Saturday was my first "performance" as a belly dancer. The Girl Scouts of Sandy Hook asked my teacher (K) to teach and dance at their end of year gathering. Four of us were able to attend. We started the day in class then practice and lunch before arriving at camp. A beautiful sunny day filled with laughter and friendship. We were not sure how many girls would be there or what exactly to expect. K brought as many scarves as she could stuff in a bag and laid them out for the girls to grab as they came in. The 30 or so scarves only went so far with the 125 in attendance. The girls were age 5 - 18 and many adult leaders. The girls greeted us with smiles and awe. They were thrilled to be in our presence. We quickly started helping little ones tie adult size scarves around their tiny waists. Some scarves were wrapped 2 or 3 times. When we ran out of scarves one little girl shrugged her shoulders and quickly tied her t-shirt up to show her belly. Soon she was helping others do the same. It warmed our hearts.
We started with a dance routine. Then K explained her teaching style - it is about be happy within your own body - short or tall, thin or fluffy - we are all beautiful. She then showed the girls several moves. They participated with joy and enthusiasm. We danced and shimmied together. We ended with another routine. We were thanked, we were hugged, and we felt blessed. I felt blessed. My heart sung to see the joy in the faces of these girls.
And then one of the leaders came up and thanked us for such a joyful end to their day. With damp eyes she told us how eight of the girls who lost their lives were Daisies. That four of the leaders lost their daughters that day. The Daisy troop that was so big it had been split into two troops now had to combine into one. The girls felt survivor’s guilt. She was so grateful to us for helping in the healing process. And we wept. And I know that it was to them I owed gratitude. My heart had split open with joy before I knew their full story. I couldn't think of any where on Earth I would have wanted to be.
The girls and leaders left uplifted. We left uplifted. What an amazing sacred moment.
And in the funny way things twist and turn we ended our day at dinner - Sultan's Turkish Restaurant. We googled Middle Eastern food and that popped up. And just as we were served our food the music was turned up and we were entertained by a beautiful belly dancer.