Monday night...after a snowy 2 hour commute home, I am back in my living room, thinking of random dance stuff:
(Topic for a completely different blog - working in the trucking industry...it's like Mad Men - but without the fashion, cigarettes, or handsomeness...or maybe it's like Office Space, except it isn't as funny nor does it have a satisfying outcome. I seriously *do* talk to the customers so the engineers don't have to...)
Only one performance this month, and I'm feeling like a slacker without BD 30/30 breathing down my neck. Better check to see if I can still do that zipper move...
For now, I'm scrounging for workshop cash, new costuming ideas, promotional ideas, and three levels of lesson plans.
My hot topics:
1) practicing slow moves to fast music so there is less hesitation in the muscle memory, I've picked Spanish language songs to emphasize the timing. Speed it up to know how to slow it down.
I figured this out during a duet's (straight-up slow choreo) practice, when the song changed to some (seemingly) inappropriate indie pop tune. The duet's flow became very natural while the movement wasn't rushed, either. They looked at me with open-mouthed grins, in a "hey, check *that* out" kind of way.
Some kind of 'click' occurred. Maybe it was because the lyrics supported the movements, maybe it was because they could actually understand the lyrics. Then a fast instrumental, proper tribal belly dance song followed. Same wonderful gooey effect, they found the sultry layers beneath the drums. Blessed by the alphabetical iTunes list.
2) Student performances - how often to do it? We raise the bar after each performance, in troupe, class, or solo. But it has to stay FUN and the focus can't be 'the next hafla'. I just don't believe in living that way. So I'm figuring out how to work on the next thing without calling it A Thing.
Right now I'm going to focus on combinations, transitions and feeling 8 counts (or not, for slow moves). I'd prefer to emphasize efficient improvisation, rather than drilling repetitively for performance...
We'll see how the month goes. Feeling vs thinking is a very abstract concept to teach.
1/28: I'm in no mood to dance. Not flowing with the music, so I practiced slow moves in silence. Got better angles/control with my sahra turn.
1/29: L2 class - ASWAT combo introduction and a taxeem posture drill. Wouldn't you know, they still wanted to dance one more song after I was thinking they were over it...
1/30: TINY CONCERT DANCING. Sold out 'standing room only' concert, I'm trying to stand in dance posture to relieve my back. Luckily, I was by the few people who wanted to dance. Small moves...but we made it count.
1/31: Rogue practice, trying out two newer concepts in trios. Finally. This Month. Is Done.
Let's go back to what I said I wanted to do:
Strategic - that core strength improvement business, as it has everything to do with refining my movements.
Measurable - you bet it was measured in those performance videos, to start. Lost a few pounds. I was able to get down to that zipper (and back up again), people remarked about my posture, and my mom said my stomach was nice and flat. That last 'mom comment' warrants a blog in itself. Let's not go there. .
Attainable - I did it (see above).
Relevant - when is core strength *ever* irrelevant...? Sheesh.
Time-bound - the cold, miserable, sickness-ridden month of January, which also happened to have 5 performances. :)
Closing comments: It is healthy to have non-dance days, since much time is also dedicated to explore the dance things that don't involve actual dancing. But, it was also healthy to push myself every day to reach some aggressive goals. I had told myself that I would legitimately set aside time to dance every day...and it certainly created a very in-my-face focus. My next dance break is scheduled for Monday-Tuesday.