Morocco is the godmother of bellydance. She has danced all over the world, taught all over the world, and made friends all over the world. She choreographs and teaches choreography at workshops, and she can teach without losing her breath. She has an amazing memory. She can remember steps, execute them over and over, and not break a sweat.
By the way, she is also 70 years old, and she can kick my ass.
I attended her workshop this last weekend, where I got to learn 2 new choreo pieces for 5 hours. I’m starting to get used to choreography again. When I was in high school, I could pick up steps instantly; one of the dance instructors whom I danced with at a party told me that I was a quick learner. I was once scared of losing that gift of remembering, but the Morocco workshop taught me that I’m ok, and I can still pick things up fast.
However, I still get tired easily, and the Morocco workshop told me that I need to keep my strength up. Sure, I didn’t perspire one bit, but only because the weather over here is too dry to get my sweat glands working. I was perspiring inside, if that makes any sense. My muscles were getting tired out, my shimmies were losing strength, and my layering was getting clumsy. But hey, I could remember the steps and make them great when I could.
Morocco herself was, in a word, awesome. She had so many stories about bellydancing and breaking down barriers, not to mention stereotypes. She was as funny as she was humble – and by humble, I don’t mean shy and quiet. I mean someone who knows her own limits and isn’t afraid to parody herself – someone who doesn’t talk like she knows everything. She lets her credentials speak for themselves. Sure, she made references to knowing people, but she never sounded like she was talking down to any of us.
And then there was the hafla that night, and then I got home a little after midnight, and then we had dancing, and yes, I am tired.
Ladies and gentlemen, my ass has been kicked by a 70-year old woman. An AMAZING 70-year old woman.