Thursday, March 26, 2009

Being nice when things are nice and also tough

I attended the belly dance class by Sabrina Fox yesterday. She is apparently a big name in tribal fusion style of belly dance, which is really something like those heavy metal, "goth" people dancing something that looks like belly dance to the sounds of some heavy metal-like music, all dressed in black spookey stuff, heavy black makeup, and lots of metal. I haven't seen her performances, so I don't know how far she goes with all that.

Well, luckily, last night she was rather mellow, just the metal music part and some black was there. She wore some light neutral makeup and a rather modern yet traditional belly dance workout costume - black short top, tight black leotards, scarf around her hips. And lots of jewelery all over - big bangles, neclaces, flowers in her hair, ...

The audience was all dressed in black leotards and tops, I felt like I was attending some evening event. :) I came dressed in my colorful African garb... and looked totally out of place. Oh well!! :)

Sabrina is rather large-boned, physically strong woman. Lots of muscles. She is beautiful too, with large lips and nice glowey skin.

She is a very good dancer, her moves, coreography, posture, attitude - is great. Also, very professional - she would repeat the same moves with the same accurate elegant movement, e.g. the hands, and she always kept her posture. The professional part comes in with the large belly tatoo (something that looks like a butterfly, so it moves when her belly moves and definitely attracts attention where you need it), belly button jewelery, and silicon boobs, and of course, lots of jewelery all over. She is a good teacher too, she made sure to practice in front of every side of the room and to correct us and praise us gently and fairly.

BTW - have you noticed - all belly dancers have nice glowy skin. The wiggling moves keep the spine and the endocrine system going and in great shape. The sweating and aerobic exercise also helps to detoxify and keep healthy.

Although Sabrina was talking in a rather (artifically soft and cudley) feminine way, there was no question about how physically strong she was, and how strong her dance was, and that there was no messing with her. She gave some good pointers about saving the body, esp. the knees, the neck, etc. and that gave her a sense of "meaning business". She was definitely grounded. In that sense she is a good role model. I don't know how she supports herself. Wouldn't surprise me if she is self supporting.

Also, Sabrina Fox was very very nice. It is very interesting to me to observe the belly dance culture - the students are all female, the teacher is female. There was another teacher in the audience. So Sabrina was trying to jokingly downplay herself and make jokes about herself that would put her down and probably were intended to put us at ease. But it is obvious that she is "the" star and the jokes are just ... hm... to be kind :) She was nice in trying to pay attention to everyone. She talked to all students, allowed them to take photos afterwards, invited them to give her a call, gave them her phone number in San Diego....

Then I connected the dots - those 2 hrs cost 35$. There was about 20 of us in there. Even with the rent and advertising, that lady walked out with at least $400 in her pocket for that night. I would be nice for that money too :)

On the other hand, in order to get to the point where one is famous and can charge $35 for 2 hour class, requires being nice a lot, and to a lot of people - who will then support you and cheer you on. In this case, the student audience is all women and they have to feel like it is worth paying that much. And of course, what is required is being good at what you do. I suppose Sabrina is very good at what she does - dance - and she is also able to gracefully share it with other women, who then feel inclined to spend the money on learning it from Sabrina.

So, anyways, I was thinking how easy it is to be nice when you are going to make 400$ for 2 hrs and you are secure in your stardom. I remembered how nice I was when I was in such situations. Recently, my situations are not nice nor easy and they are not stardom, and it has been much more difficult to be nice, and I have NOT been nice. My work seems to be to stay nice no matter what is happening. So far I have been failing big time.

So there I am, thinking about it. What is my blind spot, what is it that I need to see in order to evolve?

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