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What’s it like to be a member of a belly dance troupe? Part 1

By Electra

I didn't know what to expect when I attended the first organizational meeting of the Beledi Dance Company - New England's premier belly dance troupe under the artistic direction of Kanina Hague.

Part of me was so honored to be among what I thought to be the most elite dancers out of Kanina's students, and part of me was so scared of the unknown. Looking around at some of the dancers, I expected the camaraderie to turn clique-y and didn't know if I would fit in - or make it as a member. Would I be good enough to keep up with the dancing level? Was I physically fit enough? Could I make the commitment each week with my busy work schedule? What the heck was I getting myself into???!

That night began a journey into a most amazing experience, on many levels. Along the way, I have learned a lot about the art of belly dance, teamwork, friendship, and myself. It's an experience I would not change for the world.

Following are 10 things (not in any particular order) I'd like to share about what you can expect when you become a member of the Beledi Dance Company, or if you just are curious to glimpse what it's like to be a member of this dance company:

1. Your dancing will improve. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. Week after week, you'll be honing skills that you've learned in class and picking up new moves, too. There's opportunity in the dance company for various levels of physical ability. If you have bad knees, you likely won't be the one kneeling in the choreography, for example. If you're not that great with your fluid hand motions, you'll get much better at that because we really work on improving those detailed nuances. Be prepared to see your dancing go to a new level. You'll surprise even yourself!

2. You will make friends. This is an understatement. You cannot help but bond with each other through this shared experience. My guess is that you don't even see your family members or best friends this often (once per week, minimum), so your fellow dancers become your "dance sisters" and friendships naturally form.

[continued, next post]

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