I did it! I performed as a bellydancer for the first time! All the students from the Improvers class had prepared a really nice choreography to Hayaati Milkik by Emad Sayyah (Listen to a preview here) and we showed it at the Hafla that the Oxford Middle Eastern Dance Society organized last Friday.
A Hafla is an Arabic dance party, where people dance, watch performances and get to know other bellydancers. I had already attended several but had never danced. We were all really, really nervous as, for most of us, it was our first performance. I was really shaky, but hopefully nobody noticed through my shimmies! The coreography was quite cheeky and a lot of fun, and I think people enjoyed it.
I'm really proud that I've finally done it, because I think performance is a big part of this dance. Bellydancing is a form of communication, and it's a very social dance. At the Hafla, you dance while you talk to others, and you move around the room with bellydancing travel steps, oh no! You should not walk! Although the origins of bellydancing are unknown, it's clear that it was always part of rituals and social ocassions, a way of interacting with others, and that's one of my favourite things about it.