DVDs can be a Lifesaver to the Disabled!
by Lia Medina
Belly dancing in Marin County, California, with dancer
order to improve the strength of my stomach and back muscles.
That was at age 44, after I received a diagnosis of a progressive
form of spine disease. As I learned more about the life-invasive
disease, I came to understand that it would be quite possible
that I would be walking with a cane two years from the diagnosis!
A time will come when major spine surgery will become a reality.
will be turning 50 this May, and a cane does hang from my bedside
floor lamp, ready for use when I wake up in the middle
of the night and the effectiveness of my pain medicine has worn
off. Nonetheless, I continue to Belly dance. I will not
give up dance until I can no longer succeed in dancing at least four
of its basic steps.
in Belly dance, I was a long distance runner logging in 5 to 17
miles a day for twenty-four years. Running five miles in
thirty-five minutes or seven miles in forty-two minutes was my
normal standard. I punctuated my workouts with a passion
for weight training. Having to give up running was devastating.
Little did I know that Belly dance, and the special training that
comes with it, would be an enormous gift to my life!
My dance education
has taken me to many teachers, experiences, and in many directions.
I always loved moving my hips, but I was awkward with my
arms. They often felt like appendages that did not
reflect my heart successfully or match my dance; subsequently, I
purchased an instructional DVD at the dance studio I had been
the shock and grief of losing my uncle and my aunt, (and
my pet—a great Pyrenees dog named Spirit) within
a few months of each other, I felt paralyzed with grief going
on two months. Somehow, I had to get moving—as friends “tough-loved”
me, admonishing me with the truth that none of my beloveds would
want me to suffer for days in my pajamas watching television.
day, while still in my pajamas, with a tear stained face,
and hair sticking out to wherever, I put my DVD into
the player. Immediately, the instructor on the DVD greeted
me with a warm welcome of encouragement that inspired me to
complete the entire workout. I only had to modify one
exercise because of my back pain issues!
What I love
the most about dancing along with an instructional DVD is that I
can do many of the exercises at my work desk in the office.
I have transcribed all the exercised into a small note book and
every three hours at work, I do two or three exercises from each
of the sessions presented on my DVD. With the help of the exercises,
I can inject Belly dance into my day. I will not do
some of the exercises at my workplace because I do not want to
distract others from their work. However, I will also say
that my co-workers, upon seeing me do my exercises, are sometimes
encouraged to get up and stretch at their desks along with me!
few exercises on my DVD include using weights, but I find that
doing them without weights is equally beneficial—especially
to those of us with chronic pain.
Each of my
exercise sessions leaves me feeling so refreshed that I always
complete the whole DVD when I am doing them at home. Exercising
encourages the dancer in me. Beyond my early days of rock
concert boogying, I do not consider myself as a natural born dancer;
yet, the dancer within me can emerge while getting into shape.
(It is truly a blessed feeling; it can change the way your
whole day and your whole body feels!)
A dance instructional DVD is a wonderful gift to oneself or to
give to another person—especially if you know someone whose pain
limits their ability to go out to a formal dance class in a studio.
Chose a DVD with beautiful music and a good presentation; also,
it wouldn’t hurt to have a little down to earth humor to punctuate
the workout. You, or the person you have gifted, will be inspired
to keep on moving by infusing the day with exercise. At
any age we can dance, exercise, and reach our optimum.
A personal zenith is achievable at any age, with any challenge
at every moment.
favorite DVD and the one I used that day was “Dancer's Body"
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Dancers Arms by Aruna, DVD review by Surreyya
you must get this DVD and why some instructors don’t want
you to know about it…
Bellydance Basics and Beyond, Technique
for a solid foundation with Jenna DVD Review by Monet
is probably one of the best and most complete beginner instructional
DVD that I have seen in a while.
the Sacred Shapes with The Goddess Dancing DVD Review by Eugenia
this is an excellently taught video which a beginner bellydancer
may benefit greatly from, if only for the anatomical breakdowns
Mining for Gold in the Gilded
Serpent Archives - List #1 Surreyya's Favorite Articles
compiled a list of articles that have inspired, influenced and
enabled me to cross many intersections when arriving at a challenge.
Photos PAGE 1-Carnival
of Stars Photos by Michael Baxter
Sponsors Alexandria and Latifa November 11 & 12, 2006 Centennial
Hall, Hayward, California (panel discussion and Sunday photos
PAGE 2 yet to come...)