Sunday, February 27, 2005

Just shoot me. Shoot me now!

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

I survived a five-hour workshop today by a teacher from the Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance. Barely. If you don't know who Suhaila is, she is a phenomenal bellydancer and teacher from California. Her mother, Jamila, is essential the mother of bellydance in America, and Suhaila has taken Jamila's technique, and added her own diverse dance background and bellydance experience, to create the Suhaila Salimpour Technique.

And it is that technique which has me feeling like I've been run over by a truck.

This is not good, because the workshop ended less than two hours ago. My usual bellydance teacher, whose classes kick my butt on a regular basis, doesn't give me that hit-by-a-truck feeling until the next morning. I'm so screwed.

Suhaila's technique, from what I learned today, is designed to teach you how to control various muscle groups (glutes, abs, etc.) in such a way as to create a desired movement. To watch someone doing the technique, you might think "what's the big deal." I'll tell you what: It is a big deal. Huge. It's hard. And I hurt! These muscular contractions are combined with ballet- and jazz-style footwork. The footwork alone isn't too hard (although it didn't help that I hadn't taken ballet since early grade school, and then only briefly). But combine it with glute squeezes or ab contractions in a prescribed pattern, and that's something else. I hobbled straight home and popped my copy of the "Bellydance Superstars" DVD into the player, to watch Suhaila herself in action. Damn, that woman can move!

A glass of red wine has only slighly dulled the edge of my pain (and I find it important to not that this is not the bad pain of injury, but the "good" pain of muscles truly and thorougly worked), so to survive, I invoke this mantra: "That which does not kill me makes me stronger."


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