I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but being in the presence of Tammy & Etang of Raks Africa is to be in the midst of the essence of joy! I’m talking pure, uncut joy! I have seen them perform numerous times now, but it was a special pleasure and honor that they performed at my very own Fatty Affair this past January. And they didn’t hold back in that performance either. It was my favorite and not just because it was something that I organized, but I felt that they really captured the spirit of the event and our community, too. They got us all moving and shakin’ and that is exactly why I attended another of their belly dance classes!
This last Saturday, a couple of us rad fatties went out to Oakland for the belly dance class and while Jeanette and I had gone before, it had just been way too long! Last time the class was two hours and kicked my fatty-lovin’ ass! This time it was one hour of perfection! Seriously! I was like Goldilocks in that last bed, “Just right!”
We got a work out, but we also had a ton of fun! We shimmied and Omi’d and just smiled until, well, I may actually still be smiling from that class now! It’s so hard to explain it, but these women understand what it is to be fat in modern society, live with the burdens of other people’s judgments, yet they carry themselves with total acceptance and a love of their own and others beauty, too. They make you feel divine! They are divine! They are inspiring and incredible! And then they start dancing! Ha-ha!
When they dance together or separately, you just feel it in your soul. Their joy in the dance, in the performance, in the music but most of all in themselves is so apparent the whole audience is smiling throughout! To get such an up close and personal belly dance lesson from them was an honor and a privilege! They give great support and coaching and understand fat bodies as only someone with one can. They helped me when I struggled to get my stance straight and even remembered that I was working with a knee injury. They just get it!
You cannot help but feel totally and completely sexy belly dancing, it just is the nature of the dance. The secret to those smiles and shimmies and the reason I will keep going to belly dance classes taught by these ladies is just that, they just know how to make you feel good! I always leave wanting to keep my scarf around me and jingle everywhere I go. Last time I did keep it on all day, but this time I had too much going on. It doesn’t matter though, scarf or no, I can simply picture Raks Africa and hear that music in my head and I am instantly transported back to that feeling of pure joy and pleasure. Bad day? No more! <3