Lately in dance class an interesting event has taken place. We have our first male belly dance student who attends classes with his wife. Having a male in our formerly all-female environment has turned us all into raving banshees who tease this guy mercilessly. Last week during warm up, one of the girls was talking about something and said loukaniko (sausage) when she meant to say something else. We all looked at our resident male ... there was a split second of silence and we all howled with laughter.
Yesterday going through warm up the teacher fetched a stick for our guy to place across his back to demonstrate how he should keep his back straight as he bends forward. As she produced the large stick, I shouted "Xilo!" (wood) and the guy scrambled to get away from the phallic looking instrument while our teacher chased him around the room with it. Today my stomach muscles hurt not from all the stretching but all the laughing. We laugh more than we dance these days as we jokingly tease our resident male. He has done a pretty brave thing to enter an all-female environment like ours.
Dance class is turning into the highlight of my week. Lately I have so much work to do that my fingers are aching as I type this. I'm all bent out of shape from sitting here at the computer. I cherish my 1.5 hours a week when I can stretch, reach, drop and undulate to work out all the cobwebs in my joints, but mostly I cherish it for the company.
After a really long time M came to class again. M is perpetually stressed and sarcastic and I adore that she doesn't hide how she's feeling for the sake of anyone. "Where did you disappear to?" she barked, "I thought you got left back in India."
"No way, I went to India, I shopped and I came back."
"Is that so? I hate you."
"And what should I do since I love you M?"
S jumped in "Bollybutton's not going back, we won't let her. She's ours now!"
Amid all this there is usually a flurry of costume exchanging to see who likes what, three people talking to me at the same time to place orders, beauty tips, relationship advice and the teacher shouting that someone owes her money.
The dancing itself is starting to take a backseat in what's become my favourite 1.5 hours of the week.