Week 4 – Random Acts of Bellydance

Heading into our fourth week of random bellydancing and here are 5 more little things you can do to add some bellydancing into your week.

4-12-18-dec

1 : Check out a bellydancer’s blog.

There are so many amazing bellydancers out there willing to share their stories, their experiences and their hints & tips!

Mahin from She’s Got Hips
The Bellydance Blog
Lorna’s Blog: Bellylorna
Also check out HipMix.net’s list of The Best Bellydance Blogs

2 : Practice any 3/4 Shimmy Step

There are so many different ways to do a 3/4 shimmy step, and so many different names to describe them. This step has movement on 3 out of 4 counts creating a sustained accent on one part of the movement.

Whether you do it as an up-up-up, down-out-up, out-up-down, down-down-down, or some other combination, practice it up and down your hallway at home, at work (if you can!), or every time you travel a particular path in your home (eg: from the kitchen to the living room). You’ll be 3/4 shimmying like a pro in no time!

3 : Check through coin scarves for ones that need repairing. If they’re beyond repair, can you re-purpose them?

If there’s one thing we all know about coin scarves, it’s that eventually constant movement combined with the sharp edge of a stamped hole in a coin will eventually result in the thread holding it, breaking. If you’ve collected the dropped coins, you can re-thread them using a needle and similar coloured thread – or if you crochet, you can probably pull out a section and re-work it with new coins.

If it’s not a loved hip scarf, can you pull all the coins off and use it on a new costume, or bra? Can you use them to repair a well-loved scarf that is missing coins? Can you alter it for use as a head scarf? Use it to embellish a costume, decorate your dance bag or make a pouch for your zills?

4 : Spend a day picking up things with graceful arms and hands.

Take your graceful arm and hand movements into your every day for some extra practice and giving your body the opportunity to use those movements in positions and directions you don’t use in dance class.

Start with a single action, say making a cup of tea or coffee – think about the deliberate actions of a Japanese Tea Ceremony – and move your arms and hands “like a dancer” through that action, every time you do that action. Gradually extend that movement to other actions and activities until you find yourself moving in that way all the time.

5 : Play Zills to your favourite holiday tune.

Do you love Christmas songs, or is “Jingle Bells” getting on your nerves? Why not make the best of it and practice your zills? Playing patterns to songs you’re familiar with can help break through that “what if I’m out of time? what if I play the wrong thing?” mentality. Add some fancy accents, or just play along with the melody. Have some fun and experiment – no rules finger cymbals!

EDIT: Big thanks to the fabulous Rachel Reid for this link – just in case you’re having trouble finding the perfect piece of holiday music to play along to!

–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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