It is not only impossible to have a drumming circle without a group of aspiring bellydancers, but it is also illegal in some areas. That’s the way it seems sometimes. Pagan women love to belly dance. They claim it is for women of all sizes, but honestly, how many performers have you seen shake anything over a size 6?
Bellydance, we are lead to believe, is an ancient tradition dating back to Phonecia, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, and other areas that are just as forgettable (after ninth-grade history, at least). Women did this dance to ease the pain of menstruation and childbirth, and also as a celebration of the feminine form.
What it means today is people charging an exorbitant amount of money for classes, DVDs, and cheaply made polyester costumes with genuine imitation ancient coins sewn along the hem. Go to any drumming/dancing get together and you will see small groups of women, young and old, thin and fat, shimmying before an appreciative (they hope!) audience. And you can hear them coming before they arrive, weighed down by so much Afghani Kuchi jewelry it’s a wonder they can bend over without falling on their faces.
Still, it can be good exercise, and it can be fun. Some of the music is quite nice. It’s also nice to see people of all ages and sizes engaging in this activity. There are many amply-built Pagans in the community, and it’s nice to see people of all sizes being more accepted.