Exciting times

I’m excited.

Tomorrow is hafla night for my dance club.

We have two other troupes coming as well as some solo spots (and hopefully some musicians!)

I’m going to spend from 4 pm tomorrow turning the kindergarten we meet at into an ‘exotic locale’ worthy of hosting lovely dancers (it ain’t completely easy, but my sari collection helps).

This week I have taught two classes and run a dress rehearsal for the club, and done my own practice (I’d like to say “of course”, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate…).

A small voice inside keeps trying to say that I should be all danced out by now, with nothing left for tomorrow night.

But…

it’s wrong

I’m finding it hard to believe how much energy I have at the end of this busy week (there was busy times at work and whiny angsty kids at home as well) and I’m putting it all down to my dancing.

I do feel a bit tired, but there’s a solid core of energy left in me – which I find very exciting.  It’s certainly not something I’m accustomed to.  It is something I’d like to get used to.  And I have noticed it starting to flow though into other things (like being able to cope with those whiny kids).

I am delighted that the small voice is so wrong.

It gives me confidence that I have made good choices in letting my passion for belly dance take over my life.

It gives me hope that I can keep on doing this for a loooong time.

It gives me courage to dig deeper and enrich my dance.

I cannot recall ever feeling so happy or so much myself.

It’s cool.

I love it!

And…

…I am going to keep on dancing 🙂

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Just 15 minutes

I all too often seem to end up jamming my dance practice into small spots in my day.  At first I felt bad about this, but then I realised how just those 15 minutes were slowly building my skill and my body strength.  So here’s some tips for jamming your practice into small bits of time:

  • even 5 minutes dance is worth doing 🙂
  • do a warm up – e.g. I often do pulsed squats with arm circles, and then move into some hip circles and 8s before trying anything more demanding.  This keep my conditioning programme going and helps prevent me injuring myself.
  • focus on one or two key things – e.g. I’m trying to build my ATS body wave flexibility and strengthen my arm undulations.  In 15 minutes, I can work on both of these enough to keep me progressing.  At other times, I’ve run through dances a time or three (depending on the length).
  • You can still work up a sweat in a short time, so try to leave time for showering after!

And when you really don’t have any time to practice:

  • Play dance music to accompany housework – shimmy while you wash up or vacuum!  As well as giving you a  chance to move, this can also be a good way to accustom yourself to your music – the more you hear it, the better you’ll know it.
  • Play dance music in your car – another good way to learn your music.  But remember: no undulating while driving!
  • Run through a move, combo or a choreography in your head before going to sleep – amazingly, this can be an excellent learning aid.  Make sure you focus on performing the move/s correctly; you don’t want to reinforce bad habits.

The first post…

… in which I explain why I am writing this blog.

I am a dancer.

I am a belly dancer.

I dance for self expression, for exercise, to heal my soul, for all sorts of reasons, but most of all because I love it.

This blog is a journey of exploration about what dance is, what it means to me and the roles it plays in my life.  I am also curious about how this plays out on the wider social stage: why do we dance? what roles does dance play in our society? in other societies? and on…

My focus will be mainly on belly dance/Middle Eastern Dance/raqs sharqi, as this is my dance style, experience and vocabulary.  However, I will do my best to be inclusive.  There will be tangents and side journeys.

Please join with me as I explore – your comments are welcome.

 

 

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