Monday, May 17, 2010

Averting my eyes

This weekend, The Guy and I joined Crazybarefeet and her new friend to go to a Bally Dancing recital.  Crazybarefeet has taken a few belly dancing classes over the years and thought it would be a fun way to spend the evening.  I told The Guy it would be a bunch of hot, near naked, young women dancing around sexily, so I was sure he could handle it.

Oh how wrong I was.  I had two out of four right, but that wasn't near enough.

If you've been to a professional belly dancing performance, I'm sure you think I'm crazy.  The professional belly dancers are amazing, beautiful, graceful, and sexy.

There were some of them there too.

Two of the near-professional dancers were amazing.  One shimmied her hips so quickly I could not even fathom how it happened.  Her jingly scarf went crazy and it was awesome.  After watching her, I knew why people went to belly dancing class.  The other was so graceful and smooth, I wanted to be her.

Then came the other groups.  Brave women who had practiced their moves all year and were courageous enough to stand on a stage, bellies bared to the world, and shake their money maker. 

Don't get me wrong.  I've lived around heavy or over-sized people my whole life.  I think people are beautiful whether or not they are plus sized.  Most of the women I have admired and loved have been bigger women.  I have never been repulsed by their size or thought less of them for their bodies.  Except for that one time my father ran downstairs to yell at us while wearing only his whitey tighties.  Sorry Dad, but that was just wrong.

This was up there with the most horrific thing I had ever seen.  I know it makes me a judgmental b*tch, but there it is.  Eight of the largest women I have ever seen -- each no less than 350 lbs -- standing on stage with no bra, a small shrug tied between their breasts and their bellies out for God and country to see.  Then they danced.  With canes.

I should be celebrating their bravery.  I should have looked at their dancing skills and their enjoyment of the performance.  All I could see was the horror that was their bellies uncovered.  I heartily agreed with The Guy when he whispered "Cover your shame!"  No one was meant to see belly fat move like that.

I looked down.  I looked at the seat in front of me, I looked at The Guy.  I looked at the name of the person who donated the money to pay for the seat in front of me (Laycock.  HA!)  I couldn't watch those women.

When it was done, we moved onto the next group like nothing had happened.  A few other heavy women came out, but none near as large as that group.  Some wore tank tops under their shrugs so that people could view their intentional belly movements without seeing the belly moving by itself.  I applauded their modesty and their thoughtfulness.  I have images seared into my brain that I will never be able to wash out.

When the performance was over, Crazybarefeet looked at me and asked how I thought it was.  I said all that could come to mind "It was okay.  Some of it was awesome, some of it was weird, and some of it was horrific."

I'm not joining that class.  Unless I'm allowed to wear a mumu.


  1. I love your stories. I want to sit down with a bowl of popcorn and laugh with my mouth full while I read them.

    Thank you.

  2. That same group of ladies perform every year at Mosaic. I think it is awesome that they've found some thing they love and are being active. How many of us can say the same thing?

  3. Days: Thanks! You inspired me.

    Teacher: Yeah I get it. I'm a terrible person. However, I like to be active too, I just don't do it half naked in front of people.

  4. Next time, I'll wear my white Speedo and you'll all go BLIND!!!

  5. I was going to correct your spelling in the first line, where you said "Bally". But....I looked up bally; euphemism for damned or bloody? So really, bally is absolutely right. It had its bally moments, didn't it. I couldn't watch that particular act either. And whilst I will continue with the lessons I will never, never ever (not even if I am a six four and the fittest woman in the city) dance if front of people.

  6. Oh My Goodness! I laughed until my oversized, and well covered, belly hurt! You may just be my favorite blogger!

  7. Dad: I will cancel my trip. Its not too late.

    CBF: oops. I should fix that.

    Beth: that is the kindest thing ever

  8. DON'T FIX - "Damned-Dancing" is too perfect!

  9. HA! I work at a stage theatre ,where belly dancing for some should be banned! I hear ya loud and clear! I sometimes think I should go to therapy after seeing the "belly" dancers!


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