I love to belly dance, though I don’t do it professionally, and I’m not that great. My Wifey is a talented dancer, who introduced me to it, and I’ve been taking a weekly dance class for fun and relaxation for a few years now. When I started this class I came in standard fat girl work out gear, long pants and a giant t-shirt. My dance teacher, a 70+ Turkish retired pro dancer, suggested I tuck up my shirt (above my belly) and tie a scarf under my bulge. I was initially very skeptical, not having worn a bikini or midriff shirt since I was 15, but her only retort was
“Belly dancing is about moving you body and you belly, how can you do if you can’t see it?”
This was not a revelation to me, but it was a difficult first step, and the beginning of an amazing relationship with my bellyfat. Dancing has taught me how to use and move each band of muscle down my abdomen. When I saw myself static, I was always perturbed by my belly, I wore shapers and girdles and “flattering” clothes to hide what I saw as an inconvenience. But in dance my bulging bellyfat was a fantastic instrument - a natural accessory - an integral part of each move. What was once a portion of my body to be hidden, became a celebrated source of pride in my dancing ability and appearance.
Through the years my weight has fluctuated, I used to diet and sometimes I would have great success, but it was always bitter sweet in dance class. Shimmying in a size 10 I have very little body fat left to jiggle, but a shimmy in a size 20 ripples gloriously across every fleshy part of my body, accentuating each curve, enhancing each angle and exaggerating every muscle twitch. As a skinnier dancer I am one in a million, just another hobbyist.
But as a fat dancer I am a GODDESS