Week 1 – Random Acts of Bellydance

I’m pretty excited to be throwing some random bellydance into my week – I hope you are too! 🙂  Here are your week 1 challenges!



1: Practice shimmies every time you boil the kettle – for as long as it takes to boil.

If you’re standing around waiting, you may as well do something productive! 😉 You can do this for just one day – or maybe every day this week!  On a related note, i read somewhere that people in the USA don’t use a kettle to boil water, they use a microwave – is this right? If that’s you, shimmy for as long as it takes to boil water in the microwave?

2: Repair a costume or add some sparkle to one that needs it.

Take as much or as little time on this one. Bra hook needs stabilising? Coin scarf about to lose some coins? Beading that needs re-threading? Coin belt that needs a pair of pliers? There’s always something that needs adjusting – see what you can do.

3: Read an article on guildedserpent.com

This is an amazing resource of information that i’m sure most of you know about. I particularly love the archives. There’s always so much to learn about the world of bellydance and it’s not just about the moves! It’s essential for dancers to always be gaining knowledge and deepening their understanding of the history and culture surrounding this artform. Also – and how did i not see this before? – if you love to collect books on bellydance, or just want to support the site, you can now buy The Belly Dance Readers! Anthologies of essays from many leaders in the Middle Eastern music and dance community. Those are going on my wish list!

4: Compliment a classmate.

Let someone in your class, dance troupe or community know they’re awesome. Be specific and tell them something about their dance that you admire. Do they have the most perfect hip circles? Are they super dedicated and work really hard to get the moves right? Are they generous with their smile? Let them know & sprinkle some joy around the place.

5: Drill those horizontal hip slides.

You know you need them for creating super-flat horizontal figure 8s, hip twists and circles – not to mention them being a cool move all by themselves. It’s good to go back to the basics every now and then to make sure you’re really nailing your technique.

6: Make a dance goal for 2017.

Big or small – goals are important. They keep us moving forward, trying our best and pushing us outside our comfort zones. Maybe there’s a move you’re finding difficult and you want to get it right? Maybe you’d like to perform for the first time? Perform a solo for the first time? Teach a workshop? Conquer the world? Whatever your goal is, make sure you spend a couple of extra minutes working out how you can get there. Break that goal down into small achievable tasks and work on them ’till you make it. If you’re not sure how to do that – ask your teacher or troupe director for some help! 🙂

7: Dance along to your favourite rhythm.

Find a rhythm you enjoy dancing to – there are lots of great rhythm practice CDs out there – or maybe you can accompany yourself on the zills? Experiment with different moves to find new ways of expressing that rhythm in your movements.

The audience’s ears hear the music, and their eyes see you being that music. Dance is the music made visible. You ARE the music! – Morocco

Thanks to Aya of Istanbul for that quote from Morocco.

If you’re just beginning bellydance, focus on finding the dominant sounds in the rhythm. If you’re not sure about that, check out Mas’uds Rhythm Guide, and Arabella’s Introduction to Middle Eastern Music Rhythms on Shira’s website.

Wishing you all a joyful week in bellydance. Let me know how you get along with the challenges! Also, if you have some suggestions for future challenges, comment below – i’d love to include them!!

– Sam.

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