This morning I read this article: https://corpulent.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/on-stocky-bodies-and-on-being-a-fat-dancer/
Which reminded me of an article I wrote a few years back: http://www.njbellydancing.org/Articles.htm#Musings_on_being_a_Fat_Belly_Dancer
I’m a few years further along in my own journey as a belly dancer then I was when I wrote that, and none of it is any less true. I’m a teacher now, and I do carry larger hip scarves (up to 70” long!) and I talk throughout my teaching, about how movements will look slightly different on different body shapes. About how women with broader hips or longer waists or narrower shoulders or what ever other different-than-mine body shapes, might find it easier or harder to make certain movements look “big”. I have found vendors who make work out gear that fits me properly, and I have come to terms with the fact that it’s simply not ever going to be inexpensive - but I also know that feeling confident and comfortable while practicing is important to me. Finding performance costuming is still a challenge sometimes. Especially on any sort of limited budget… but I do pretty well piecing stuff together, buying some and making or altering others with my limited sewing skills.
And most of the time, I’m just a dancer. I’m a woman who loves to listen to the music and feel it. Translate it into movement. Who can get lost in the process joyously, or get frustrated while working on a new movement or combo because the timing isn’t coming to me quickly enough or I can’t think of a transition that feels smooth. But every once in a while, maybe while walking into a workshop with a teacher I don’t know - or when lusting after the beautiful off the rack costumes I’m browsing through - or while trying to figure out how to adjust a movement for the fact that I have a little more thigh to cross than the teacher I’m working with - I’m a fat dancer.
Fat is part of what I am and it has impact.
It’s got an up side too though - my shimmies have freaking awesome reverb - by just showing up and dancing well I can make people THINK - I fill the cups on my dance bra spectacularly - and I have compassion, learned from personal experience, for women of all shapes and sizes who don’t think they can dance because they are too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, too shy, too whatever.
I’m just me, and I’m a dancer.