Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Belly Dance, Trans & Serendipity

Laurie says:

Every now and again the serendipity factor kicks in and small actions have unexpected results.

About a year and a half ago I was in Jhoney’s office in San Francisco. She’s someone with whom I very occasionally have work related jewelry conversations. She’s a striking woman with large brown eyes, brown skin and white hair. Jhoney’s a transwoman, and at that time she was in the early part of her transition. At some point after we’d finished our work conversation, I told her about the belly dance class I’d taught for teenagers in Oakland. She was very interested and I ended up giving her an impromptu belly dance lesson in the foyer of her office. (That’s something I do pretty easily.)

I hadn’t seen her again until last week. She mentioned that she’d been taking belly dance lessons. It turned out that she started looking for a teacher very shortly after I’d given her that brief lesson. She’d had one refusal, but had found two teachers with whom she was very happy. She’s been taking lessons intensely for the last 18 months.

They’ve been a revelation for her. She felt like there was a basic femaleness in the body movements that had centered her in her own body, and that learning to dance had made her more comfortable with her body and herself.

I asked her if she’d show me some steps. She turned on the CD player and belly dance music started to play. She looked great. Her dancing is progressing really well and clearly gives her great joy.

I love it when small moments expand like this.

2 Responses to “Belly Dance, Trans & Serendipity”

  1. Becky Knight Says:

    This was a really beautiful story. I’ve been reading your blog for several months and I really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Karl Says:

    Great meeting you at BlogHer, though it was very brief. Cool book, too.

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Laurie Toby Edison by Carol Squires

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