Belly Dancing and Blisters

I would like to open this long delayed post with the fact that I, for the first time in my life, fainted. It is a bit of a long and mundane tale to how this happened to me, however I am ridiculously eager to tell my debut experience of passing out.

When I did this I didn't look half as graceful or elegant. Plus there wasn't a nobleman present to let me fall into his arms.

More on that later…

On Wednesday evening I had my first belly dancing class! What a liberation, what refreshment from all the confinement of the tiny boarding school. The classes are held in a base where you can take up all types of dancing lessons. It brought back memories of when I used to watch my Mum have Nepalese dance classes here. I was about 6/7 years old and there were only 3 people in the whole class.

Now here I was, a decade later, taking dance classes of my own. The size of the Beginner’s Bellydancing group was pretty big (20+) and I was not surprised to see that I was the youngest participant there. Every other female (no males thank goodness for their own sake) was either middle aged or of a university student age.

The room where the class took place was wonderful. One wall was covered in floor length mirrors, the other was a huge window looking out onto pretty little Edinburgh. Big, bright, cool and the clear blue sky – all clouds were wiped away by the hurricane winds from previous days – was reflected in the mirrors.
Our teacher was petite, slim and so cheery. For warm-up we just followed the moves she was making and I wasn’t bothered about how stupid I looked (everyone looked/felt odd) I was focusing more on how happy and smiley she was when dancing. I hope that soon I can be like that too.

In the first few lessons, she told us that we’d be focusing on technique and posture. Posture is quite straightforward for me to pick up since I have to think about it all the time when I’m playing violin or piano. We only did a few ‘simple’ moves and I could handle most of them okay; hip movements, twist movement, shimmy of shoulders/chest and shaking of legs/lowerbody.

(I seriously can’t get to grips with the shoulder shimmy. I just look awful and I end up shaking my whole body. Imagine a highschool prom where there’s a girl or nerd who tries too hard to dance like an MTV popstar – that’s how it looks on me.)

– I know Napolean isn’t shimmying here, but this is kind of how I feel/look like…

My favourite move so far is the twisty hip one. Basically you move your hips in a figure of 8. I only like it because I could do it – when the teacher walked round to see how we were doing, she said even just from looking at my feet, I was doing it ‘very well’. You have no idea what that sort of comment means to me. Now I can’t stop doing it.

Our teacher emphasized the importance of not moving your hips like the booties on pop music videos. Keep knees soft but don’t ‘sit’ on your hip. Straight-line movements only and you can use the bottom hem of your top to align yourself. Apparently it’s frowned upon if belly dancers are too ‘sexy’. This sort of dancing is sometimes taken place at home with family.

So there ends the ‘going on about’ of my new crazy hobby. This will not be the last you will hear of this. Unfortunately for my friends at school, they have to physically put up with me talking about it. (I apologize to any of them who hate it, but I don’t actually regret blabbering about it. I love it too much to stop. It’s the only ‘life’ I have outside of music.)

Now… About fainting. This all happened when I visited the GP today about bizarre blisters that have been appearing on my calves. They start off a bit like an insect bite, then grow into something my roomate and I call mini ‘Haribo eggs’.

It's not as big as that, and there isn't any 'egg white' surrounding it either.

I’m sorry to have to go into details. I’m afraid it is necessary for this fascinating story.

The doctor hadn’t a clue what was the cause of this problem and told me to ask the nurse to do some blood testing/swabs and come back a week later to see results. I wasn’t bothered about the thought of needles. I’m not usually squeamish… But I did feel a bit scared given that I hadn’t been pierced by one for a few years.

The nurse had one needle and 3 or 4 detachable ‘cylinders’ where the blood would be contained.

For the first 2 rounds, I was thinking,

“Hey, this is okay. I’ve done this before. It’ll be fine!”

Then when she started taking out blood for the 3rd one I felt extremely dizzy. I think I mumbled to the nurse:

“Uuuh I feel dizzy…”

Then everything went black.

It went black so quickly I couldn’t even make out how I got in this ‘blackness’. It wasn’t quite like being asleep. It was deeper than that. (Is this what it feels like to … die?)  I have a feeling that my mind was thinking while all this was happening but I can’t remember any images or words.

Muffled sounds creeped their way back in. It didn’t feel like I was waking up, it felt more like I was dreaming.
This sort of corrupted my thoughts because I wasn’t sure if I was in reality. It gave me the impression that all that GP check-up business was in my imagination and that passing out was the reality.

Thinking back the whole thing is kind of exciting in a warped kind of way, but at the time I obviously couldn’t think properly. Next thing I noticed was the nurse helping me put my head between my knees. I felt so sick. I couldn’t help but smile at that moment because previously I would never have imagined myself fainting at blood testing.

Despite feeling like I had been drugged, I was back at school pretty soon. You can’t bear to fall behind in class, otherwise it will cost you time and sleep. Missing a lesson of Higher Maths is highly unadvisable and potentially ‘dangerous’. This week I will have missed 2 – help meee…

– Thanks for reading. I hope I haven’t put people off Haribo sweets.


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