A Bellydancer’s Christmas and My New Year’s Resolutions

You can tell a lot about someone by looking at their Christmas presents, and this year, I realized just how much my life has changed in the past two years when I sat back and appreciated my haul on Christmas day.  As little as five years ago, you might have seen leotards, leg warmers, tights, or toe pads sitting under the family Christmas tree, and you naturally would have concluded that there was an aspiring ballerina in the house.  But things have changed, and now my presents point toward my new passion in life: bellydance.  To demonstrate, here’s a pretty picture:

My bellytastic Christmas goodies!

You’re looking at Zoe Jake’s latest DVD (review coming soon!), the Viniyoga DVD Rachel Brice recommended to me at her workshop last February, a beautiful craft-lover’s dream wallet from my godmother, antique Balkan hardware for a costume project, the sparkliest collars you’ve ever seen for my other costume project, and a nude thong to hide under my sparkly bits when I perform (I’m developing quite a collection of these).  Yep.  You guessed it.  I am a bellydancer, and I’m looking forward to many similarly themed Christmas gifts for years to come.

Now for my New Year’s Resolution.  I always cringe a little bit when I hear those three words, because they are so inextricably linked with failure (quite possibly my least favorite word in the English language).  Barely a month into the new year, countless friends have already given up on their NYR, but you won’t find me among their ranks.  Simply put, failure isn’t and option for me this year, and I’ll tell you why.

I am a senior at Barnard College.  In five short months, I will graduate.  This means I have five months to hone my bellydance technique and personal practice before the sh*t hits the fan in almost every aspect of my life.  I don’t know where I’ll live, where I’ll work (assuming I even find a job in this economy), or how much money I’ll get paid (if I get paid), but I can’t let my dream of becoming a professional Tribal Fusion bellydancer suffer.  The day I stop moving is the day I die mentally, physically, and spiritually.  So to make sure my dream doesn’t get smothered in the kafuffle that is life post-graduation, I need to develop a little thing called routine.  Thus, I hereby declare 2012 to be the year of routine and ritual.

You, my dear readers, are integral to this process, because, quite frankly, I need to be accountable to someone.  I’m really really good at making excuses for myself so if I’m to slay the dragons of Laziness and Procrastination I need someone to call my bluff from time to time.  From now on, I will be posting bi-weekly updates on my progress as well as my ideal daily schedule, methods of motivation, and screw-ups.  You’ll still get all the usual stuff I post here on The Fledgling Belly (DVD reviews, performance reviews, dancer profiles, fun factoids, etc.), but I really need help where routine-building is concerned.  So thank you in advance for bearing with me and giving me an occasional well-deserved kick in the ass as I bumble along toward what I hope will be a significant change in my life.  Cheers!

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5 thoughts on “A Bellydancer’s Christmas and My New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Nice article! As a recent graduate (2009) and full time grad student working on her thesis AND professional belly dancer I’d like to tell you that it is possible! You’re right, setting goals and expectations for yourself and the following through with routines is a good start. Don’t worry, you’ll get there!

  2. I recommend reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield if you haven’t already read it. It is the most mind-blowing book about resistance I have ever read, and it changed my life. Also, if you are going to be teaching a Rachael Brice type of tribal fusion bellydance in New York City, I think you will get alot of students, because there (as far as I know) is no one else teaching this style. Good luck!

    1. The War of Art has been in my to-be-read stack of books for a while now, but after hearing your praise, I’ll definitely bump it to the top of my list! As for teaching, I certainly plan to bring West Coast Tribal style to NYC someday, but I want to continue training for a while longer. I’ve seen too many promising dancers jump into teaching early in their careers and in turn slow down their own progress. But I definitely want to make the pilgrimage to RB’s studio in Portland ASAP! She’s such a radiant performer!

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