All my life, I’ve tried to understand the appeal of football. The team spirit, the tailgating, the way strangers could have complex conversations about who’s coaching what team, and so on.

But this afternoon, I had an epiphany. Allow me to backtrack just a bit. A couple of weeks ago, someone emailed me about classes. She was relatively new to Cincinnati, and so I replied to her message with a hotlist of area belly dance classes that may fit her schedule/location. The email conversation turned to poi spinning, and before I knew it, she was interested in taking private lessons from me in this art (for those who don’t know, tribal belly dance seems to be a gateway drug to poi spinning).

tribal belly dance, Cincinnati, poi spinner
Speaking of community, I present Dante's Gypsy Circus, my tribal sisters and brothers.

We arranged to meet at a school this very afternoon. Not knowing what to expect, I practiced with my poi in the parking lot, enjoying this gift of the rare perfect weather in Cincinnati. She pulled up and got out

of her vehicle, and I knew. I got it – the whole football bonding thing. Here, she had traveled from the west coast and was missing her tribal sisters. But once we started talking, I realized that she had come home. We’re so lucky in Cincinnati to have such a supportive and creative community of beautiful artists, dancers, musicians. I’m grateful every day.

And I can only imagine that it’s the same way for sports fans, yes? They share the commonality of rooting for the same team; we tribal dancers share the commonality of…whoa…hard to find a single word to explain it…love of pure movement, of improvisational and speechless communication that allows us to be free? If there’s a single word for it, let me know! 😉 But I think you probably know what I mean.

Anyway, I made a new friend today. I think our whole community probably did, too. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant, and share your thoughts if you like…

Cherie Dawn

Originally written Fall, 2011


3 thoughts on “Tribal Belly Dance vs Football

  1. Got it. Just don’t expect me to root for the Bengals…unless they’re playing the Steelers or the Browns or the Patriots or….

    A Ravens fan that you know in a different context. 🙂

    1. Hi Paul! Friend, you can root for whomever you please in my book! I don’t know that I’ll ever actually get into football, but at least I can relate to the bonding. 🙂
      Cherie Dawn

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