Karen Roberts

photo by Susan Wolfe-Shirk

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Karen Roberts

I took a belly dancing class two years ago through my local parks and rec department, then progressed to smaller private classes in my hip and happening hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. The home to a thriving arts and culture scene, and many talented belly dancers. Unfortunately, my teacher experienced some life changes and stopped teaching. After a year off, I am back to dancing, with a new teacher, shaking out the pelvic cobwebs.

Beyond shakin’ my groove thing on the club floor, I had never danced before. I am finding it to be a return to the body and a transcendence of the spirit all at once. Belly dance in particular appeals to me. When I am dancing, I feel connected to a chain of women that stretches back to a place that has no name. As a Nurse Practitioner, I understand and appreciate the health benefits of the dance. My body is stronger and looser. I am more at home in my skin. Every day in my office I see women who loathe their hips, breasts, bellies and thighs. I believe that these women should dance. Our culture is very hard on women; belly dance can and should provide a sanctuary from this madness.

karen's dogI have a wonderfully supportive husband and two lovely daughters, one grown, one almost. They have begun to hum Middle Eastern rhythms absentmindedly. I hope they too, will someday dance. I am currently converting our spare bedroom into a studio, so that I can dance for my dog Katy, my most faithful audience member. Though she does disappear when the zills come out!

I wish for the skill and the stamina to become as graceful and joyous as the dancers I have seen in performance, and the time and space to write about my journey into dance.

E-mail: amazonratz(at)sunflower.com

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