Friday, June 22, 2012

Motivation and Inspiration

So this week's class was amazing and definitely had me hurting the next day. This is a good thing mind you! The classes I'm taking at California Art Academy are tribal bellydance classes and this 2 month session focuses on strictly techniques. So the instructor has setup each class as a workshop. In the first class to kick things off, we worked on hip lifts, chest lifts and arm raises. I will admit, I struggled with some of the moves because this is different form of bellydance than what I had been learning. When we had begun layering the arm raises with the hip lifts in a ghawazee dance, I kept throwing myself off. Needless to was frustrating on my end lol. I got the general move down, but I needed more hip action going, which you would think wouldn't be difficult for a full figured woman with some extra curvature. Wrong! So I have a few things to work on from this class so I may better understand the movements. One in particular that I had problems with was a hip lift done on the leg you have your weight on. I couldn't understand why I wasn't getting it...until I realized I wasn't over my knee far enough to have the room to move >_< But once I was shown by the instructor, it became easier to do. I wasn't nailing it, but I was closer in doing the move correctly. I also had a nice surprise when I attended the class. I was excited to see that the "Project Bellydance: Next Top Bellydancer" winner from last year was taking classes as well. That's right! Andalee was learning a new style to add to her amazing repertoire of dance. Talk about being nervous learning next to her lol. For those who may not have seen the first season debut last year, you can see some of the episodes here: Next Top Bellydancer

I have also begun boosting my motivation for learning this new style by watching some tutorials and performances on tribal bellydance on YouTube. I have found watching some of the troupes really get me going in wanting to learn. Watching WildCard Bellydance, Black Diamond Bellydance (student troupe for WildCard Bellydance), Fat Chance Bellydance, and others inspires me as some of these groups do feature members of the same body type that I have. Nothing says inspiration like seeing someone who is very similar in body size do what you do and see how graceful they are. I've included few video links below of some of these girls putting on a wonderful show.

Fat Chance Bellydance

WildCard Bellydance

I have also been watching a video that was a gift from my father about 3 months ago called Shimmy Shimmy Drop Drop. It goes over a lot of tribal movements and very valuable as a learning tool. The instructor on the DVD does an excellent job of breaking down each movement covered and then slowly speeding the movement up so you, as the student, can see how that move evolves into a fluid action. You even see the instructor's troupe demonstrate each section of the DVD in a short performance, stringing all the moves you have learned in one section together in a seamless demonstration. I highly recommend this video if you are wanting to learn a few moves for your dance.

Last item I wish to promote, before bringing a close to this entry, is to ask you to go check out the Cheeky Girls Productions website. It has a large selection of instructional DVDs of all styles of bellydance, including DVDs covering stage presence, solos, props, choreography, body motion, and combinations. This site also has clothing and dance accessories available for purchase as well. So check them out and see what treasures you may find! Click here!

As a final note, I will begin setting challenges for myself. Each time I complete a challenge, I set a new one. I figure that if I treat this as a game of some sort, it will help me focus a little better in learning something new and keep it fun! My first challenge I will be putting in place will be the weight changing hip lifts I just went over this week. Once I get these a little smoother, I will add some of the chest lift movements so I may begin to strengthen my that is pretty weak right now. Maybe this would be something that may help you in your dancing. Pick a move each week or every other week and work on building that move up to be as fluid as you can make it in that time period. Never be afraid to ask other dancers how they would break down the move you are working on or looking online for a tutorial. Each person has a different way of learning a move from using comparisons to better understand the flow of the movement to emphasizing where your body/muscle should be at different stages of the move.

Until next time, enjoy your dancing and look to what inspires you to move what you were born with!

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