2007, $2.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: I just want a quick, efficient cardio bellydance workout I can do in the privacy of my own temple.

Second Impression: What’s a goddess to do?

Fear not, goddesses, your prayers to yourselves are answered. The high priestess of bellydance is here to serve you. With her flowing blonde hair and baby voice, Dolphina evokes a slightly more useful Paris Hilton.  Standing in a minimalistic set of potted plants and chandeliers, she expertly guides us through the basics and gets us to “shake it.”

Dolphina reinforces her message of feminine strength and positive body image at every opportunity, encouraging us to love our bodies as they are now.  You’re doing this for you because, “remember, you are a goddess.” I will remember that, thanks.

During the warmup Dolphina does get saucy, with an innuendo-laden exclamation of, “You’re getting your hips ready for a workout!”  Welcome to the world of goddess life.

Dolphina deploys quite the turn of phrase, spouting out bon mots throughout the session. “Remember, your hips are your weapons,” she declares.  Here’s a few more gems:

“You may not be in control of the rest of your life, but if you can decide when you want to lift your hip and when you want to drop it, that’s empowerment.”

“Don’t worry about what foot you’re on, in fact, don’t worry about anything. You’re a goddess.”

“Really work it down there. Really grind it hard. But relax your face. Have the face of an angel. Make it effortless.”

“If you start to feel the burn, just take that burning feeling into your face so it looks like ecstasy.”

At the close of the workout Dolphina observes, “Hot stuff, Goddesses!  Let’s cool it down.” Under her guidance, we move our hips side to side and fan ourselves off with our hands. “When you waken the power of the Goddess within, magical things will happen!” Indeed.

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