. I missed two weeks of the choreography so I went almost every day last week to catch up. I was determined. I was going to be in the show. On the last rehearsal in the taverna on Friday, we were dancing balanced on glasses (I have to say, I'm good at this) and a tourist couple were eating. Later they told my teacher that on the glasses I was better than all the rest. And she laughed. "He must like your type," she said. Woman! Would it kill you to admit once in a while that I do a good job?!
So I casually asked her if she needed me on Sunday for the show and she said yes. I didn't want to ask her outright in case she said no, you're so bad I'd never even let you be in a bellydance show for the blind. Hence the careful wording. If she needed me okay, if not, it didn't feel like so much of a rejection.
I did my makeup and arrived at the taverna where me and the other girls hung out enjoying the warm evening because things were running to Greek time and nothing was starting. I love the girls from my dance class, they're wonderful girls, really wonderful. I only wish my Greek was better to express myself better with them.
Overall I would call the show a great success and I have come to the conclusion that I musn't be a bad dancer because Mr Zeus came to watch and he is brutally honest. He said that I was pretty good, maybe not the best, but certainly in the top five out of the girls on stage. Which makes it all the more confusing as to why my teacher is totally indifferent to me. But like Mr Zeus said, "Why does it matter, you don't have to marry her."
Ultimately, if I don't grab the bull by the horns and dance the way I do at home, the way I know I can, I'm never going to start believing in myself. Bring on the next show! I aim for less nerves, more smiles and to win myself a solo spot dancing on glasses.
And by the way, Creepy Older Man turned up wearing a white suit. Yuck and yuck again. When I spotted him the distance, I quickly moved to hide myself behind the other girls and the girl I stood next to leaned over to me, "Don't look now, but the malakas has arrived." Her stories revealed that it wasn't just me, this awful man has tormented all the girls in my dance group. He selects a victim to separate from the group and tortures her with his garbage talk.
At one point his creepy friend sauntered over to me, "How are you! Did you know that Creepy Older Man is here?"
"Oh yes I think I saw him."
"Have you gone to say hello to him?"
[Why the hell would I want to do that? And who are you to come over here and ask that of me?] polite laugh "No I haven't had the chance yet."
"Well he's just over there."
I stalled and by God's good grace, Mr Zeus arrived a few moment later. I told him Creepy Older Man was there and he insisted that I toy with him. So, with Mr Zeus's hand firmly in mine, I marched up to the table where Creepy Older Man and his cronies were stationed and proudly introduced my fiance.
And Creepy Older Man didn't even look up. Ha ha!