Moving with a Belly Dancer

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Payal Gupta represents India in international Belly Dance competitions, and the Winner last year.

This Weekend was fun.. exhilarating..in the Belly Dance class…

Working regularly on Pilates for Back and Knee strengthening, I was on the lookout for a fun challenge to stretch my boundaries. At 42, I found that even if much of the body will say no, something that appeals to the emotion will make it move.

I prepared from a week before the class.
Emphasized Pilates for the core muscles, picked up weights to strengthen arms, fixed 2-hr routines (same as class).
found myself a back reinforcing belt & knee guard to go to class in.
I would be in a room with mirrors, with most everyone several sizes smaller than me so picked pleasant clothes.
Rummaged through all the old wardrobes and closets and found in mothballs, the very Jingly bright pink Belly Dance Belt I bought in Egypt (not in pic). And a beaded head-dress… and the other jingly belt from the Kashmiri shop…
I shall take a picture and update it one of these days…
…One of these days, I shall have time to take pictures of myself all dressed up… yeah, wishes…

The Belly Dancing Class

The class, Soul, had a roomy dance floor, a view and a pleasant feel.

I surprised myself by being able to do 90% of steps and sustain energy for the 2 hours.
Much of the dance focused on isolations, and Core engagement, so felt low-impact but delivered a workout, Flexibility and control- just the amount I was looking for.
the Knee went a little woozy on the second day, as we did the Lebanese Shimmy- but overall, it was something to look forward to, again.

From a Dance perspective, I assumed instructions would be difficult, more on a See-and-Do basis, but was surprised by Payal’s simple and focused teaching, and clear basic steps.

From an exercise perspective, it exercised, as Payal says, muscles rarely used and sometimes not at all.

Here’s a little tidbit video of her enthralling Drum Solo dance after class. The full one is difficult to upload but you can check out several on Payal’s fb page

A performance that was a sight to see.. utterly beautiful.
Two days later I still carry the memory of the passion in her performance. The energy that she carries is barely conveyed into the video, you know– just the motion, ( but is still fabulous)

If you have the chance to join up, just do it!- highly recommend- she teaches in Benguluru and Mumbai on a regular basis, and upcoming classes in Hyderabad.

Here’s a link to :  The winning Solo, Germany 2014

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