Wow, these photos ended up *huge*, but thanks so much to Cori (one of Liora’s Mayura Blue student troop members) for being a good sport and snapping several photos of my outfit!
The belly dance performances at Ladies’ Night Out were lovely, and it was awesome to see the different styles of the various instructors at Austin Bellydance. Bahaia has a more Spanish inspired style (at least for the choreography her student troop did) while the others added their own twists such as Kirsten’s (I think that’s right) wonderful Gothy number to a pop song. Afterwards we did a sample Zumba number with Tara, who will be teaching classes at the studio on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings…Okay, I may have to budget for this, too, because I felt so energized and positive even though I had to try to avoid popping out of my top on some of the more extreme moves. We mostly milled about and just danced a little or chatted after the Zumba, and I connected with a more experienced dancer, Chantal, who decided she wasn’t ready to go home after the event wrapped up around 10:30 (I was awkwardly trying to mirror her dance moves, which was a little hilarious since I’ve only had eight weeks of bellydance plus I was in heels!). I decided to throw caution to the wind and join her to hit up Phara’s on North Loop (ironically, across from Vulcan Video and Forbidden Fruit when I was trying to have a relatively family friendly evening!).
Phara’s is a Mediterranean restaurant and hookah bar that also has live music and a belly dancer out on the patio. It is also BYOB, and Chantal happily stopped for a bottle of white wine on the way. I had been careful about drinking too much because my depression has been problematic recently, but I did have a small amount, which might explain how I allowed Chantal to shove me on the dance floor with the professional dancer! I tried mirroring her moves but mostly just went with the music. Keep in mind that I was the only person on the dance floor besides the pro at this point, so everyone was watching me twirl (that skirt is amazeballs for swirling around your legs) and clomp on the dance floor. I finally coaxed Chantal out, and gradually more people joined us. By the time the music was done we were sweaty and exhausted, but it had been so fun! For once I didn’t worry about how I looked as I danced I just went with it. We ended up taking a taxi back to North Austin since Chantal didn’t feel safe to drive, and I finally got home around 1AM. Wow! Definitely more crazy than my usual!
I’d like to go back to Phara’s again, but I also need to go out dancing regularly. The endorphin rush was wonderful, and I think it will help with my stress and depression if I can get that feeling more often. Besides sometimes you need to just let loose and not worry too much…even if you can’t wear a bra with your top, so you’re at risk of popping out as you bounce around the floor!