In the belly of the beast

If you are in the performing arts, you'd have to get used to a few uncomfortable things.

  1. The mirror.  It should be your friend. No, not so you can preen all the time but so you can see yourself and how totally retarded you look as you attempt various moves. Just try not to stare too hard or laugh too loudly at other people or yourself as you attempt your moves. The good part about having that mirror is so that you can correct all your retardation to make it somewhat smooth.
  2. Criticism. Everyone will get it. Most importantly, you  have to hear what is being said and put it into your performance to enhance it. Over the years, I've gotten my fair share of tough love and while it is never easy to deal with, once you address your issues and work on them, you will find that progress will come much easier.
  3. Solos. A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to teach my fellow dancers a short choreo as part of our musicality training. No matter how long you've been dancing, sometimes the best way to learn about the music and how to listen is to come up with your own little masterpiece. I have to admit that even a 30sec piece was tough as I had to execute not only the moves for the girls but for the boys. I have new respect for choreographers and so do not want to be in their shoes!
  4. Competition. Sometimes the competition for a dancer is not with everyone else but with themselves. Because there will always be someone better, faster and more agile than you. But the onus is on yourself to push as hard as you can in order to get to the next level. You just have to know that blood, sweat and tears are part of this shindig. The rewards are immeasurable but extremely satisfying at the end.   
Last week, I completed the Intermediate 3 class for Belly Dancing. Ana Dana was an interesting little choreo because for the first time, I had to do a choreo which relied on its coyness and sensuality. Watching this video and listening to my instructor's critique, I know that I still have much to work not only in terms of technicality and movement.

Despite it's exotic roots, Belly Dancing is not about being sexual...it's about sensuality and celebrating the female form. Hence, there are no movements where the performers touch themselves unlike in exotic or burlesque. Watching this video and others over the course of a year's worth of lessons, I'm pleased that there has been some improvement in terms of my movements. Now to work on refinement!


As always, there is always an aspiration. This time it is Sadie. She may be American but she also has the moves and the spirit of the dance down. Working my way towards moving like that!

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P
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