Essay Contest Winner - Honorable Mention
My Most Memorable Belly Dance Moment
My most memorable experience is how I got started in Belly Dance.
I was at Target in my usual solemn mood, in my usual jeans and t-shirt, looking at workout videos once again trying to find something, anything, to help me lose weight. I wasn’t very active, and the usual workout videos would leave me hurting and not wanting to do them again. So I was looking for something out of the ordinary. Something fun, that would hold my interest and not kill me in the process, or injure my back any further. I was about to give up when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a VHS tape hiding behind all the others. So I picked it up, and it was Rania’s Hip Hop Hip Drop Belly Dance workout. I literally said “huh..” out loud and read the description. The only dance background I had was about 6 months of ballet when I was 6 years old, and some VERY cheesy movements (can’t really call it dancing) in show choir in high school. But I thought it might be fun to try. Plus it was only $6.99, so I figured I had nothing to lose. Right? Wrong!
I watched the video first, to see what I was getting myself into. I really liked the beat of the music. It was a kind of fusion that really got my attention. The moves were broken down step by step, in a way that even a non-dancer could understand.
So then it was time to actually do them. Wow! Did I feel like an idiot! My brain understood what I should do, but my body did NOT want to follow. For a few days I kept at it. Probably going through that video 4-5 times in one day just trying to get my body to move where it is supposed to move. Then I took some time off, and when I came back to it, it all fell into place! I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited that I worked on it several times a day!
I was addicted. I went back to Target, but they didn’t have anymore videos. So I looked up Rania’s website to see what else was available. I ordered her box set of videos and couldn’t wait to learn more! When I got them, I did a different video each day. All of a sudden I felt alive! I had found something that really spoke to me. It wasn’t telling me that I was too big, too tall, or not good enough. It was telling me that I am beautiful! That I’m somebody and I deserve to feel good about myself! Then I looked in the mirror one day and noticed something was different.
It took me a little while to realize that I had lost weight! I immediately went and weighted myself. 30 lbs!! I had lost 30 lbs!! I was so excited about finding belly dance, and so wound up in learning the art form, that I didn’t even realize I had lost weight! I was so happy that I started crying. Something had finally worked, and that wasn’t even in my head the whole time, even though that was why I bought the video in the first place!
I was so elated that I contacted Rania about it. I told her how much her videos had helped me and how grateful I was that she had made those them. I had even lost another 30 lbs! When I asked her if she had workshops I might be able to go to, I found out that she was going to be giving one in Omaha in a few months. That was only a 2 hour drive from Des Moines! I was so excited! I contacted the troupe in Omaha that was hosting her so I could sign up. I was able to meet Rania in person, take her workshop, and I gained a wonderful friend. But that is going into another memorable experience, along with the troupe from Omaha.
It’s strange when you look back and can pinpoint the exact moment that completely changed your life. I now have a life filled with wonderful friends, awesome experiences, health, and beautiful self confidence. I was wrong though. I did have something to lose. I lost my solemn mood, weight, and I lost my self doubt. Not bad for $6.99 at Target.
Written by Kristina D Moseley
Photo of Kaya by Brittany Oliphant