Thursday, June 21, 2012

Belly Dancing

Katarina
Who would have thought San Cristobal de las Casas would be a hotbed of belly dancers? Sunday I went with Margarita and Marlu to a little house on the edge of the forest preserve, to a party put on by belly dancers for their teacher, a 71 year old German woman named Katarina. She will soon be joining her family in the US, gone forever.

Wednesday night I went to their class at a small dance studio near the Guadalupe andador. We all wore loose clothing and a scarf around the hips so we could see how well we shimmied, or swayed, or seductively rotated. Some women were very advanced and could do the jet speed jiggle. Others (me) had one roll of fat still on the upswing when the last roll was coming back, the waves cancelled each other out. It was a killer hour of lifting arms up or out, coquettishly flitting them hither and yon, swaying hips back and forth simultaneously raising and lowering, prancing around on tip toes, and dripping sweat. The teacher did everything she asked us to do, for the entire time, without a glisten of perspiration. An amazing woman. And the class was packed, probably twenty five women in a smallish room with a decent floor (wood not tile).

Everyone said good-by to Katarina, but it turned out she has decided to return and will teach again. Meanwhile, the more advanced students will continue the practices and they'll still be in good form when she returns.

Learning to keep the upper body still.

Outdoor practice

Katarina leading the group, Arnulfo, the only
male belly dancer, enjoying himself immensely.