It's almost been a year that we've been in Morocco now. And from time to time I get asked if I'm still belly dancing. Yes I am. Now, everyone has a gift. I often asked myself what mine could possibly be, until I recently figured it out. And no, it's not belly dancing. My gift is enjoying things I suck at. Most people have the common sense to give up things that they aren't good at, but not me.
Before we moved to Morocco I spent my time sucking at roller derby. I have always loved to skate. Combine that with the opportunity to hit on girls. And by hit on girls I mean "knock them to the ground" kinda hit on them. I ask you, what could be more fun? Somehow, the fact that I wasn't fast enough to be a good jammer or strategic enough to be a good pivot or intimidating enough to be a good blocker didn't stop me from having a really great time doing something I absolutely loved, albeit craptasticly.
(Hit play for an extremely brief clip of what roller derby looks like.)
Then there's belly dance, which I also absolutely love. And of course, there are some issues with my belly dancing. Let me just state the obvious. I come with an equipment handicap. I do not have the body of a belly dancer. So looking all sensuous and soft? Um, not so much. And then, I have also diagnosed myself with NDMA (Next Dance Move Amnesia). It's symptoms are: consistently forgetting which move comes next, paralyzing fear of not remembering what to do and and a nervous laugh to cover up the fact that you indeed F*^&*)$ up the dance yet again. I think it may be terminal. But I'm still looking for cures for this crippling disease.
How can I conquer NDMA? There must be a way. Freestyling to a song you don't know and videotaping it for public embarrassment? It's worth a shot...
(Hit play if you want to see one of the most embarrassing things I have ever done.)
Wait! Oh my god! I have it! It's...it's.....belly derby! Yes, it is all about being a woman and having an all female sport that we can kick ass at....and look really shimmery while we do it. If you think this sounds dumb let me remind you that curling is a sport. And it's in the Olympics.
Ok, so here's the rules. There are two 30 minute halves, broken up into 2 minute increments called the show. There are ten girls. They start at the back of the stage. There are 5 from each team. One of which is the "shimmy" and she is the only dancer on her team who can score points by passing the dancers on the opposing team on her way to the front of the stage. The dancers on her team protect her from the opposing teams' hits while simultaneously trying to knock the opposing teams' shimmy out of play and prevent her from earning points. The lead shimmy calls off the show by her putting her hands up in the air and omi-ing seductively.
Dancers must choreograph their own routine each show.
Dancers can move in all directions, but must remain on the stage to be in play.
Dancers can only engage a hit from shoulder to hip and they must jingle their coins during engagement.
Dancers can not de-coin another player.
Dancers must not break the flow of the dance, but moves can be performed on toe stops or while rolling.
Dancers must exhibit a seductive, sultry gaze during the show.
And yes, dancers can accept tips during the show at their discretion.
Dancers with penalties for infractions are sent to the box for 1 minute.
Dancers with major penalties, (such as de-coining another player or breaking the flow of the dance) are sent to the box and their tips are turned over to the other team.
Either the team with the most points or the most tips to bribe the referees.
I think this could work! Now, how many car washes would I have to have to raise enough money to start my own belly derby team? Oh, and I'll be at the corner of Ben Barka and Mohammed VI at the gas station with my hose, sponge and soap to wash your car from noon to 4pm this Saturday. I'll be taking donations...er....tips for the cause. Thanks for your support.