Ottawa Dancers’ Blogletter – 2018/05/13

Dancing with Family!

The first time I stepped into a belly dance class, I was with my mom and my sister Bettina.  Bettina’s best friend, who was also the teacher at that time, had invited her to class to try but my sister didn’t want to go by herself.  She invited my mom and myself to join her in trying out a dance I had never really ever heard about before but thought, what the hey, I’m up for it because I love to dance.  I’m really happy that I went and even happier that my mom joined us, as it turned out that my mom and I loved this dance form and stayed dancing for a few years together.  Bettina didn’t really connect with belly dance and not everyone does but that’s okay, since she found her own style, Irish dancing, that she felt right at home with.  Now why do I mention dancing with my mom and sister in this blog?  Well for a few reasons.

  1. It’s mother’s day today and why not share and celebrate the memories I have of dancing with my mom.
  2. If you’re lucky and you have family that like to try things together dance is a fun way to create memories and moves you can use pretty much anywhere.
  3. I have a soft spot for mothers and daughters who dance together and want to thank them for coming to my classes and having fun.  See mothers and daughters in class invokes happy memories of my mom and even though she’s no longer alive to dance with me, I always feel that she’s with me when I have mothers and daughters in my class.

I know not everyone gets along with their moms and maybe not even their families, but music and dance can sometimes be a great tool to navigate some of the difficulties and at least find some common ground when families things aren’t perfect.  I didn’t always get along with my parents but dance did help create a new and better connection with my mom and gave me one of my favourite last memory of her before she was gone.  Although we hadn’t danced for years together, mom and I had a weekend trip to Toronto that involved shopping for house stuff and enjoying a dinner at the Sultan’s Tent.  The Sultan’s Tent at that time had belly dancing as part of the evening entertainment.  I made the reservations to be close to the dancing action.  This decision allowed both mom and I to not only see the dancer well but join her on the dance floor.  Mom, who was just turning 75, was still capable of moving her hips in figure eights and shimmies and having a blast.  We didn’t steal the show or anything but it was great to dance with her one last time.  So, dance with your family and friends whenever you can.  Make your memories.  Find your dance!

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