I love dancing. I made up little dances as a child, and then took Irish dance in high school (like Riverdance, only I quit before we got to the noise-making hardshoe part). In college, for my P.E. requirement, I took ballroom dance. Now I take Persian dance classes.
What I’ve been salivating over, though, is kathak.
(Image from Wikimedia Commons.)
It’s beautiful and graceful and completely mesmerizing. I’ve been watching YouTube videos, trying to learn by myself. I have had little success.
WonderHusband, who constantly lives up to that title, was sneaky for Christmas and emailed a lady with the Taal School of Dance waaaaaay outside the city, and while I thought I would be getting, well, I don’t know what i thought he was scheming for Christmas, he went and bought two hours of kathak lessons. What’s more, he included BloglessLea in the bargain. So we all packed into the car on Saturday and drove waaaaaaay outside the city and for two awesome hours, we learned the basics of kathak (the husbands went shopping).
Like, whoa. I wish the school wasn’t an hour and a half away, because I had forgotten how much I miss studio dance classes. The instructor even let me write the bols down, and so far I’ve memorized the five todas she taught us, the two taals we learned, and the accompanying movements. I’ve been practicing without bells at home, and then with bells (WH bought us each a pair of those, too):
Called ghungroos, they’re a string of brass bells that you wrap around your ankles to make sound when you move. These are different than Bharata Natayam bells, which are bells sewn to a padded cuff. Kathak ghungroos are a long cotton rope crocheted into a simple chain with bells at every link. These are 50 bell ghungroos. As a kathak dancer practices and progresses, they use more bells, as many as 150 for experienced kathak dancers.
At the moment, 50 make my legs pretty sleepy. We’re on the lookout for an instructor closer to the city. I can’t wait to learn more!