I am the bookish type.
But sometimes I like to dance around in my kitchen to Beyonce.
We all do, right?
Please tell me we all do.
Anyway, when I am a bit drunk, or bored or sad or happy, I
like to dance around to Beyonce.
by myself, occasionally with a girlfriend or future/current sex partner as
When I saw the advert for belly dancing classes, it appealed
to what I guess is the same instinct.
signed up for a six-week course, bought a scarf with jangly bits to tie around
my hips, and diligently took a bus to a community hall every Tuesday after
I loved the belly dancing class.
I was probably not the best in the class but
I was definitely not the worst!
downloaded the songs and practised the routines at home in my kitchen,
occasionally for polite girlfriends, who I’m sure were truly fascinated by my
new expertise in doing a figure-of-eight with my pelvis. Not to mention my new desire to talk about it at every possible opportunity.
Most of all, I loved the teacher.
We will call her Gala, like Gala Dali (her
name in real life is very much like Gala but is not Gala – have I mentioned
that this is a true story?).
Gala was probably in her late forties, but with the air of
somebody who has a superhuman pelvic floor and probably has sex with
She was tall, with
long red hair and tattoos.
She wore the
sort of swishy skirts and clanking bracelets that one would reasonably expect
in a belly dancing teacher.
At class one week, she informed us all that she would be
hosting a one-day workshop on women’s sexuality and empowerment.
I was IN.
I turned up on a Saturday morning and prepared to feel
This was going to be so
To cut a long story short – it wasn’t great at all.
Amid a load of other total bullshit, we all
had to dance around in circles while Gala barked strange commands at us.
‘Dance like a prostitute!’
Everyone else in the room ramped up the sexy.
My dancing, which had previously been pretty
joyous and energetic, kind of slowed down.
I affected a surly expression and popped a hip in a grudging fashion.
I did a half-hearted sexy grind and made a sad
I was happy to explain.
I was quite pleased with myself.
I was feeling very ‘method’.
‘Well, I was thinking about how sad I would feel if I were
forced to work as a prostitute and dance around.
It also made me feel quite cross.
I thought it came out rather well in my
That was definitely how a sad prostitute
‘You are ruining today for everyone,’ she informed me.
Next, we were instructed to dance ‘like a queen’.
‘What are you doing now?’ Gala asked me, visibly losing
‘Well, after our previous conversation, I didn’t really feel
And I thought – I’m a
queen, I don’t have to.’
‘You have a very bad energy,’ she told me.
In response, I told her she could go fuck herself.
Then I dramatically stormed out.
Well, I mean, obviously I didn’t.
I am the bookish type, remember?
I meekly endured the rest of the horrible
day, paid my money and thanked her on the way out.
Then I went home and cried.
Then I got drunk and danced around the kitchen with my
girlfriends to Beyonce.
Like a queenly
* it occurred to me only as I was writing it, that I have
written about this experience before.
(Shit, am I running out of amusing anecdotes?)
I was out running the other day, and thought
this would make a funny story.
recently that I am seeing the funny side of this incident, TBH – previously I
was pretty freaked out by it, which you can read about here