Belly Ache

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Tonight was supposed to be the first class of a six-week belly-dancing course in Newport Beach. I couldn't wait to learn the beautiful and graceful movements of such an exotic form of dance. But there will be no such class in Newport Beach this term. Apparently, many enrollees or potential enrollees were opposed to the class title: “Arabic belly dancing.” Evidently, some people do not want to be associated with a class that has the word “Arabic” in its title or description. What the hell?! I am not even sure what to do with that information. Are these people just plain racist? Are they scared they'll be found guilty by association? Are they afraid that this belly-dancing class has a secret agenda—recruiting dancers into terrorism? This is especially disturbing to me since this was the night of President Bush's address to the nation. I didn't watch/listen to much of it (I was getting ready for my belly-dancing class), but I was pleased to hear Bush acknowledge that we cannot hold all people of the Muslim faith or Middle Eastern descent responsible for the atrocities of Sept. 11. America is what it is because we welcome all people from all backgrounds—all religions, all nationalities, all political views. We must embrace that! And what the hell does belly dancing have to do with any of what has been going on anyway? I don't know if this is just a Newport Beach thing or what—Irvine has a belly dancing class on Tuesdays, and I hear it was packed. However, the title of that class was just plain “Belly Dancing.” Did that make a difference?

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