"Locked in this dance is a secret language that tells the story of women's lives... their passions and their spirituality, their sacrifices, their joys, their intuitions, their emotional life drama." ---Delilah
Woohoo! How exciting! Time for me to focus on another sensual woman…for February I have chosen the vibrant, succulent and alive Michelle Scott. Her love and enthusiasm for belly dancing just oozes’ from her.
Yes she is my teacher…and believe me she has her work cut out!!! No gold stars in evidence yet for this mature darling…ummm yes I mean me!
I have always been fascinated by belly dancing it is the epitome of sensuality. Did you know that it was developed for women by women and having it considered male entertainment happened way down the track…and that is exactly what I am finding?
It is such a delight to be with women, being sensual, being playful, and being feminine. However I am running away with myself…back to Michelle. We talked about life first and the belly dancing just seemed to flow from there.
What do I admire about her? Michelle is confident, happy, has a gorgeous smile, she connects, moves beautifully, is so at home in herself and has the most contagious laugh ever.
‘Sensuality and sexuality are natural and inter-linked, relationships are everything. Men and women, the yin yang – we all have our roots firmly planted in sexuality’, she said thoughtfully.
When we are young and ‘hot to trot’, sex is spontaneous, no waiting, in there like a shot…and it is all about ‘I am,’ and ‘me, me, me’.
It is not until much later that relationships mature and bloom… they become just so much more. Touch, caress and communication happens at a deeper level. Mature women have lived, they are more sure and secure in who they are…and they are not afraid to say so! They don’t need to prove themselves or to rush and ‘get in quick’, it is more about slowing down, savouring, relishing and enjoying the moment.
And to use her Dad’s expression sex is at the ‘root of everything’- no pun intended!
It is so easy in an established relationship for it to slip into dull, to become almost clinical and robotic and to forget the sensual side which created the attraction in the first place. Have you ever been there? I think most of us have at some stage.
Young people’s perception of sex today is affected by so many outer influences and the net and terms like ‘sex me up’ and ‘they are sexing’ are commonplace. Whatever happened to the term ‘making love’? And…more importantly when did it stop being beautiful and sensual?
Michelle sees developing sensuality as re-discovering closeness, touch and caring. And sensual behaviour may or may not lead to sex. Interesting that my blog ‘Paint the Ceiling Beige’ is described as ‘a mature woman’s guide to rediscovering sensuality’, it rather echoes my thoughts.
Now down to the nitty gritty….how did Michelle find belly dancing?
Well it found her! She was living in Kununurra in WA, a remote place by any standards and working at TAFE, a single mum raising her daughter. Her girlfriend, Lan who has alopecia (amazing how co-incidences occur considering that I featured Pat Law last month, a beautiful friend of mine who has alopecia), is one of those gorgeous, sensual and cute women who appeal to men.
They were having dinner and Lan says ‘when was your last date?’ Michelle’s response set her off… NO DATE, NO SEX FOR 2 YEARS, she yelled …your hips are locked you need to belly dance!
In true girlie fashion, Lan produced a worn out old tape by George Abdu and they pushed the furniture back, rolled up the mats, turned on the music and away they danced …well sort of ‘I was terrible, just terrible even though we thought we were gorgeous!’ Michelle laughingly tells me.
"A filmy veil, floating gracefully around a whirling dancer is a special ethereal vision." ---Dahlen
A shift to Perth did not dent her enthusiasm and Lan and she went up and down the length of WA. On one of those visits Michelle met Keti Sharif, an amazing woman and even more amazing dancer….Michelle reverts to giggling and laughter saying ‘I was seriously terrible you know’.
Michelle, a mover and shaker, got thinking… back to Kununurra she went and talked to her boss…the outcome – a workshop for 15 people with Keti over 10 hours throughout a weekend. Wow what a marathon! Then Keti says ‘You should to teach it!’ Michelle burst our laughing and then thought why not…well actually she says. I did not teach. ‘I facilitated’.
With Keit’s help her belly dancing career began and it was the best thing that ever happened to me Michelle recalls.
At first it was mainly friends then it grew larger and suddenly Michelle was exposed to these wonderful alive and vibrant women, how utterly fantastic!
It took her on a journey of self discovery, developed self confidence, she learned new skills and realised how much she loved multi-culturalism. She became passionate about the music, the rhythm and the Middle Eastern culture.
Her first group in Darwin was called ‘Hidden Veils’, then onto Darwin where she got involved and set up ‘Midnight Oasis’ meanwhile her dancing continued to improve as she worked with Keti. Her passion grew, she was totally in tune with the music and as her interest in multi cultural art grew so did her connections with amazing women.
During this journey Michelle learned so much more about herself, who she was, her sensual self matured and she made three decisions…she knew she would raise her daughter alone, she would keep her safe and she would continue to dance to express her sensual self.
Michelle realised in working with women that many of them were uncertain about their sexuality and sensuality, they were shy, not comfortable with sex, with their partner and worse many were not sexually active at all.
Belly dancing utilises those age old movements that give women the opportunity to re-discover their beautiful inner selves, it encourages you to feel and look attractive, to move with grace and elegance. In learning to dance with veils for example it allows women to see themselves as beautiful, attractive and gorgeous.
‘If I have helped 10 women to achieve this than I am a success’ Michelle says. Believe me readers, Michelle has had a positive effect on a lot more than 10.
Dancing gives you:
· Free-ness and flexibility
· The ability to discover beautiful parts of yourself – hands, arms, a ready smile, how to use your eyes expressively.
· The entertainment factor, being comfortable to stand and perform in front of others, do what you love and to feel sensual
The women in Middle Eastern countries wearing a veil are amazing, they:
· Have learned to use and connect using their eyes expressively. You know the sort of eyes I mean, that sexy smoky look enhanced by the liberal use of kohl
· Communicate well with each other sharing the ‘he did, she did’ details of their lives like we all do.
· Have lots of giggles with other women no matter how straight and conservative they seem.
· Hold hands walking down the street with no embarrassment
· Are simply sensual, you simply look at them and you know!
Michelle has found it similar in other cultures Aboriginal, African, Greek. Indian women achieve amazing results with jewels on their face, huge earrings and other facial jewellery.
They understand you don’t have to be uncovered to be sexy…it is the lure of the promised but not yet delivered that is enticing to men. In Australia the accepted stereo is lean, tanned, big boobs preferably hanging out and blonde.
In other cultures being voluptuous is preferred and appreciated
Back to belly dancing locally… Michelle loves dancing and teaching at her home in her own space, a dedicated space where women feel welcomed, safe and appreciated for who and what they are…and to top it off creating an atmosphere where you can be flirty and sensual. How can it get better than that?
With that excitement bubbling away inside her Michelle shared that she was thrilled to be ‘host’ for a trip to Egypt. The trip is being organised by Live it Travel http://www.liveittravel.com.au/tours/rhythyms_of_egypt/ – we are currently seeking interested women…imaging the thrill of belly dancing in Egypt! Take a peek it looks fantastic! My decision is made I am in!
Michelle still has beautiful memories of her previous trip Cairo, Giza, the Sphinx, pyramids and although she had seen photos and documentaries she was not prepared for the rush of emotions that engulfed her when she was physically there.
The sheer size, colour and beauty were incredible. I had an opportunity to visit the Abu Sir pyramids after hours, just our small group for an experience of a lifetime being at the alabaster altar in the Temple of Ra, meditating at sunset. It was an amazing experience; it was a Friday, party night and wedding night, hearing the talking and laughing ringing out in the distance. How utterly fabulous to be there, in a sacred temple with the custodians of the site in their traditional dress, the galebayah’s in sight yet leaving the group to have their experience unhindered. It was an exquisitely wonderful, spiritual experience.
Michelle, with her fabulous warm personality… particularly enjoyed communicating with the locals. The Egyptian women she found sexy and sensual. With no common language they communicated with their hands, smiling and laughing and just the odd word or phrase thrown in. These women are so comfortable in their bodies regardless of their size. They are large in persona, so warm and beautiful, they love life and have so much fun. They love to touch, put their arms around each other with no sexual connotation, simply women being women enjoying each others company as women do all over the world.
Mostly the men were respectful and they learned very quickly to cover up – or risk being openly hassled. Their culture associates being uncovered with loose morals.
Michelle’s smiling final comment … she needed one, because you see I feel there is a distinction between sensuality and sexuality.
To me sensual is the way you move, the way you talk and act, the lure of the promised but not yet delivered…sexy is raw lust.
Sensual is that feeling that causes your mind to drift...to dream...to discover that inner voice that alerts your other senses that something wonderful is occurring. Sexy, on the other hand, is physical.
Sexy is something that is deliberately put out there and sensual is an emotional feeling which can be deliberate but requires a connection.
Michelle had the last say…if we procreated by sprinkling women’s seed in the garden, and men fertilised the seeds there…all the fun would be gone…there would be no need for sensuality building to a sexual experience. Uummm blew my theory out the window…Ok I concur sensuality and sexuality are linked! My parting shot…thank heavens Michelle is not in charge of procreation!
Ladies, Michelle is indeed larger then life, she has a huge heart and she is generous and supportive and has a wonderful sense of humour…oohhhh and did I mention she is a fantastic belly dancing teacher. You can find her at http://www.bellydancesc.com.au
There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them." - Vicki Baum