New Year’s Eve belly dancing hurt me in many ways
By Ann Ipock January 20, 2010
I had no idea that partying New Year’s Eve could be so expensive and so very painful! And that, in addition, these problems would be ongoing a full week after the holiday passed. But that’s what I get for trying to keep up with Sasha, the belly dancer. Let me explain:
It all started when hub-Russ and I went to a party at a local Greek restaurant that featured belly dancing as entertainment. This restaurant is owned by the family of our daughter, Katie’s, boyfriend, Michael. So I knew the food would be spectacular, the ambience amazing and the festivities memorable. And they were! This is a restaurant that we discovered a few years back and we’ve been regulars ever since.
The only downer was that Katie and Michael didn’t go out with us because Katie had her four wisdom teeth extracted that very morning. Instead, Michael was happily feeding Katie Jell-O, pudding and milkshakes. Isn’t he a doll? Russell and I were enjoying the evening with our many friends—Greeks, Italians, Southerners and Northerners, dining, laughing and thoroughly enjoying the music and the dazzling, beautiful Sasha—as if this were an every night occurrence. Her dancing was tasteful, exotic and perfectly timed. Her silky, colorful scarves were flying all around her, the small cymbals (zils) in her delicate hands clanged to the beat of the rhythm and her tiny feet lifted her body as her hips swayed. Everyone was mesmerized. Then it happened: she asked for a volunteer from the audience. Why not? I thought. It’s New Year’s Eve. Live a little! Try something new! As I slipped into the spotlight I saw Russell (Oscar the Grouch) roll his eyes and smirk.
Now, please understand, I’d never make it to “Dancing with the Stars”, but let’s just say I do have a little rhythm. In fact, I’ve been practicing a little belly dancing lately with “Shimmy” on Fit TV; learning the Maya, the hip-piston, cut turn, chest camel and other moves. So I was fair game. I took cues from Sasha as I moved my hips back and forth, softened my knees and even did snake arms, all while twisting and turning. I was feeling pretty agile—“loose as a goose,” they say. It wasn’t long before I was hearing some applause and Sasha herself said I was “very good.” True, I didn’t have the body, the hair, the costume or the youth of Sasha, but I almost—notice I say almost—felt like we were on an even keel. (In hindsight, who was I kidding?) The night wore on and a couple of others took the challenge, dancing with Sasha and taking a few pointers as they went along.
After that, Russell and I returned home early for our yearly ritual: to watch the ball drop on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve TV show (and to avoid crazy drivers on the highway), then made our annual toast, shared a midnight kiss and off to bed we went. The next day went fine. In fact, I don’t remember anything special except going to the grocery store and watching a movie that night.
But the third day, oh, that third day—OMG! I woke up with excruciating back pain. I crawled out of bed, grabbed some Extra-Strength Tylenol and a glass of water and muttered a few choice words. Eventually, I limbered up a bit, but the pain returned once more. Since then I’ve used a heating pad, tried light stretching and again, Tylenol. I thought I was getting better and decided to waste no more time, by keeping my New Year’s resolution of getting trim and fit. Off to the gym I went this morning with a little pain but a whole lot of determination. I decided my aerobics class would either “cure me” or “kill me.” Guess which one happened?
Moaning, groaning, and unable to lift my arms over my head, I somehow drove my wretched body to my doctor’s office. It wasn’t easy because my back muscles spasmed while simply holding the steering wheel. Plus I couldn’t turn my head to switch lanes. I hobbled up the sidewalk and into the doctor’s examining room, trying to explain the who/what/when/where/why of my dilemma. She touched the areas that were sore and even though it hurt, it felt good in a weird way. I told her it reminded me of a massage, which I’ve sorely missed lately. After a prescription of cortisone and a muscle relaxer, she advised me (doctor’s orders) to get that massage in about a week—after the swelling goes down.
I’m here to tell you that my belly dancing experience cost me a lot. Pain. Pride. Frustration. Money: Who would’ve thought I’d spend about $160, everything considered? But this is the worst part: What about my New Year’s resolution of a slim, trim body? I sure hope the rest of 2010 shapes up a little better, no pun intended.