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01 December 2005 @ 11:45 am
Gender transgressions in dance  
Everyone's doing the 'Ten things about me' meme, which is great, except that I'm not terribly interesting. I may possibly do it later, if I'm bored, there being no new SV ep this weekend (*mopes*) but in the meanwhile I'll share the following humourous interlude in my life.

My Eqyptian belly dance class last night was an introduction to cane work, which apparently involves twirling phallic shaped objects around in a cheeky manner and being much with the mocking of the men.


My teacher is a ex-Goth classically trained ballet dancer who now specialises in sword and tribal dance. She's fab. In my first class she squeed about Harry Potter and explained that we were going to have to put up with a lot of 'snake arms' in her class because she was a Slytherin. She's also prone to offering visualisations to help us with certain movements. Orlando Bloom and chocolate sauce, for example.

So give Mel a cane and you have trouble! To her credit, I honestly believe she *tried* to give us a straightfaced explanation of the cultural history of cane work within Eqyptian dance. Evidently the traditional martial art for Eqyptian men involves stick fighting, which is practised to a particular rhythm. Women also dance to this rhythm and they may 'borrow' a cane (or stick) to dance with. They may mimic the masculine movements, but with feminine shimmies and hip flicks. It's cheeky and provocative.

'What's the word I'm looking for?' Mel asked as she strutted round the class, cane over shoulder.

'Um... cocky?'

'Yes!'

Pause while class recovers temporarily.

Mel (trying to talk over the giggles): 'Ok, ok. So the cane is phallic.'

She proceeded to teach us one of the traditional cane moves: twirling. Hand on her hip in mock-flirt posture, she twirled her cane in one hand.

One girl collapsed to the floor in hysterics. Mel stopped and glared at her. 'What?!'

Girl (doubled over on floor): 'Um... it's just, it's um... really sexual.'

I think this is where things went downhill. *g* Seriously, there is something very amusing about a room full of women twirling (mostly sparkly) phallic objects around. Especially when they are clumsy newbies. There were a lot of near accidents as canes flew out of hands while we learnt to twirl, including my cane nearly launching itself out of the first-floor window.

Part two of the lesson was whacking. Yes. That's right. There is a move called whacking. Mel, valiantly remaining straight-faced, explained that this often symbolised women reprimanding men. You kind of hop forward and whack your cane on the ground in front of you. She suggested we visualise an ex-boyfriend for this purpose. One enthusiastic member of the class attempted this immediately, smashing her cane down and thereby breaking it in half. Hm. Not really the intended result, but good to know she was channeling the right energy!

Much hopping and whacking later, our sides were aching more from the giggling than the abdominal exercises for once.

Other things you can do with canes: wave them above your head. Dance around them, point them at people, poke them sideways at other dancers, balance them on your head while you shimmy. The possibilities seem endless. *smirk*

So. I now own a cane. It's covered in purple velvet with gold sparkly bits and pom poms. Don't go there. No really. Don't! *glares at naughty f'list members*
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Current Mood: mischievousmischievous
 
 
 
roxymissroseroxymissrose on December 1st, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
Oooooo! Now I want a sparkley velvet covered phallic object!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:04 pm (UTC)
Everyone should have one! *twirls*
roxymissroseroxymissrose on December 1st, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
Oooooo! Now I want a sparkly velvet covered phallic object!
Cris: Clark - phallic much?duskwillow on December 1st, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
So. I now own a cane. It's covered in purple velvet with gold sparkly bits and pom poms. Don't go there. No really. Don't! *glares at naughty f'list members*
LMAO!!
Too late, because I'm so there!! lol

Sounds like an awesome class! :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)
*pictures Clark twirling his phallic glowing stick* LOL

*g* It was a great class! I just wished my LJ flist could have been there!
Cris: Clark - smirkduskwillow on December 2nd, 2005 12:01 am (UTC)
*pictures Clark twirling his phallic glowing stick*
Someone has been watching Arrival and Solitude I see...*eg*

But what a nice mental image.
Feliz: Chloe Sullivanfeliz581 on December 1st, 2005 02:54 am (UTC)
I find it hilarious that in the first paragraph you call yourself uninteresting and then your second paragraph begins with "My Egyptian belly dance class . . ." ! That's interesting!! ;D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark dance!bop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC)
Huh! There you go. *g*
*uses random dancing icon*
*points out that this is NOT the dancing she does!*
mystical van of doom: spn not scared/shiny thingsvoldything on December 1st, 2005 02:57 am (UTC)
I know those canes! They´re so cool! And SPARKLY! I have always wanted one, just to have it there... somewhere... and squee at it every once in a while *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Supernatural beatenbop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC)
Your icon is too funny! And you know the canes! Yay! I thought noone would know the canes... they are hilarious! and squee-enducing! *twirls cane*
Twirling them feels so GOOD.
And there was quite the battle in my dance school's shop afterwards over the fanciest ones!
CapnZebbie: stalkerkittycapnzebbie on December 1st, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
My dance classes have never been this fun. :) I gotta check out the belly dancing.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Willy Wonka own tunebop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, I totally recommend! I had no idea it was so much fun - and so complex - heaps of different types and traditions to learn from. It's very culturally interesting. (She says, attempting seriousness despite discussion of phallic objects. *g*)
nehellania on December 1st, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)
So. I now own a cane. It's covered in purple velvet with gold sparkly bits and pom poms. Don't go there. No really. Don't! *glares at naughty f'list members*
Posted at 11:45 am Se


Oh K, how you tempt me! ahem. You can now engage in bondage fun with Jules and Wendy!

Hee! That girl in your class who whacked the stick too hard? that would have been me! So much rage! :D

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: MR sassybop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC)
I was in a cheeky mood. It was the dance class that did it, for sure...

Hee! I can picture you with that cane! *g* Exes stand no chance!
Beckysadface on December 1st, 2005 10:33 am (UTC)
It's covered in purple velvet with gold sparkly bits and pom poms

I want one. Now.

I may have to make one.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bring it on Loisbop_radar on December 1st, 2005 12:11 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah! I loves mine. *twirls cane* Its my new favourite possession. *g* I recommend making one!