Home > Uncategorized > Dancing Barefoot and Running in Heels: How to Flip the Bird with Your Whole Body

Dancing Barefoot and Running in Heels: How to Flip the Bird with Your Whole Body

            “I’m not even sure I want to perform at this point. I’m kind of in run-and-hide mode right now, Betsey.”

            “Kari, I need you to be sure. The first rehearsal is this Thursday, dress rehearsal’s next week, and then the show is on Saturday.”

            “I know. Sorry.”

            “Do you want to tell me what’s been going on lately?”

            “I don’t know yet. Let’s take it from the top one more time.”

            She sighs as she crosses the room to start the music over and I get into place. My whole body aches from the hours of practice I’ve put into the upcoming performance, but I ignore the pain as I raise the veil over my head.

            One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight…. I count the beats in my head and slowly walk across the studio with as much grace and poise as I can muster with my exhausted muscles. …five, six, seven, undulate! One-and, two-and, undulate! Undulate! Undulate!

            Betsey nods in approval, and it’s enough to keep me moving through the pain. I’ll be lucky if my hip doesn’t dislocate by the end of the night, but I try not to think about it and keep my mind on the rhythm instead.

            I stop consciously counting the beats and let my unconscious mind take over my movements. I’ve been in a state of rapt terror all week, and it feels good to let go of the fear and just be inside myself. My accents become stronger, the veil becomes its own fiery, powerful creature, and I entangle myself within it.

            I lose sense of earth and sky as I spin in tight barrels, and the world only stops racing when I suddenly fall into a backbend and catch myself with every core muscle I’ve got. I let my arms fall back and embrace the stillness of the air around me.

            “Wow,” Betsey says and claps her hands together. “You don’t have a choice. As your instructor, I’m telling you that you must participate in the show next week.”

            I’m too out of breath to speak yet.

            “Why is it you don’t want to do this?”

            I take a swig from my water bottle and toss the veil over a chair back. “I have a new stalker. I don’t know that he’s actually stalking me, but he seems to be kind of obsessed with me. And the show is at a public venue, and I’m terrified he’ll show up,” I sigh.

            “Oh,” is all she says.

            “His name is Ron, he’s creepy as hell, and he’s obsessed with my boobs. And, well, look at what I’m wearing to this thing.” I motion to my body, just barely covered by chiffon and rhinestones. The bra I’m wearing makes every other dance costume I’ve ever worn look nun-like and tame.

            Betsey sighs. “Kari, in the years I’ve known you, you’ve been though many ups and downs. I don’t know all the details of your life, but I know that you’re far stronger than any creepy man who thinks you’ve got a hot body and won’t leave you alone over it. And, what’s more, you do have an intensely hot body, you’re incredibly strong, and belly dancing has always been your dance of power. I think instead of running and hiding from this guy, you need to step fully into your power and let your strength show through.

            “And, if he does show up, I will personally throw him out. And if he won’t go, I’ll have some of the men escort him out. Your dad’s coming to the show, right?”


            “And your brother?”


            “And for heaven’s sake, if they can’t get rid of him, your mother will!”

            I let myself laugh over this. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

            She puts her hands on her hips and shimmies ever so slightly, a sign that it’s time to resume practice.

            “What is the translation of this song title again?” I ask.

            “Something about longing and despair, I think.”

            “Can we come up with a different title? Just for my performance?”

            “What did you have in mind?”

            “Um, ‘Go to Hell, Ron?’ ‘Die, Die, Die, Ron?’”

            She laughs. “No names, please.”

            “Ok, then just, ‘Die, Die, Die!’”

            “That can be our private title. I think I should still announce the real title at the show. You know, to give the musician proper credit. But when you dance to it, I want that to be your attitude. Knock that jerk into next week with those accents of yours!”

            I smile. “Ok. From the top?”

            “From the top!”


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    “And for heaven’s sake, if they can’t get rid of him, your mother will!” Thank you for absolutely cracking me up! =)))

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