Well, CHL, I like a lot of the dances, though turkish is a little weird to me. Very bouncy and all. I think the hardest move to master was the undulation. Where you start at the top and move your chest all the way down through the stomach to the hips. Then trying to go up is still a bit difficult.
As for my style, it is mostly cabaret but I'm really interested in tribal, so am picking up and learning new moves from there. Also, Tribal-Fusion has a lot of interesting stuff. I picked up this awesome DVD called "East Coast Tribal." The host is Sera and her group is Solstice (I think). There are just some very awesome moves in that DVD, that I'm working on. I love a lot of the pop and lock moves, or as she calls it, strobing.
Oh, side note, if you feel like you want to learn some different combinations on your own, outside of class, buy these DVD's and go to youtube. You will find a ton of great bellydancer, as well as some not so great, and a bunch that are learning and recorded themselves to see how they look. Which is really good to do, for anyone, especially before a performance. This lets you look at your face while you are performing, all to see that your eyebrow raises funny every time you do a hip lift, lol.
Ok, CHL, back on topic. As for poofy pants or skirts, it depends. I love my long skirts, because they flow so well, and hide my thick legs. Some days I hate them, some days I love them, just depends. I tend to wear my poofy pants, or harem pants with my gwahzee (I think I spelled that right), which is like a turkish coat. It buttons up the front, and can have four, two, or three strips hanging from the waist area, of the same fabric piece, down to the knees. I can find a pic if you'd like to see this. When I'm just teaching and practicing, I wear plain old sweatpants, but still wear a jingly belt of some kind.
Kitsune, being overweight is just fine. I am too. And depending upon the class, you may find there are a lot of women who are not sticks. Don't forget, that once you have worked those core muscles like nothing else, you will have a six pack, it's just kept back in the fridge
Most people don't realize how much muscle women who bellydance have. Most of us have at least a little fat on our bellies, so we can properly have babies. So keep on working those muscles.
Bellydance is both a cardio and strength training workout. You work so hard, it becomes cardio, especially if you do a shimmying workout. And you use all the parts of your body for resistance in the strength training. It will make you feel good, but without so much pressure like in other cardio workouts.
Keep up the good work!
The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs want to smell everyone's rear and cats want every one to smell THEIR rear - unknown