Feeling zilly

Discovering that these bellydancing polyrhythms are tougher than I ever imagined. This week we started the zills, which are something of a three-strike tempo for each measured, four-time musical beat. Each movement we make is accompanied by three zill strikes; the music is four-time and, just to confuse matters, each zill strike starts with the right hand, which confuses my brain when it’s time for the left side of my body to move.

Let’s just say that many of us, myself included, were suddenly baffled by the seemingly simple task of walking and dancing while zilling. (And you think chewing gum and walking is tough.) Instructor assures us it’s a mild speed bump, not an obstacle course. For a fleeting moment, it did make sense, which gives me hope that it’ll make sense again. It’s reminding me of my foray into a drumming circle and how the three-measure rhythms confused (and delighted) me. Maybe it was six-measure, it’s been a few years and even longer since I read and played music. But my friend laughed and told me, as a Westerner, it would confuse me at first. Instead, I should relax and feel it. It becomes intuitive.

Like all things, I’m over thinking it at first. The drumming eventually came (maybe I’ll try it again someday, since I loved it). This will come, too. (And, no, Aunt Ginger, NO videos! Maybe someday I’ll dance in person, but no vids!)

Meanwhile, the pug’s not digging my zill practice. But he gets a week’s reprieve, starting now. He’s off the kennel. I’m tying up loose ends, including filing stories. Drive and residency tomorrow. And I’m bringing my zills…

-Christy

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