A New Form of Poetry
As I sat
at an open mic poetry, soaking in the delightful poems being presented, there
was one poet that stood out to me that particular evening. A woman named
Shannon went up on stage and courageously stepped outside of the norm to perform
her poem while simultaneously bellydancing. It’s not a combination that I would’ve
ever considered go together, but it was quite magical and intriguing. I immediately
wanted to know more.
she read my thoughts, after she finished, she mentioned her Poetry in Motion workshop
that she was a part of, and there was an upcoming event in the month of April.
I could not resist the opportunity to see more and explore this blending of art
A Warm Environment
no idea what to expect when going in, but I entered, fully prepared to feel
completely incompetent and inadequate. What I found was two inviting teachers,
Aruni and Shannon, who immediately put my mind to rest that I did not need to
be skilled in any way. Don’t get me wrong, I was still very bad at dancing, but
I was able to not worry so much about that. They made it incredibly easy to
simply enjoy watching them share their knowledge and there was no judgement on my
humble attempts at following their direction.
Bellydancing – Aruni
led the bellydancing portion of the class, and elegantly demonstrated each
move. Aruni is a poet and she has over 20 years of experience in bellydancing.
The amount of grace she has in her movements is astounding. You could see her heart
has poured into this style and it is truly a wonder to watch. I almost forgot
at times that I was trying to learn the moves as I was captured by examining
the skill that clearly took hours upon hours to perfect.
liked about her teaching was that she focused on individuality. She said that
we don’t need to dance like other people, rather we should dance from our own
hearts. She encouraged us to feel the music and express it the way that we
perceive it. Finding my own perception was rather difficult for me, as none of
the movements felt natural to my non-rhythmic body. However, I do think my
awkward turtle dance is probably still a somewhat accurate reflection of how I
see the world.
concept behind bellydancing was quite empowering. Aruni said that it is a way
to get out of your head and into your hips. It is not for some sort of gawking
eyes to watch, but to be sensual for yourself. Bellydancing is primarily a
dance that women do together, not so much as a way to entice men. It’s about
embracing your body as your own, feeling free, throwing away body shaming
thoughts, and enjoying your own curves. I found this to be strangely soothing, like
a unique form of self-care.
Poetry – Shannon
second half of the workshop was taught by Shannon, a publisher and poet. Middle
Eastern style music and dance is not in her heritage, but it feeds her soul.
She is so excited about her work and such an encouraging person to be around. I
love the way she is all about building up poets and eagerly wants to display
their work. She diligently stays connected with all of the poetry outlets to be
able to direct her authors where to place submissions.
Shannon directed us through poetry
exercises, relating to the dance and movement. The idea was to get out of our
heads through dancing, and then back into our heads with a rejuvenated
perspective. There was a refreshing peace to be able to transition this way,
and it did give a little bit of a clear mind to work with when writing.
Book in the Making
addition to teaching, these creative individuals are putting together a book
wherein they collect poems that are created in the class! They are
collaborating the uniqueness of their talents to design something new and fresh
in the poetry world.
so impressed by the work that these individuals are doing. It was so clear that
they do this not because of money, but for the love of the art. They lose themselves
in the creative process while at the same time diligently work to make their
concepts a reality. In a chaotic world of day jobs, bills, and families, they
are still making art and passion a priority in their lives.
have more workshops coming up! Go check them out and share them with your
find them by clicking on the links below:
Poetry in Motion:
Bellydance and Poetry Workshop