Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Taqsims and Mayans

I can't believe I'm taking my first college course as a woman in a physical education class designed for women: belly dancing. It almost slipped the radar of my notice, as did the facts that I have exactly one month to opening night of The Vagina Monologues, two months until I'm supposed to put my hormones on hiatus and 4 months until sexual reassignment surgery.

My main worries were that people were going to figure out I was born male. Were my breasts too small? Was that blonde beard shadow on my chin line going to give me away? Was I too tall? When I looked in the mirror, my fears diminished. I'm just a taller woman.

The mirror became a key element in the lesson, allowing me to watch myself as I progressed. We worked at posture, clenching the lower abdominals, pulling the lower back down, bending the knees slightly, rolling the shoulders back and down and settling onto the heels of our feet. Everything was almost completely the reverse of Swing posture.

The instructor walked us through side-to-side motions: taqsims and mayans, The taqsims came first and they felt so backward. The initial hip movement is suppposed to come from bending the knee into a dropped downward pulse. I kept trying to step into it, which resulted in my hip cantered the other way. What I was trying to do was closer to mayans. The taqsim follows the knee bend with an outward rocking of the hip, bringing it back up and home before repeating on the other side. It sounds easy, but it's hard. It's going to take a lot of reps and muscle memory to help out on this one.

The mayan, on the other hand, starts out slightly unbending one leg in an upward pulse. That parts easy. Then comes the hip rock out and dropping back to center, where the process is repeated on the other side. That's where I kept slipping up, losing the pulse and having to start over.

The good news is that both these moves result in some great rocking, sensual hips when I do them right and they strengthen the lower abdomen and cremaster muscles.

The next event on my calendar is a memorial service for a friend that I didn't quite get to know this Saturday. Sunday is hard on that day's heels with a full cast rehearsal for The Vagina Monologues.

I have received already from friends money for 8 of my 10 tickets I am required to sell. At work, Nadeya is collecting ticket money from the Ladies Night Out group, which apparently numbers over 30, for opening night. Nadeya and another coworker, the one in the Overstock Christmas commercial, are also in my dance class with me. We're the continuing ed group.

Hugs and God Bless,

1 comment:

  1. Its really great to see things going so well for you. I think I may consider a belly dancing lesson after reading your review.