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Belly dancing to belly laughs

Published October 10. 2009 09:00AM

A couple weeks ago I received an email from a friend inviting me to sign up for Belly dancing classes.

After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard, I tried to envision myself at the class.

There I am in my "I Dream of Jeannie" harem see-through pants with rows of gold coins jingling from my waist down over my tractor trailer hips. My midriff is bare with rolls of Pillsbury dough hanging out and I'm holding little tiny cymbals in my hands. The Girls are barely encased in a low-cut top. The music begins to play and as I shimmy, my belly begins to shimmy. And shimmy. And shimmy. It's like a bowl full of Jell-O that just jiggles long after the music stops with my belly still dancing.

"Ohhhhh nooooo," I thought, "belly dancing and me. Not a good idea."

Then my reporter side kicked in. "Hmmm. This might make a good story."

First I had to unload some excess baggage.

You see, I've got this self-image thing going on.

I think of myself as this Amazon/Viking Voman who is huge and wears a helmet with horns, long blonde braids and has this breast plate with big pointed cups.

It didn't help that I was the tallest girl through elementary school. By the time the other girls started catching up to me, it was too late. I always thought of myself as "Big."

I towered over my 5'2" mother.

And to make matters worse, much to my chagrin, I was, "well-endowed." I felt like I always stuck out like a sore thumb.

Then I met the man of my dreams and he took me home to meet his family.

I was like Gulliver who just woke up in the land of the Lilliputians. His mother was 4'10" and all three of his sisters were 5'2" and under. When we had Koehler family gatherings, I was like Dorothy in the Land of Oz hanging out with the Munchkins.

When I entered the belly dancing classroom, Middle Eastern music was playing and eight women, ranging in ages between their 30s and 70s, were facing a floor-to-ceiling mirrored wall.

Oh joy. Not only was I going to make a fool out of myself in front of others but I was going to have the added delight of watching myself do it.

Mary Ann, the head belly dancer, took us through some very basic moves.

First we did the hip drop.

I watched Mary Ann flick her hip up in the air then tried to do the same.


Suddenly I'm thinking that my last three weeks of visits to my chiropractor may have just been thrown out the window, along with my back again.

A few more hip drops on the right led to hip drops on the left.

There was definitely some stretching of muscles going on here I never knew existed.

Then this silly delusional woman asked me to do this hip drop thing and pivot around in a circle.

This was where the klutzes (me) were weeded out from the coordinated women.

Hip drop. Hip drop. Pivot. Hip drop. Hip drop. Pivot...

Then she added Hip Drops moving forward. Then Hip Drops backward.

Next we learned how to do Snake Arms.

Great. I hate snakes. Now I had to imitate one.

With the grace of beauty and femininity, she showed us how to slowly move our arms in opposite directions with our hands out, waving them up and down.

I watched myself in the mirror as my flabby jiggly chicken wings flapped in the breeze trying to be slithering undulating snakes. I got the giggles as I imagined my snake arms trying to swallow the chicken wings.

Then she taught us how to shimmy.

Believe me. It wasn't pretty. Nobody should have to see my 3 X-size fanny shimmy.

But there I was, shimmying my little heart out.

"Now Ladies, let's put it all together," our little belly dance extraordinaire said.

This rag tag band of wannabe harem girls began to hip drop hip drop, pivot, snake arms snake arms, hip drop hip drop, pivot, snake arms snake arms, hip drop forward hip drop forward, snake arms snake arms, hip drop backward hip drop backward, snake arms snake arms, shimmy shimmy shimmy.

"And look at you all belly dancing," chirped little Mary Ann Sheherazade.

As I gazed into the mirror, I saw Amazon/Viking Voman flicking her battleship hips up in the air with undulating chicken wing snake arms.

I had only one thought: "I can't wait to show Harry!"

Ladies, if you think belly dancing will spice up your marriage, wait until after a few weeks of lessons.

Take it from me. Belly laughs from your spouse does not inspire one to give a repeat performance.

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