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Archive for September 18th, 2007

Habibi Dancers in Lansing State Journal Tuesday

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

eudorasparrow07.jpgI heard from Priscilla and my mother that today there is an article in the State Journal about the Habibi Dancers and middle eastern dancing (sometimes called belly dance though often our bellies are covered). There is a photo of four of us dancing at the Allen Street Farmer’s Market. I’m up front in purple (no surprise).

For the record, historically this sort of dance was performed in groups of women, for their own entertainment and health. The moves help the body strengthen muscles that are used in childbirth. In some cultures your friends would come and dance for you when you were in labor. These days the more scandalous something sounds, the more tickets sell, so there is little talk of the female-community aspect and much focus on costumes and skin. Notice in the article we are all covered but we’re still doing the same dance moves.

I must say that this sort of dance helped me love myself more. I had been no more than a brain and feet getting me from place to place. Dancing required that I move the whole body. You can not move your hips if you don’t make friends with them first. I am a much more complete person now that I am familiar and comfortable with my whole self.

And trust me, I dance a good dozen times with a room full of female friends (there are 30 women in Habibi Dancers) before I dance once in costume for the public. It’s a place where we can just be comfortable, a place where we get support and encouragement.

Photo is me as Eudora, dancing at Sparrow Hospital in August of this year.