Watch Me Jiggle My Jiggly Bits

For those of you who wanted to see some of my Belly Dance Debut – watch me jiggle my jiggly bits here.  This is the opening number from the show.  I will post some more once I get the actual DVD from the Videographer.

I am part of the third group of dancers to come onto stage (after the pregnant pause and clapping – about 3:30 into it).  I am in the front row, second from the left in the purple costume.

Lanthie Ransom

You are loved. You are beautiful. You belong. You are a Goddess

As you all know by now, I recently took up Belly Dancing.  My teacher sent out a letter shortly before our show last month that she received from one of her other students and I could not have said it better.  Although I have only been doing Belly Dancing for a mere 7 months, it has changed my life dramatically.

I too have felt like this woman has in the past and can identify with so many of her feelings. It has helped me to embrace my body and  accept it for what it is.  I no longer look in the mirror and see a dreary middle aged woman, mother of 4.  I see one of the most beautiful woman on the planet with the most sexy curves you can imagine.
I thought I would share some of these words with you.  I urge you to please send this out to every woman you know.  Being sexy or beautiful has nothing to do looks.  It has to do with a mindset and how you feel about yourself.   So embrace your inner beauty!

“A mere five years ago (which now feels like five lifetimes ago) I was a little puddle of devastated sadness: Thirteen kilograms heavier than healthy, chain smoking and binge eating, lonely and bitter and tired. Oh SO tired.

I had just stepped out of my latest disastrous relationship, once again the victim of mental, emotional and sexual abuse, and felt as though I’d never be able to drag myself from this gigantic black hole I had gotten into. The “relationship” had taken its toll. No matter how I had pretzeled myself to fit my notion of what this guy wanted me to be, no matter how hard I tried and how many times I stood on my own heart and stomped, I had failed. I was quite simply not good enough to be loved.

A dear friend of mine was at the time in her second year of studying the beautiful art of belly dance, and I’d attended a few of her shows, longingly staring at the gorgeous, happy women as they swayed and dazzled to exotic songs. At a tea date with said friend she suggested I attend a beginner class with her. “Oh,” I thought, “I don’t belong there.”

These were strange thoughts coming from a girl who had loved dancing so much in her youth, who had excelled as a student of ballet and other forms of dance. But you see, I felt as though this dancing part of me, along with many other expressions of my feminine beauty, were long dead. I was disgusted with the world and especially myself. There was no hope of ever finding joy again.

I think it was loyalty to my friend and a need to just keep going, that convinced me to try it once, despite my low self-esteem and non-existent energy levels. I also knew I had to take some form of exercise, but after training for triathlons, attempting and failing to beat my body into submission at the gym for months (read “trying to impress the boyfriend”) only to be smacked down a week before the race with german measles, and the resulting inflammation of my joints and weakness of my body just seemed to linger forever.

But I went, if only to reassure my friend that I was indeed “fine.”

Then, slowly at first, but sometimes in quantum leaps, I began to heal and change. I remember the exact moment, one night after dancing, when I looked inside my broken soul and found a little sparkly shred of feminine joy, a promise from the Goddess: Nurture THIS and you will be whole again.

So I did. And it seemed effortless for once! There is something so powerful about connecting with my own perfect body; flaunting its unique quirks and curves with pride and loving each small mastery of that little-muscle-you-never-knew-you-had! After feeling so out of control for so long, I finally began to give myself permission to be. To be fabulous, to be up or down, to be beautiful in my divine sequined bedlah costume or my oldest, dearest fuzzy PJs… To be accepted by ME, all the time.

I began to treat myself with the love I felt I deserved, giving myself nutritious food and adorning my body with beautiful clothing and jewelry, working with the things that made me feel good! I lost 13 kg in six months, by working WITH my body instead of beating myself up for not being “perfect”.

My body shape has been transformed from “heavy legs” and “saddlebags” to curves that I love and enjoy. Or maybe it’s just that I see myself differently, and that what was once ugly and flawed is now beautiful and accepted!

You are beautifulThe crushing loneliness I thought I’d never escape is now a thing of the past. When I began dance lessons I preferred being a hermit, staying at home to lick my wounds with a bottle of wine. Nowadays I am surrounded by the most exquisitely beautiful and interesting women, aged five to seventy-five, and although I’m still no social butterfly I always look forward to some social time with the people I love. We don’t just dance together! We throw each other surprise birthday parties. We celebrate new babies, new marriages, new jobs and new milestones. We offer support and love when the world becomes too dark to face alone and we are there to give gentle and sympathetic advice when needed. When our hearts are broken into a million pieces we know there are ample soft hands to hold the pieces together until we are able to heal. When our hearts are filled to the brim with life’s goodness there are many kind voices whispering “Yes! You go, girl!”

We remind each other daily: “You are loved. You are beautiful. You belong. You are a goddess.”

For this I will be eternally grateful.”

I want to thank my fellow student of dance for allowing me to share this letter with all of you.

My Nearly Naked Debut

I promised I would tell you all about my Belly Dancing Showcase Debut so here goes……

For those of you who are new to my blog, I took up belly dancing in February this year.  I am not a very physical person – I hate gym.  Have never danced and have 2 left feet.  I have been on a mission lately to challenge myself.  I have always been quite reserved and not very adventurous.  So I picked something that was, in my books, way out there.  And belly dancing certainly was when I started.

I coerced my daughter-in-law to join me and she gladly accepted.  After the first 2 lessons, I knew I would stick it out.  I have loved every minute of if.  I feel like I fit in and have a wonderful, patient teacher.   The biggest challenge for me was the choreography.  I am typically a thinker and you can’t overthink when dancing – you just need to do it!  Anyway, we were informed a few months ago that we would be expected to perform on stage in a showcase at the end of our term.

I worked real hard in learning the routine and spent last week in a panic as I had not mastered it all yet.  I was also working on a huge event last week so was not able to rehearse and I was working 20 hour days.  My event finished on Saturday and my showcase was on Sunday.

So I woke up early on Sunday.  Collected my daughter-in-law and we drove through to Roodepoort.  The show was at the ProMusica theatre, seating about 400 people.  We had Make-up scheduled for 8.30am.  Photoshoot at 11am.  Walk though on stage at 1pm.  A show at 3pm and another at 6pm.  So a busy day ahead.

The Make-up artist was brilliant.  I hate make-up and can’t bear feeling like I have gunge on my face all day.  It makes me feel claustrophobic.  She spent almost an hour doing our make-up with false eyelashes the works.  And I felt like a million bucks.  So she had a huge part to play in making the day very special for me.

We then went off to find the dressing rooms.  There were 4.  2 Chorus and 2 smaller ones.  We chose the one smaller for 6.  We thought we would secure 2 dressing tables for the 6 in our group and would share with many other dancers.  Thankfully, no one bothered to join us so the 6 of us had the dressing room all to ourselves.  It was great for morale and of course we spent every free moment rehearsing our routine.

it was freezing backstage.  We were going to be very cold for the day!

Once we got unpacked and dressed up in costume no 1 (brrrrr), we went to find the photographer.  I am generally not very photogenic so I hope she took some nice pics.  Haven’t seen them yet.  Once she did the first set, we went off to change into costume no 2 and went to have some more pics taken.

By that time we all started running out of time so we never got to have our group shots taken.  It was 1pm and time for a walk through on stage.  Originally there was only one show scheduled and it sold out fast so they put a second show in.  So thy had to move the time of the first performance forward.  Therefore there was no time for a full rehearsal.  Just time enough for a quick walk through with placing on stage.

So chaos reigned for the next 90 minutes while we all came on and off stage  placing ourselves and getting familiar with the stage.  Quite daunting for me.  Although I have spent many many hours on stage through out my career, I have never actually been on it when the lights are on and an audience watching.

We had final call at 2.45.  We were to get show ready and get on stage for the opening number. The opening number had all 70 odd of us on stage at the same time.  My group (the beginners) only came on stage towards the end of the opening.  Daunting enough let me tell you.  You suddenly realise you are in front of loads of people focussing on you.

In fact I was not nervous.  I was  not concerned about the lights or the people.  The only thing I had on my mind was “remember to smile”.  That and remembering the choreography.  And what is the first thing my kids said to me after the performance – “You could have smiled mommy”.  So I hate to think how much I messed up on the choreography.

I was a lot better in the second show.  I think if we did another one or two shows I would have been perfect.  Dancing in a studio versus the stage are very different.  Especially when it comes to spacing and where are you compared to the others on stage.

They took a video of the performance.  When I get it, I will see if there are any suitable parts to post for you all along with some of the photographs from the photographer.

I had a really good time and I would perform on stage anytime again – even in my nearly nothings.  We all had a great time.  I can’t wait to get back to class and start rehearsing for next years show.

Just goes to show that sometimes it is worth challenging yourself – you may just end up enjoying yourself in the process.

What other challenges shall I concur………

Finding My Inner Goddess – In Sequins!

It is less than a month away till my Belly Dance debut.  I am performing for the very first time on stage.  And I’m scared shitless!

I started Belly Dancing in February this year as a personal challenge.  I must stress the point that I have never danced in my life and I have 2 left feet.  I also work in the events industry and I am very much a behind the scenes kinda person.  I don’t like being in the spotlight.  Belly Dancing has helped me find my Inner Goddess and helped me face many personal challenges – getting up on stage in front of hundreds of people being one of them.  Not to mention that I will be wearing next to nothing!

Belly Dancing

My costume is ready for final fitting and we have our one and only dress rehearsal on Sunday.  I have been stressing all week and eating myself to death – hope my costume still fits by then!

Bought some kitsch earrings to go with my costume.

Kitsch Earrings

Going to look for some more accessories tomorrow. Having hair done early Sunday morning, then dress rehearsal Sunday afternoon.

May need a few shots of Whiskey on Sunday!

We were informed today that the show is sold out, and they have decided to put on a second show. So I now have 2 opportunities to make an absolute fool of myself (be still my beating heart).

Belly Dance - Dancing Divinity

All that glitters

I took up Belly Dancing earlier this year – another one of my personal challenges.  We are now starting to get ready for our first showcase in early August.  Rehearsals are well on their way already and we were told to start thinking about what costumes to wear.

Usually the costumes are coordinated on a group basis, but the “beginners” are allowed to wear a costume of their choosing.  Our instructor has asked us to not spend a lot of money on our costume as it is a once off that we will be wearing it.

So I have spent the weekend at the local China mall here and managed to find bits and pieces that will do just fine as my costume (I hope).

I must admit it is a little bit of challenge imaging that I will have to wear this in public – and on a stage. I thought I would give you a glimpse of it.  Will show the finished product off when it’s show time.

Messages on a Board – Poi

I told you about the messages my son leaves on my board in the kitchen a few days ago.  He wrote a new meassge today so I thought I would share.  This one has a bit of a story.

My son has suddenly discovered POI.  Now I had no idea what this was until a couple of days ago. Apparently there is a kid at school who does it and my son now wants to go for lessons blah blah blah.  Needless to say, he has started twirling any and everything he can find in the house.  Not only does he want to do Poi (hope I’ve used the term correctly), but he wants to do “Fire Poi”.

So he is now trying to talk me into a) paying for the lessons and b) buying his POI “gear”. 

My son sent me a few YouTube clips as part of his sales pitch and of course mentioned that clip no 3 shows how I can go for lessons as well and use it with my Belly Dancing.  (Yeah….maybe not!). 

Feel free to view the clips below.