Bellydance during lock down

My last day at work was on Tuesday, March 12th. As instructed by my employer I took my laptop home just in case we wouldn’t be able to go back to the office for a while. On Friday the 13th, the Dutch government gave out the first advice to not go to your job unless you work in a vital industry. On Sunday the 15th they announced that schools and daycare would be closed until further notice. Don’t worry, I’ll soon shift to bellydance during lockdown later in this pst 🙂

The first week

We have been scrambling ever since to get our work done from home, do the schoolwork for our four year old, walk the dog, create entertaining and fun activities in and around the house and try to keep our mood swings and anxiety to ourselves. I worked on some sewing repair stuff on my to-do list but the first week I didn’t have time to do anything except fall into my bed at the end of the day.

As teachers were struggling with getting their classes online, I did a free webinar in a Dutch Facebook group for belly dancers about teaching online. Being able to help people lifted my spirits and made me feel useful and I started contemplating teaching online again.

I love watching all the online content that other bellydancers are creating but I am kind of overwhelmed with all the options. For now I’m sticking with my Sharqui subscription.

Second week

The second week got slightly better and I decided to get my vast collection of belly dance dvds out of the closet, bought an optic drive (were did all the cd-rom trays in laptops go?)
and start dancing again. It’s been sporadic but I try not to beat myself up. I asked my regular belly dance students if they would be interested in online streaming classes, and I started those as well.

Someone in the Dutch Facebook group for dancers started an online project for dance school owners of all styles of dance. Locking myself in the studio, dressing up and recording my 14 seconds was exhausting but also exciting. Kind of the excitement I feel right before a performance! You can see me around the 1.13 mark. It felt great to create something and to be part of a bigger picture.

On Sunday we had a video meeting for Roos, one of my dear friends and troupe member of Sense of Bellydance. It was her birthday and we were all so sad that we couldn’t celebrate with her. It was nice to talk and laugh together.

Third week

Argh, we’re still inside! We’re getting better at it though. Somehow we found some kind of rhythm in our days and we try to keep the weekends free. On Wednesday night I teach bellydance on Zoom, on Saturday afternoon I meet my MBA study group for capstone project. Mornings we do schoolwork with the oldest, my husband and I can both get some work done during the nap time of our youngest and we try to go outside every day.

I noticed a friend on facebook who was doing some kind of bellydance practice every day and keeping track on social media. I applaud her and thought I could do my own version. It obviously didn’t include dancing every day because tired and worn down, but at least I could try!

Did I join some of the free challenges on facebook? Did I sign up for something new? Nope, I bought an optic drive and got my bellydance dvd collection out! This week I did Jillina’s Hip up and shape out dvd (available as a download of over 3gb on Jillina’s website too). Ah, still good. I did stream a Bellyfit class because I felt like revisiting the Bellyfit format and the classes are always fun and keep me moving.


Fourth week

We were starting to get the hang of this lockdown thing. Mostly resorting to traditional role pattern with me taking the kids to the playground or on a cargo bike ride, and my husband being the hunter and doing the one every four days grocery shopping. My mood wasn’t great, I bounced between slight optimism and anxiety. My attention span is shot and I had a hard time concentrating on work.

What usually helped me through was dancing, so that’s what I did. I made a ‘no rush’ video with Sense of Bellydance which was fun!

This week I tried an intermediate Sharqui workout. I started with Sharqui because it was part of the 2019 Belly Dance Bundle and I sort of stuck with it. It’s a great way to get moving without worrying too much about choreography, as everything is cued by Oreet. My second practice was the dvd ‘Bellydance- the next level’ by Jenna. I didn’t do the choreography part (short attention span, remember?) but the drills are good. Plus I love how the drills are matching the music instead of a straight forward 4 count.

Fifth week

I got a confidence boost in week four from a fellow dancer and I gathered enough courage to record some short video’s for my Youtube channel. I wanted to do that for years but I hate seeing myself talk on video. It’s in Dutch though so I won’t post much about it in this blog.

The Dutch government had a meeting for the press on Tuesday announcing that the schools would reopen after May 11th. Partially and with extra safety precautions but still, it’s a good sign. IC capacity is still overstretched to about 1300 patients instead of the regular 700 but there is a steady decrease in COVID patients.

In the meantime my anxiety is getting through the roof and my usual coping strategy is crafting and dancing so more work-outs! I did one Jamila style dvd, taught by a very young Suhaila in true eighties style. Interesting to see how the format was used and turned into ATS/ITS. My second dvd was Tribal revival with Mimi Fontana. I used this dvd three years ago when we did ATS style in my class. Super creative combinations, I highly recommend this one for home practice.

And that’s where we are now. No costume sewing so far, though I did some online shopping and bought a modern assuit shawl on the internet. Because it’s assuit and I’ve always wanted one!

To conclude this lengthy post, I am still at home with my family. We are all well and hope to stay healthy in the next couple of weeks when our kids return to daycare and school. Thank you for reading through this rather long post that didn’t include costuming at all 🙂

Stay safe, and see you soon!

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