How Bellydance Helped Me Gain Confidence
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Bellydance Helped Me Gain Confidence In Myself And In My Body

Dedicated to my wonderful teacher, Jenny.

Bellydance Helped Me Gain Confidence In Myself And In My Body

Towards the end of my senior year of high school, my yoga studio began offering Bellydance classes. Partly out of curiosity, and partly because my mother goaded me into it, I decided to attend. This was actually pretty far out of my comfort zone, and I didn't know what to expect at all. I had no previous exposure to Bellydance and I hadn't taken ANY type of dance class in at least six years. I considered myself awkward and weirdly proportioned. So as I drove to the studio on that first fateful Friday morning, "I Don't Dance" from "High School Musical 3" was playing in my head on a loop. I was nervous, to say the least. At that time in my life, I was an anxious mess, so this was honestly a little bit of a desperate hope for a distraction, but it ended up being so much more than that.

When I walked into my first class I was pleasantly surprised to see that nobody's midriff was exposed as I had expected, and soft Egyptian music played in the background. The teacher, Jenny, was extremely welcoming and kind. I felt at ease, and for an hour and 10 minutes, I was able to forget my problems and laugh at myself as I attempted to move my body in ways it had never moved before. I was awful - but so was almost everybody else in the class. And it didn't seem to matter anyway, we were having fun and exercising.

Over the months that followed, I fell in love with the dance. Every week, twice a week, I was extremely excited to attend. I brought my friends, I told everybody about it, and I even bought my own hip scarf and veil. I was in the best shape of my life, which isn't saying much, but I was still taking care of my body and moving around a lot more than before. I was getting better and better each week at shimmying and undulating. It was the one thing I took really seriously in my life. It helped me to let go of my anxiety and instead build a steady confidence within myself. Jenny taught us how to take up space in a room. To move with confidence and ease. I began to love dancing. Now "Dancing Queen" played in my head on my drives instead of "I Don't Dance". I was also encouraged enough to try more new things, like hoop dancing. I was a new woman.

Due to a scheduling conflict, Bellydance was recently removed from my studio's schedule. While this was greatly upsetting to me, I know it isn't the end of me and Bellydance. I will continue to practice and to reap the many benefits of the art form. But even if it doesn't happen right away, I am still so grateful for everything that I gained through my experience. I am forever grateful to my studio, my mom (for making me go), and to my teacher, Jenny.

If you ever get the chance to take a Bellydance class, do it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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