Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guest Blogger A. Catherine Noon - Get In Mah Belleh!

Like many voracious readers and writers, I’m stationary a large part of the time. I work in an office, for one thing, and I write books, which isn’t exactly something I can do while riding a bike or jogging. (Though I’m tempted to try and use my laptop on the stationary bike, but I think that’s just to prove a point that it can be done.) I have used many ways of being physical over the years, from swimming to hiking, dogsledding, yoga, and martial arts. But my newest obsession?

Belly dance.

Yup. I started to dance and I’m not a kid. Yikes!
My teacher came to the dance late too, so she understands what it’s like. I’ve tried belly dance before, but haven’t had nearly as much fun – nor learned as much – as I have with my current school. But that’s not why I’m sharing this with you – ‘cuz it ain’t all about me, right? Right. What I am going to share with you is some research material.

My instructor compiled a list of her favorite dancers and I figured I’d share some of the highlights, complete with video clips so you can watch and listen. (Needless to say, if you’re reading this somewhere that loud Middle Eastern music would not be appropriate, you might wait until you get somewhere more conducive or put in earphones.)

First, a little information: there are many kinds of belly dance. The one I’m learning is Egyptian, called Raks Sharki. Contrary to what I assumed, the so-called Golden Age of Belly Dance is the 1940’s and 1950’s (I assumed it would either be now or a long time ago, not essentially pre- and post-WWII). These are a lot of fun to watch. Check it out!


Samia Gamal


Tahia Carioca


Naima Akef



What is your favorite physical art form? Tell me in the comments; I’d love to know!

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Erin Nicholas said...

Oh, I've always been tempted to try belly dance! I have a friend who swears it resolved her back pain. Welcome Catherine! Thanks for being here!

Kelly Jamieson said...

I wish I could figure skate. :-) I love figure skating. Brava to you for the belly dancing - love it!

A. Catherine Noon said...

Dear Erin,

Thank you so much for having me! It's my pleasure to be here.

I agree; it's great for core muscle development - which can help with back pain and all sorts of stuff. It's been a lot of fun to learn. I enjoy the culture of it, too, since it's not all about the "be pretty and perform" stuff; it's a social dance. I'm excited to go to my first "hafla," a dance performance/party thing. It's next month at the school. Woot!

A. Catherine Noon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Catherine Noon said...

Blarg! Hit send twice on that last one, then it wouldn't quite delete. Pre-coffee fingers. ANYway... :)

Hi, Kelly! Figure skating, huh? That would be a lot of fun. Maybe you could take lessons somewhere locally? Woosh, woosh, twirl... I agree, it's a lovely artform. I think I'd mostly skate on my butt, but that's another story... I mean, it's ice, an' all. :P

Colleen Romanelli said...

I so admire that you do this. Gives me hope and inspiration. I have too many body issues right now, but I love that you are rocking this!

A. Catherine Noon said...

Thanks, Colleen! When you're ready, you can come with me. I understand on the body issues thing, it kept me away from dance for a long long time. But the nice thing is, belly dance is not apparently going away! :P So woot for us!

The Hafla's in the first weekend in March, on March 3rd. Here's the info, if it looks fun: <a href="http://www.arabesquechicago.com/cbn2013.html>Arabesque Hafla</a>.

Darla M Sands said...

I'm so happy for you! I used to adore dancing the night away in nightclubs or swimming in a lake until my limbs were rubber. Now I've got those body issues plaguing me, too. So, for now my partner and I are walking the local mall every day. Gotta start somewhere!

A. Catherine Noon said...

Hi, Darla! I imagine you dancing and swimming the night away! You like lake swimming? Monsters live in lakes!! I'm a swimming pool person, m'self. Less monsters (and you can see them coming). We had family friends that had a black pool and I was afraid to swim in it. You can't see the bottom! MONSTERS!!


Thanks for stopping by!