Grainy screen shot from Instagram, which was a screen shot from a video (no longer in existence, I hope!)

I got into metal music by accident.

I was looking for new music. I took a chance on a CD that was in the alternative section, thinking that that meant ‘hippy’ style. So I got a bit of a shock when I first put it on! But I gave it a go, and found that I quite liked the passion, and yes, anger, that this style of music expresses.

Before long I was to go through a time when I was, indeed, very angry, and metal became part of my therapy.

And because my default dance style is belly dance, that is how I moved to the driving melodies and powerful drums. I can’t think of a better way to release built up tension.

I was happily surprised to discover that metal belly dance was a thing, and started dreaming up my own choreographies.

Of course, you need a particular look for this type of dance. Dark and strong but still ‘belly dance’.

Costume story:

I saw a belt in an antique shop, black leather with silver medallions all around it. It was $10. I was on my way to coffee with a friend, and feeling particularly poor, so didn’t buy it. I thought about it on and off, but it was only when I wrote a choreography that I decided I had to have it, if it was still there. It was. It’s a bit small but adaptation is the key to the repurposed item.

I began thinking about what else I would need. Things that dangled and shimmied. And how to attach them? I didn’t want to ruin the belt in case I had a better idea later on. My usual pattern with these issues paid off again:

start thinking about what you want;

form a vague picture in your head;

look at Pinterest;

ideas begin to form;

start thinking about what you already have;

suddenly remember certain items – in this case a chain belt my sister gave me ages ago but is too small to go around my hips;

urgently seek out items (hoping you haven’t given them away) and, holding your breath, loosely put them together;

stand back and wonder at what is forming before your eyes.

The day I first attempted to video my choreo, and realised that I possibly didn’t have what it takes

As for actually performing a metal belly dance, there are several realities to face.

Very obscure genre – will you ever actually get to perform? Bold personality needed. Choreography difficult as strong movements needed and dancer needs to be very fit and flexible.

Taken together these things mean that my only opportunity may be, once again, in a short story. My character, Delilah, is not a very nice person, but she’s incredibly sexy and a great dancer. 

It’s just another reason to write – you get to do all sorts of things you’d otherwise never experience. I hope that doesn’t make me sound sad, because my inner world is one of my favourite places to escape to. I may publish these scribblings one day. They’re a bit like my costumes – what I envision is a lot better than what I can actually produce.

Anyway, I’m glad I found metal. It’s craziness possibly kept me sane.




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