Sunday night I sat down to write about part two of my dance class. I didn’t know where to start, so I started at the top of a mini-can of Chu-hi and worked my way down. And then I took a bath.
I figured why ruin the nice day I had? opua came over, we dished, I made risotto, it was good.
opua tried to write about it all, but decided to post a picture of McGyver instead...an act I applaud, but I can't leave ya'll hanging. So here's take two.
The second hour of Saturday’s class was the general lesson and had around 30 students, many of them new to the class. She once again started class by asking, in Japanese, who had not been to her class? I think she meant to ask since her return from India, but I’m beginning to worry that she is acting as if the teacher she was before rebirth does not exist. Once more she explained the contact stretching (writhing.)
I was put into the only group of four. I knew one of the girls, a short Japanese girl who is into crafts like I am, but the other two were new (in fact for one it was her first class ever.) The girl I knew was game for the exercise and I was still remaining as neutral as possible. The two new girls?
Okay, let me preface this. I may not talk about auras, energy fields, or vibes…but that does not mean I discount them. I do not know if such things are the product of pheromones or what, but I have my own amorphous sort of understanding of them a belief in them. I may talk tough, but I am not 100% insensitive to how people are feeling.
Touching these girls was physically painful. To touch them was to share in the discomfort they felt, as if the outward signs of avoiding eye contact and slowly folding inwards had not been obvious enough. I wanted to tell them it would end soon, to verbally comfort them, but to do so would have been to incur the wrath of my teacher. All touching! No talking! So, I did what I could (while trying to respect their boundaries and still maintaining contact) to emotionally set them at ease.
This, once again, gets into territory I don’t usually venture into on my lj. I don’t believe myself to be some sort of magical pixie healer, or to be chock full of pheremones that make people feel safe and loved (although that would explain a lot .) But I do believe that it is possible to somewhat calm someone via concentrated touch, energy, and emotion. And, in my own way, that’s what I tried to do.
When those long six or seven minutes were over, do you know what I felt like? A very tired and dirty pain-sponge, an emotional cleaning rag.
So let’s get this straight. I am feeling exhausted and slightly ill from touching people who feel discomfort because our teacher has told them to writhe around in a group. I feel sick because I had been trying to help people who had been put into an akward situation by coming to class. Let’s also remember, we signed up for a belly dancing class….
I was not simply feeling exhausted from this, I was also feeling inexorably sad.
I love to dance. Most of the time I live very much through my intellect. When I write, and when I create art, I reach a certain state of bliss. Atheletes call it being the zone. With my writing and art there is a paper trail, and afterwards I look with my intellect once more. When I dance, and dance has always been an important part of my life, I am similarly unburdened, with the bonus of endorphins. In fact dance and excersize are a very large part of how I alleviate depression. It brings me immesurable joy. Learning new techniques, new combinations, exploring rhythm, gives me a larger vocabulary with which to dance…increasing the joy.
I fucking love to dance, and I have always enjoyed my teacher, because that emotional/spiritual side to her had, until now, always been part of her technique, her motivation, her way of teaching DANCE. Because of this, my teacher has accumulated a very wonderful group of students that I am proud to dance with. But, after the stretching, I felt mournful…because I worry that she will no longer teach dance with an emotional flare…that she will now teach emotions…and maybe some dance here and there. I felt like I wanted her to be pushed back in and reborn again, perhaps the third time would be the charm…
And when am I thinking all of this? During the next phase of awareness, opening our chakras! We are now bouncing, with our bodies, to open our chakras. My teacher’s head is lolling about as she bounces, her arms flapping and I know I have never seen her so animalistic in my life…I have been lucky. Two girls retreat to a corner and sit in the fetal position. This is 31 Flavors of fucked.
I am not bouncing.
I am hideously depressed and if I don’t gather myself it is not going to get any better. The class will eventually end, but if I don’t do something the low will remain. I know my levels of depression and I like to think I know the difference between exploring my depressive states and plunging straight into them for the heck of it.
And now she is in front of me, quietly saying “Bounce, kaaaaattttiiiiiii, bounce.”
And I am saying, “No.”
“No.” I repeat. Perhaps my aura has gone all bruise-colored, or perhaps I have always been right that my teacher is a little unnerved by me in general, because she retreats and does not question me again. Unlike her treatment of Opua, she doesn’t shoot me dirty looks, she just skedaddles.
20 minutes of general belly dancing class so far, no dancing.
We also do breathing excersizes ( no, silly, not breathing while dancing, breathing while sucking energy through our pelvises and up and out of our fingers) and then we partner off and exchange energy through almost touching our hands, swaying, and looking into each other’s eyes. I am not bad at this. In fact, my partner seems to think I am veeeeeeeeeery emotionally powerful. It must be noted that I am flushed bright red and feeling feverish. I do get the guilty feeling that I have emotionally overwhelmed my partner. And after that excersize is over she hugs me and stays clinging tightly to me for a long while. I really would prefer to overwhelm people with…say..the power of dance and not simply overwhelm them by my hell-fire skin and eminating waves of electro-emotional-shock-therapy.
I think we danced for about 10 minutes, maybe, at the end of it all…and then we breathed some more.
Afterwards she sat us all in a circle and explained to us how she will be teaching us what she learned on her spiritual journey. We will learn how to express our emotions. If we want to learn technique, there are other teachers we can go to. In learning this we will become more sympathetic people. We, like her, will be able to be super-empathy-dancing machines. Blah…blah…blah.
Call me insensitive, and this will be the most insensitive thing I say here: But I didn’t have to go on a spiritual journey in order to feel comfortable about touching myself and I haven’t gone on that spiritual journey that makes me feel comfortable about touching people who don’t want to be touched…nor do I want to.
I miss my teacher.
I will start taking classes next week with a new teacher, in order that I learn something about dance. I will also continue with my current teacher because I hope she comes to her senses, I care about the other students, dancing with the troupe, and I enjoy the opportunities to dance we get through her.
P.S. If you lick this post you'll find it tastes like bile, that's the power of my aura, baby...