Week 3 – Random Acts of Bellydance

How are you going with your random acts of bellydance? My dance bag is sooo tidy right now! As we’re heading into the silly season, there are a few less random acts this week. Most of them are quick ones, but you might need to set aside a bit of time for the musical challenge!

3-5-11-dec

1 : Make a positive comment on that YouTube video you keep watching.

If you’re anything like me, you probably watch a lot of bellydance on YouTube, and you probably have a few favourite routines you like watching again and again. If you haven’t let that dancer (or those dancers) know that you think they’re amazing, now’s the time to do it.

2 : Drill Figure 8s

Hip figure 8s, upwards, downwards, inwards, outwards, mayas, taksims, rib figure 8s, sidewinders … whatever you call them, they’re used a lot in bellydance! Maybe there’s a figure 8 you’re not super-comfortable with yet, or maybe you just want to practice some variations. Play with the shape – what does a figure 8 look like in your arms, your hands, your whole upper body, your leg, your feet, as a traveling pattern, using props! They’re everywhere!!!

3 : Read an article on faridafahmy.com

In the short period I have spent teaching, I have come across misinformation and misunderstanding about what is indigenous and what is, in fact, Mahmoud Reda’s artistic creativity. I realize that many dedicated and intellectually inclined dancers are trying to understand more about the various dance genres found in Egypt. The sources of correct information are sparse and far between. This has led to much confusion and misunderstanding amongst dancers everywhere.

The articles that write include my earlier experiences in the Reda Troupe and the impact this troupe had on Egypt both from the artistic and social points of view. I also feel that there is a need to explain the difference between the traditional dances of Egypt and the theatrical presentations of the Reda Troupe. Articles will range from my first-hand experiences during the years of the Reda Troupe to ideas and concepts pertaining to dance in Egypt in general that, hopefully, will inspire others.

– Farida Fahmy

Farida Fahmy, has a growing collection of articles that are well worth your time to read.

4 : Practice walking with grace.

Taking your dance posture and movements into your every day life not only gives you more opportunities to practice, but it also helps to make that posture, and those gestures an ingrained and unthinking part of your natural movement.

Start with a pathway, say from your bedroom to your kitchen, and move “like a dancer” through that space, every time you walk that path. Gradually extend that ‘graceful space’ outwards until you find yourself moving in that way all the time.

5 : Dancing to the layers in the music.

Find some music with lots of layers. Can you hear a drum, some melodic instruments, other percussive instruments? Listen all the way through, immersing yourself in the music as a whole. On the second listen, focus on one instrument and move just with that instrument. Be still when it is not playing. Listen and dance through as many times as you can, dancing with a different instrument each time. If you have time, do a final listen & dance through and create your own path through the music, following the instruments that speak to you the loudest.

–o–

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

– Sam.

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