Tag Archives: bellydancing

Belly Dance Is Back!

Last December, Nayna found herself without a dance studio, making it rather difficult to teach class. All of her students–me being just shy of one year and ready to move to intermediate–dispersed woefully.

We spent all of 2011 nagging the hell out of her.

For some reason, Greg-the-cat doesn't like jinglies.Ten months later (?!), she’s back with an email to the masses the day before classes began. So tonight I dug my hip scarf out from the back of my underwear drawer and giddily bounced my way to the pole-dancing studio where she held class tonight.

It was awesome. It was amazing. It was like the first time, except with that fun disjointed experience of your mind knowing what to do and your body almost sure it remembers how to follow. If I want to move up to intermediate (which I totally do), I’ve got to get all that in sync before I get bored and wander off.

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One Song, One Move

One of the things I love about belly dance is how easy it is to practice. It’s chock-full of named moves that I can drill over and over again until I get ’em right. Because I have a deep love of listening to music on repeat, I’ve got a certain way I like to practice: one song, one move.

This would probably drive some people nuts.

I warm up doing a variety of moves for one or two run-throughs of a song, just doing a few repetitions of every move I know. …This might be where I sneak in some of the combo ideas I come up with on my runs.

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Running: Now With Hamstrings!

Folks warned me, and I should have listened–5k’s are addictive. About a week after my 5k back in October, I signed up for another 5k on December 11. It’s not a fundraiser and so is more expensive to participate in ($35), but I’m actually using a training program for this one.

The classic Couch-to-5k isn’t a good fit for me–I’d be starting several weeks in, and 30 minutes doesn’t equate to 3 miles for me. Going for a distance-based training program led me to Hal Higdon’s novice 5k routine. Not the most conservative program, but it’s silly to only increase by 10% when you’re starting at 1.5 miles.

I can’t believe how much I love running. How did I ever stop doing this?

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True Dance Technique at Work

I had the joy of seeing a belly dance show in person this weekend. Ladies from throughout the region, with international repute, different skills, and different styles. It was so damn inspiring. The costumes were top-notch, the crowd was hype, and there was a cash bar.

A great Saturday night in the making.

Greg and I got stood up pretty rudely for dinner at Libretto’s beforehand, but we had a great time despite my annoyance. I tried a delicious fettuccine al forno (essentially what I’d call a carbonara: pasta, cream sauce, bacon, peas, bell peppers) and Greg got an intimidating but subpar calzone. It’s rare that something has too much cheese for us to handle, but they managed to pull it off in the calzone with two thick layers of cheese surrounding a layer of spinach.

I’ve noticed that tendency in calzones around here: cheese and more cheese. I think I’ll try my own hand at making a calzone sometime soon. What could be better than a self-contained pizza? Put enough sauce in it, and you’re guaranteed at least second-degree burns in the eating.

Unfortunately for us, I parked the car for convenience in a big, well-known parking deck instead of hunting for metered parking near the event. It was a brisk 3-4 block walk to the restaurant and a freezing 1.5 mile walk to the hotel where the show was being held.

Greg didn’t bring a jacket. Silly man.

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Belly dance vs. Hip-hop: Inviting Failure

For some reason, Greg-the-cat doesn't like jinglies.Hip-hop started again on Monday! The thing that struck me (again and again) for the entire sweaty hour was how great it was to fail again.

As some folks may remember, I started both hip-hop and belly dance back at the beginning of January. Hip-hop stopped in May with the end of the school year, but belly dance kept a comin’. I took about 2-3 hours of belly dance a week this summer, but since we’re working up to a recital in December, we’ve been repeating the same couple of songs over and over again. That’s kind of becoming a problem.

This month of belly dance has been a tough one for me. This is about the seventh time that I’ve sat through the “this is belly dance posture,” and “this is a hip hit” spiels, and all the people I’ve been dancing with have moved up to the next level of class. I’m not good enough to move up into the intermediate class, but I’m unchallenged with the choreography of this song–which is a short song I’ve done before–and because of how many complete newbies we have, we can’t really focus on perfecting technique.

I just don’t work well that way. Dance class as it was in March – June was best, where I was still slightly overwhelmed by everything, always two steps behind and forced to focus. I always want to be learning something new while I’m getting better at the old. (That’s some PEAK Learning 28-3 bidness right there. Here, have some J.R. Anderson.) I dance because I like to dance, not because I want to perform on stage.

Having hip-hop on Monday night made that all clearer. I walked in (already tired after two hours of belly dance), and as soon as we started dancing, I started screwing up. Tangling up footwork, forgetting moves, and generally being a beginner. Failing.

It made me count my little successes, like that fact that I’m pretty good as chest isolation moves now, even while I’m trip-trip-tripping over my own feet. It’ll keep me from getting complacent. I can always push because there’s always a harder challenge.

I miss failing at belly dance. It’s not at all that I’m great at it–because really, I’m kinda a lousy dancer–it’s that I’m “good enough”. But if I just like to dance, does it matter that I’m not learning new stuff?