And that is what more advanced belly dance classes are about, turning us into performers, a troupe, with set choreographed steps. Which bores and annoys me. If enough people could simply gather to dance once or twice a month, dress up, shake it good, I would so be there. Let the kids run around, let drummers come and play, no competition, just dancing the sweat up. A few open dances at the end of a series of performances, well, it's something, and I was very grateful.
I need to be in better shape, but I still outdanced most of the students at the end. Not showy, just uninhibited and in time to the beat.
The best troupe there seemed to have the same idea, with a lead dancer starting a pattern, and the rest following along - more or less, synchronizing creatively. The gorgeously decorated, but modest costumes, highlighted their movements, with unusual, energetic music underlining. Engaging, funny, the kind of dancing that completely silences my inner critic.
The two drunk boyfriends, who wound up at our table, of a couple of the dancers (who left them to sit with the other dancers) were wads. Early twenty-somethings who seemed to think their interest in me, asking probing questions, offering me their every passing thought, was a generous gift. Gah. Even pointedly ignoring them did no good, and eventually D and I, and N who later drummed - and who invited us - and who apparently has frat-guy-attractant karma, moved all the way to the other side of the restaurant to get away from the entitled little dicks. On my own, I'd have quashed them much sooner, but with a group of three, it is more cumbersome. Still, I console myself that they had crappy girlfriends who brought them, then abandoned them. And that the restaurant made some money off their drinking, as did the dancers. They were throwing out $5s like they were beads at Mardi Gras. They tried to grab N's drum, with an offer to "jam", which did not go down well. N's not a small guy, and perfectly capable of defending himself. He did, with definite gentleness.
Speaking of whom, it's always great to see a friend distinguish himself. He announced the drumming, encouraging dancers to get up, in a clear, audible, amusing and commanding manner. He took center stage with an aplomb that seemed for a moment out of place from the person I know day to day, but then I realized how appropriate, yes, of course. He is an amazing person, and any woman who can't see that certainly doesn't deserve him. Hopefully, soon, a great woman, with an open heart and clear eyes spots him. He's hoping for a belly dancer.