Fantasy Requires Determination


Fantasy Requires Determination

September, 2003

Dear Ones –

'Hot Pink: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli,' by S.G. Rubin.
‘Hot Pink: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli,’ by S.G. Rubin.
Marissa Berenson, fashion muse and icon, once quoted her grandmother Elsa Schiaparelli as saying “Fantasy requires determination.” This inspired me to read Elsa’s autobiography (Shocking Life, 1954, order via interlibrary loan). We dancers are supreme fantasists!

If we were anything less, we would be doing something much more mundane than women’s dance (from any cultural origination). But we’ve chosen a unique personal expression. Our dance does more than give us a good workout, fun with other women, and sensuality in our daily movements. It helps us connect to our “fantasy selves,” to the alter egos that we each have.

The challenge we so often feel is that while we have an extreme side to our fantasy selves, we are scared to find ways to express it. As a result, we live paler, tamer versions of the lives that we would really like to lead. And sometimes, we find ourselves on the horns of our internal dilemma. We really would like to open up, reach out, and express ourselves a bit more. Be a bit (or maybe very much) “over the top” in some ways. But then we start to give ourselves all the reasons why we have to limit ourselves.

The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to honor ourselves, and in particular, honor the aspect of ourselves that IS outrageous, over-the-top, and thoroughly in fantasy world. Dance helps us – but it is how we approach dance, and how we integrate it into our lives, and our view of ourselves, that really makes a difference.

This is where we start with the little things. We must do little tiny things that will say to each of us, “You are special, you are unique and wonderful, and this fantasy-part of you is the most wonderful aspect of all.” So here is one practical, simple way that you can give yourself this message in a very real, concrete way.

Dancer's survival travel kit: cosmetics in a coffee go-cup. Why not?
Dancer’s survival travel kit: cosmetics in a coffee go-cup. Why not?

Make a little “get-in-the-mood” kit to use on your way to dance class. Have a favorite dance CD that you listen to enroute. Take along a few cosmetics, some jewelry, and perfume. (Select one particularly exotic scent and use it as your bellydance scent; start to cue yourself towards dance with this fragrance.) Leave a few minutes early, and when you get to class, put on your “special dance things.” Then start tuning into your body, relaxing, releasing, letting go off the day’s stress, and paying attention to how you feel. Flex your feet and toes, and give yourself a quick little foot massage. You are now a goddess of sensuality – let yourself look, feel, and act that way!

Love to all – Alay’nya

Books to Read