You'll find several other bellydancers here...Aphil and Mauvaisroux are two that I know. Check out the exercise thread...I'm sure there's at least one bellydancing thread in there that you can join in on!
As for the book...I'm sorry that you found it dry. I have to say that I think reading the book is truly essential to understanding what you are doing and why. There is a lot that isn't even detailed in the book (which is why we have things here), but if you've read it, you know why other things are allowed (or not allowed) and you can make an educated guess about what to do. JMHO, but if I were you, I'd really try to at least make one more stab at reading it before starting.
So glad that you are looking forward to it...SBD really changed my life, so I think it's pretty exciting stuff.
Congrats on your 5 year anniversary and recommitment ceremony...that's awesome!