Goddess Night: December 2013 - Meredith, Najia, and Sacred Geometry
December tends to be when folks go into hibernate mode but not when it comes to Goddess Night. Per usual, there was good company to fill the hearts and yummy vegan food to fill the tummies. Then there were two performances to fill the souls.
Meredith headlined the evening with a beledi performance. Or baladi or whichever is preferred. It's an improvised dance that should not look choreographed. Being the dancer, I'll speak in the first person for a bit at the request of Najia.
"Hi. I'm not a pro dancer. Not if your idea of a pro dancer is being hired for shows and such. But if your idea of a pro dancer is someone who really works to dance from their soul and bring you along for the ride, yeah, I might be that kind of pro. At least that's what I aspire to be. I've performed before for ballet, jazz, musicals, plays, chorales. However, this performance was my first ever for bellydance. It was stupid how nervous I was, especially for dancing in front of such loving people. I couldn't ask for a better environment for my first time. I suppose the whole improv part was what made it a little nerveracking. I must have listened and practiced to that song a thousand times before getting on stage.
But how do you practice for improv? I sure didn't know. So I just danced. I tried different moves, different emotions, different facial expressions, anything I could think of to make each time different. It was something Najia told me that really solidified what I was aiming for, in the end. She said this dance was like a young woman showing off her skills to the mother of a man she was interested in so that the mother would be impressed by her feminine ways and recommend that her son look into meeting the young woman. As a westerner, it sounded a little crazy at first but the more I thought about it the more I remembered things I did to impress my boyfriend's mom, to show her how good I'd be to her son, how smart I was or how good my cooking is, all kinds of things. But always, I tried to do it with humility. Let's be real. Everyone has room to learn. Then I took that feeling - the confidence mixed with humility - and tried to show that in the performance. Did I succeed? All I know is I learned a lot preparing for this performance and I have a lot more to learn before the next one! Check out the video above and let me know what you think." - Meredith
Meredith was followed by Najia herself in a candle tray and veil dance. It's always a s
pecial night when Najia is able to grace us with a performance. She left everyone in a flutter. Her arms like flowing water and her facial expressions always on point. There's never a moment where the mystical aspect is broken while watching her glide across the stage.
Then everyone joined Najia for a short workshop on Sacred Geometry. Starting with centering ourselves and some mild stretching so no one would injure themselves, the experimenting began. Everyone first chose a shape and then a body part. Najia went through some examples such as arm spirals (starting with the shoulds and out to the fingertips and back again) and rib cage circles. Then the fun began! Everyone moving and twisting and spiraling. Some slow, some fast, and quietly there were some bones cracking as the students loosened up. The whole experience was rather trance-like. By the end, most if not all of the students were more limber in both body and mind.