肚皮舞 - 'stomach skin jump'
Today was our yoga place's first 'stomach skin jump' (belly dancing!!) class and it was absolutely fabulous! I was bracing myself for hilarity when 20 or so stick thin chinese girls, accustomed to yoga, tried to shake-they-asses but I was genuinely impressed when they were suddenly sexy! If the lot of them are anything like the girls that I know personally, their one time at a bar is their most exciting story, and meditative yoga is the extent of their physical activity. But when the music started they cocked that right foot and popped that hip like none-other! It goes without saying that they sometimes looked more... shall we say 'twelve year old wearing her first high-heels and push-up bar' than 'sultry woman.' But they pulled it off!
Most Chinese teenagers are discouraged from relationships that would draw their attention away from study, and so most seem to have had little to no experience with the opposite sex when they get to college. The media is way less sexual than anything we are familiar with (even pirated movies have the sex scenes edited out), and the entire crowd was scandalized when an Italian girl performed a provocative dance at my department's anniversary talent show. Yet, five minutes into the class most every girl was embracing the sexuality of their own bodies. They knew how to narrow their eyes and tuck their chins just the right amount. What should have been awkward movements by young girls became invatations by women who knew their sexual power. (author's note: my own face mirrored the tongue-sticking-slightly-out-of-the-side-of-my-mouth face that we always teased my dad about when he was concentrating on a puzzle or trying to beat madison at Super Mario) I found my attention drifting from trying to 上 my hip as high as possible to the faces of the girls and being amazed by the sexual intensity they seemed to draw from nowhere!
Belly dancers generally have thicker figures and something around their waist to shake, but these girls barely came up to my shoulder in height and have to wear padded bras so as to look older then a middle schooler. As Zhaojie pointed out before class (ironically using my newest grammatical structure) 瑜伽老师比肚皮舞老师更小 - the yoga teachers attending the class were much smaller than the belly dancing teacher: a good foot or more shorter and much thinner - and most of the girls aired toward the yoga teachers. I was amazed to see that contrary to my expectations, being able to discern their hips-bones added something to the dance. I have never been a fan of the thinnest girls (I was apalled when my ex-boyfriend admitted to thinking Paris Hilton was hot), and I am still not sure if it was the faces or the hips, but I was proud of my little Zhaojie; she can shake it.