Belly Dance Believe It Or Not

Dogged by back pain this past week, I really didn’t get much sewing done; it was hard enough to get in my car. I’ve looked into, practiced and paid good money for all kinds of old (such as yoga) and new (such as The Egoscue Method) approaches to healing-of-the-back; I have all kinds of braces, supports, heating pads; I have a battery-powered electrostimulation pack that looks like an old Sony Walkman, and it’s NOT used for anything naughty. Nothing has worked for very long; any attempt to do the obvious strengthening of core muscles just winds up hurting my low back, which has a bit of degeneration in the sacro-illiac joint, you can see it on an x-ray.

At a complete loss, I decided to try something really old, and very unlikely (for me): belly dance.

Though, I have yet to channel my inner Barbara Eden.

The first belly dance class I went to was really really bad. It was at a local fitness club which will remain unnamed. The class was a nightmare of belly-dance-meets-zumba: the kinesthic equivalent of combining baconnaise and chocolate.  My favorite line of the class was when the instructor did one demo of a wild hip swinging move and then said something like, “now, this can be either really good for your back or really bad for your back” without explaining how one could avoid injury. It was at that point that I walked out.

This didn’t put me off. I tried a different class a few days ago at a different location with a different instructor, and it was great! I’m actually optimistic that this very ancient dance could really help me heal my back pain. I’m very excited, though it’s been a long time since I’ve felt so uncoordinated!

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