My Grandma’s a Belly Dancer!
By: Hannah Morris
Learning to sew, getting a cell phone, or working at their first job is a story that we expect to be told by our grandmother’s. While my ear is not a stranger to these traditional memories, I do not have a traditional grandmother. With tie-die shoes, and light pink hair it does not come as a surprise to me that her hobbies did not fall into the category of “ordinary”. What do I mean? Well, my grandma was a belly dancer.
She started this activity at age 23 for her and her friends to just have some fun. At a local YMCA they took lessons from an authentic Peruvian belly dancer named Geniffer. For my grandma, it gave her self-confidence. Belly dancing was something new and exciting, it provided an excellent opportunity for exercise and creativity.
Before performances she would make her costumes. These would consist of a head veils, decorated brassiere, sheer skirt, and finger symbols (zils). Making these was not an easy task, but they still had fun rummaging through thrift shop, and clearance racks.
The dance itself followed a 7/8 beat and incorporated 3 parts:
Beginning; showed happiness and freedom
Middle; presented a serious and calm outlook
End; displayed speed and strength
Her best memory, “Was probably just the fun we had.”
After four years her dancing came to an end because lessons were no longer being taught, but in those four years she made incredible memories. My grandmother said she would recommend it to anybody.
For her it was always a lot of fun, and a very happy experience! I hope that I follow her lead, while I may not be a belly dancer, I want to always keep my mind open to new ideas, and to try new things. Plus, being able to say your grandma’s a belly dancer is a lot of fun!