A couple months ago a friend asked if I could belly dance for a group she is a part of. I replied full of enthusiasm and energy thinking “Sure I can give a 30 minute presentation on that! It will be fine!” I knew my body well enough to know that I could make it through 30 minutes of basic demonstration with some well timed jokes thrown in. It’s been a long time since I’ve danced. So long that my husband has never seen me perform. The closer I got to the day of the demo the more nervous I got. As I unpacked my gear for my pre-performance inspection I began to have more doubts.
My boobs aren’t where they used to be. My belly hasn’t bounced back from carrying the twins. My parts all wiggle and jiggle in ways they never did before. I’m blessedly free from stretch marks and I look damn good for a woman who carried twins. But it’s exactly that isn’t it? “For a woman who carried twins.” I remember when I just looked damn good. I can tell myself till I’m blue in the face that I should be proud that my boobs swing like socks with rocks in them because they fed twins for nearly eight months but that isn’t going to make me believe that all that swinging is sexy.
Crazy Eyes and The Hubs helped to ease my anxiety as I practiced. I could tell that he was enjoying watching me dance and she was entertained too. He asked her “can you belly dance?” With exasperation she rolled her eyes and replied “nooo! I don’t have boobies!” Duh Dad! So maybe my swinging wasn’t all that bad. At least my boobies made somewhat of an impact, right?
The next night my audience helped to wipe away any anxiety that I had left. These women were kind and open and as I walked them through the steps and laughed with them I remembered why I dance. It’s not because I want to feel sexy or because I want to impress. I dance because it makes my heart feel full. I enjoy just moving. There’s more residual movement now than there has ever been but the beauty of belly dance is that extra wiggle is welcome. I made sure to tell them that too. It was awesome to watch their smiles get bigger and their moves get sassier as they felt that overwhelming confidence boost that belly dance can offer.
Once it was over I felt more like myself than I had in a long time. It was nice to remember the me before babies and marriage. It was even better to see that the two don’t always have to be so separated. So I plan to try and shake what I got in these jeans a little more often even if it’s just around the house. I’m sure eventually my dancing will embarrass the kids so that’s a plus too. At the very least I hope it helps me to embrace my new Mommy body, flaws and all.