I went to Mari’s beginners bellydance class tonight. Because I’m crazy, I biked over there instead of driving. The classes take place at the Warren Road Community Center, which is very close to my apartment. It actually only took about 15 minutes to get there, but it was very hot and there were all kinds of hills on the back roads between Pleasant Home and Warren. I was pretty hot and very sweaty when I arrived.

I’d left early because I wasn’t sure how long the ride would take, so I ended up being at the center a half hour before the class was to start. To pass the time, I spent about fifteen minutes riding my bike in a circle on the track near the park, eventually getting to where I could ride the whole thing without using my hands. Those turns are pretty tricky, but I figured them out. I’d gotten through three circuits no-handed when I finally decided I was tired and that I’d go see if anyone else had arrived.

I went into the center to ask if it was okay for me to bring my bike in, but no one was in the office…so I brought it in :> At that point I realized I wasn’t sure where classes were held. There were a bunch of people in the gymnasium playing basketball, and no bellydancers. So I walked my bike down a very dark hallway to the other side of the center, and was lucky enough to see Mari’s mom coming in. I followed her into the workout room and parked my bike behind a bench near the weight machines.

Class was good. I’d done some bellydance stuff with Mari privately before, so I remembered all the moves. Remembering and being able to actually do them are two different things, but I performed reasonably well. We warmed up, did a few drills of the moves in Waady, and then ran through Waady a couple of times…and that took up the whole hour. It was a great workout–I really felt it in my arms.

While the room was air conditioned, the workout was pretty intense, so I continued to sweat and feel hot. After class was over I decided to sit around and watch the Tribal class for awhile so I could cool off. Chris was there, so we talked a little about the girls who sing that Moulin Rouge song (his favorite is Pink, while I prefer Christina–purely for her voice, I assure you)–and before you think we are way behind the times, the Tribal class danced to that song…that’s why we were talking about it :>

After awhile I finally felt ready to bike again, so I came home. This time I chose to go the other way on Warren and then go up Washington Road to Pleasant Home. I’m not sure if this was better or not, hill-wise, because Pleasant Home has quite a few hills of its own. I was also unhappy to discover that there were no sidewalks on that first stretch of Washington Road, so I was forced to cross four lanes and a turn lane in order to get to the proper side of the street to ride on. Fortunately, traffic wasn’t too bad, but I would hate to have tried that during rush hour.

Now I’ve had a nice shower and I feel very refreshed. I’m glad I worked out today, and I’m glad I rode my bike to get there.

I’ve mentioned to Brooke before that I don’t really think bellydancing is my “thing”. I’d also alluded to the fact that I was starting to feel jealous/resentful because it seemed to me like I had to do something I didn’t want to so I could hang out with my friends. I have now decided to stop being a baby. Bellydancing is a good workout, and it’s far more interesting than regular aerobics.

There is a lot of pressure to perform–even though Mari always says nobody has to, the classes are very performance-centered. But I can deal with that. At this point, I don’t want to be on stage. I will wait until I’ve lost enough weight that I can show my belly without being embarrassed. This may take awhile. But a great way to work towards a flatter stomach is to actually go to bellydance class…so I think I will start doing that. I mean…why not?