1/20: rehearsing the unusual phrases of music for 2 performances. Wet dog at an unusual count to fit the accents...tried it the *right* and *modified* ways. Sometimes one has to get over 'rules' and let the music dictate the movement. Actually, I'm glad we don't just pick traditional 8 count songs.
Finally picked my costuming for tomorrow. I quit thinking about the solo and I'm just gonna feel the music to keep the speed 'juicy'. My students are probably not breathing much right now - they're enjoying 'test drives' with makeup and hair.
1/21: danced my fringed booty off at the event. It always feels like a smizey blur.
Students looked gorgeous. I was shaking in my ruffly pants. Hit the right speed at the end of my solo. Then I danced again at the end with my troupe, what a way to close a show. Reminded me why I wanted to teach. Dance is a big deal...I could feel all their emotions from where I was standing.
1/22: L2 class (celebrating Tuesday's triumph) and experimenting with Bollywood instrumentals in class.
1/23: Around midnight: dancing more to the new music from Wednesday class. Then in the evening, working on the timing of my solo/the end of the Amaranth piece. Can I throw a spin or two in there?
1/24: Rogue practice, hafla prep! We had to search for moves we haven't done in a while - as this song is more Indian than our recent picks.
Trying to turn my head properly and stay centered with the water pot move. Critiquing myself in the performance videos...it looks better than I expect. Tweaks to think about for Sunday...
1/25: L1 class - back to the Bollywood, explaining the various interpretations possible through one song's many layers. At home, my sister and I watched a bunch of Bollywood dance sequences. Oooh.
1/26: Rogue fundraiser hafla! Much dancing and improv-ing occurred. This was the last performance until March, and I had a nagging headache all day...no time for that! So much to celebrate with our students and family members in attendance.
1/27: I've rewarded myself with a lot of carbohydrates today. Updating the websites and will do a lot of stretching and posing to that Bollywood sound.
I'm so proud of my L1 and L2 student duets. Actually, they all just made it to L2 class...so there will be more collaborating. This was also my first solo. I could feel all their emotions while I was standing in chorus. Truly overwhelming, in a beautiful, misty-eyed way.
1/13: practicing solo moves for the 1/21 student showcase. It looked terrible in pajamas. Nothing feels quite right yet, but getting there as I slow it down significantly.
1/14: after hot gluing myself to silk flowers (making the girls some hair flowers for their debut)...it was time to work on that 30 second solo.
Focused more on my center, fewer moves and slowing the dancing down (again). Finally got that barrel turn rotated, locked and loaded. 30 minutes became 40.
Need to remember to get floor cleaner and mood lighting for tomorrow's studio redux.
1/15: L2 class (new room/restyled with a giant lantern lamp I got at Ikea - for a dim club lighting experience). We drilled floreos, spins, and worked on checking in with our center of gravity, and broke down taxeem again. Making sure I stick to my focus! Everyone loved their 'hafla starter kit' of eyelashes and hair flowers.
At this point, I am halfway through BD 30/30: it's exhausting to not have a day off. And I'm 49% crabby and 51% encouraged. With the 5 performances in the next 2 weeks, however, it's put to good use. I'm not necessarily practicing 'for' the haflas with all the songs - I'm just rebuilding steps with mindful nuances.
Back to it.
1/16: supplemental Rogue practice for The Glint (in my living room with the puppy crawling on people during their floorwork)
1/17: Rogue troupe practice/henna party!
1/18: L1 class, quick filming of a class demo for website, and The Glint performance!
1/19: Amaranth troupe practice, prepping for 2 haflas. I was tired since there are always non dance things that need to be done between dancing. I truly woke up maybe an hour after we were done.
10 more days and 4 performances to go this month! My sister took a few pictures at The Glint - I am smiling and looking 'centered'.
1/7: floreos, breaking down sahra turn, reverse turn, minding dance angles (dog crate as my audience)
1/8: L2 Class, my biggest class with three levels of students combined, splitting arms dramatically during slow turn (we all hit the same exact speed!)
1/9: worked out my 30 seconds of solo for a student performance at Grace's Belly Dance Tuesday 1/21. I was really tired, and yet I went over 30 minutes.
1/10: Rogue troupe practice, prepping for 2 haflas.
1/11: L1 class/student showcase rehearsal. They hated my solo because it was 'not fancy enough' - so I'll change it up. To amuse them, I showed them my training efforts for the zipper. I was able to get down and back up! Still won't be doing that in public anytime soon.
(I saw our practice on video. it was indeed blah for me blow through my part so plainly...I have been overly focused on the students and their comfort levels...I best *look* like a teacher.)
1/12: Amaranth troupe practice (2 hours), going through 2 songs for 2 upcoming haflas.
After that - a choreo workshop with Sabah (3 hours). For the workshop (hosted at Mahira's), it was a nervous challenge to learn choreo in another style, and then change it to my own. Also tougher to isolate my left hip movements and do a different 3/4 shimmy. It's a good weird.
Pretty sore after 5 hours of dancing, and thinking about 5 separate performances to occur this month. But I still marked music and worked out some Amaranth/Rogue plans. Lots of scheming and plotting! Can't have it any other way.
Many of you are aware of the Belly Dance 30/30 Challenge this month. Here's my summary of week one:
1/1: barrel turn obsessing, spins, sahra turn refinements (ugh!), Egyptian form with emphasis on hand/arm positioning, YouTube search for flamenco-ish music (nothing)
1/2: YouTube search for string instruments (Adam Hurst), general drilling to non-traditional rhythms, slow drills at faster and slower speeds, glute exercises (leg extensions), zipper prep
1/3: breaking down the reverse turn in writing (for student), Rogue practice and hafla planning meeting, practice to Adam Hurst (ASWAT, more Arabic family moves), shoulder shimmies until I didn't know how to do them anymore
1/4: L1 class for 1 hour - reviewing eye contact levels and confidence with slow moves. At home: Egyptian flip
1/5: Cancelled Amaranth practice, pouting - followed by fun 3-hour troupe discussion via Facebook (we enjoy spending the time, either way), troupe brand exercise, general practice in fast and slow (spins, too), Turkish drop drills on kitchen floor (going very slow and watching a few YouTube tutorials. See the very helpful videos below, plus true vintage 1980s dancewear - love it, her dance is timeless.)
1/6: barrel turn, floreos, circle step over AND over again, adapting moves for solo variations (this is challenging because it has to still feel ATS-like with some extra solo pizzazz.) Wow, is that how one spells PIZZAZZ?!
In order to actually accomplish something, I must focus *instead* of sprinkling general activity. (Which is what I usually do. It's not exactly wrong, but it isn't super measurable for results.) Let's apply boring SMART marketing goal logic to dance: Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.) After assessing this first week, it will be floreos, spins, and general core strength to maintain my center of gravity. I mean, how does my center of gravity not help everything? Practice videos and hafla performance responses will serve as my sketchy Asian perfectionist metrics. For the zipper and Turkish drop deal...either I can get down and up gain, or I can't...
Part of my 'Belly Dance 30 minutes a day for 30 days' regimen includes putzing around on YouTube for music. (The Amaranth ladies got this good habit going...)
I've always been haunted by the cello. Enjoy this talented man's work. Not only is his music stirring, but the dark outfit and candlelabras also add a nice touch.