oh look, there I am

Somehow this morning, looking through stuff online, I stumbled on pictures from the first time I ever performed belly dance. I was 19 or 20, and while I definitely had dance experience, I did not have belly dance experience and I was a couple years out of practice dancing on any stage. Whatever, irrelevant.

Generally speaking, I always cringe at many older pictures of myself because they're basically a study in how not to belly dance--horrible posture, lizard arms, helicopter hands, etc. Obviously. I was a baby dancer. I guess up until recently it's been too close to home to go back and look at these old pictures for what they are, a beginning.

In any case, when they ended up in front of me again this morning I decided consciously to look past those elements, because I already know all that stuff's there. Yeah, by my current standards for myself, I kind of sucked. Me and everyone else in the whole world who has ever learned to do anything ever, successfully or otherwise.

Clicking through, I saw friends I used to hang out with (like Andrea, who I was so excited to see last weekend and is to my left in this picture!) and how happy it made me to dance with my sister Amanda and how exciting it was to choose music I liked and move to it. I clicked through until I stumbled on one particular picture:

I'm the one in purple in the middle. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that to everyone except me that just looks like a random beginner who is standing facing upstage and wearing a questionable costuming choice. Sure. But out of all the pictures from that day, for whatever reason I looked at that one and went "OH. There I am". Something about how I'm standing, and the turn in my head, the angle of my wrist and hand, and my posture made me look again and realize that "I" was in there, even then.

The parts of me that are starting to come out in my dancing, the parts that already constitute and will continue to become whatever "my style" evolves into as times goes on, they didn't just arrive one day in a moment of inspiration or even as a result of my practice--that's just what lets them out. The essence of me was already in there, to some extent. I don't think I ever fully internalized that before.

It sent me off looking through other old dance pictures, and sure enough, even in the oldest ones, there "I" am, once in awhile. Next project, going through pre-belly dance photos of my oldest dance days.

In light of another interesting conversation I had with my friend Ian on the weekend about the influence that looking at photographs has on my understanding of myself, this has made me reach some interesting conclusions about how my brain works.

Just throwing it out there.


  1. <3 I was really excited to see you too, too bad it wasn't for longer! Your blog is on my RSS feed at work btw, lol!


  2. I love that! I was soooo happy to see you there <3

    I hope I see you again soon :)


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