mekyria: (orange butterfly jump)
I am continuing to squeeze in bellydance practice and in a moment of weakness signed up for the improvising course on this website:

Seven classes on improvising by an American dancer who has been performing in Egypt for years. Some of the classes are with live percussion. This should be interesting.

I was reading Andalee's blog about Cairo and I longed for Egypt and this happened. I look forward to working on the classes but I also have to prepare the choreographies for my class starting next Monday, plus find a 48 hour timeslot in February to work on my audition for BDE. I am still working with Jenna's 'The Next Level' dvd, this is a recording of how far I am with her drum solo choreography, it's nice to work on something for myself and though there are a million little things I'd like to correct, overall I am pretty pleased.

In case you were wondering what a dancer could possibly do with a worldwide available choreography on dvd, here are a few suggestions.
1. teach it to your beginners

2. Use it as  atroupe performance piece

3. put on a costume and videotape yourself in front of a webcame in a dimly lit living room with barely audible music
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)


My 7 week beginners session ended and though all students loved it, I only have four sign ups for the session that starts on February 9th. It's not as bad as the advanced group, with only 1 enrollment so far. *le sigh* I once more wonder why I put in all the effort when it is harder and harder to get people to sign up.

In brighter news, yesterday was the muwashshahat class where we danced on the 10/8 rhythm with the handkerchiefs. Last week we did saaidi which was also fun. I am a bit more comfortable with saaidi because I've taught several saaidi choreographies. The first class was Spanish-Arabic with lots of skirt moves. Next week is Khaleegy and for the last class I am still considerening Nubian (did a weeklong with Khazafy to years ago) or Turkish 9/8 (did orientalized version and took some classes in Istanbul, but need to revisit).

The irony of it all is that I becoming a better, more confident teacher while sign up is steadily declining. I really need an at-home dance no rent studio! I am happy with my upstairs dance room: not big enough to teach, but big enough for my own practice which is good.

#10dagenbuikdans challenge
I am still doing my challenge and am now at day 9. I started over on the day I went public with the idea. Many people interested, no one participating. It is awesome to be practicing on a regular base and I can feel my strength growing every day. I'm combining it with 30 day shred and other short workout videos and it works. I learned that I am still very mush focussed on learning through dvd because that is when I can relax. Preparing my classes, making and learning my own choreographies doesn't feel like practice, it feels like work.

Dalla Dream Dancers
We're meeting again tomorrow and we're going to practice our folkloric repertoire. we received word from Ada, our dance aunt who is terminally ill. She is discussing euthanesia with her doctor. I expect that we won't do much dancing tomorrow, but talk about her and what we can do for her as long as she's here.

I got booked to teach a bellydance workshop at someone's house tomorrow afternoon. I arranged with work to be working from home for half a day, then I'll hop into the car and teach the workshop. Busy day but I am happy that I get to use my big box with hipscarves once more, I sometimes feel guilty for having so much dance stuff while there are less and less occassions to use it.

Costuming website
the costuming website is online and I planned a couple of posts so it will contain a new post every week. I have a huge backlog of costuming projects that I can upload, and so I will. After all, costume addicts don't care if a costume was made in the past or the present. What does make a difference is the involvement of people when doing a costume project, it's very effective to interact, ask opinions and make people eager to check up on you.

Bellydance Evolution
I want to join the BDE online competition for the shows in Germany in May. I reckon I have a fair shot as
1. Winning means considerable travel and housing expenses for the participants
2. It's the third competition in EU so most people who wanted to join have already tried it
3. Looking at the questions, I have a good amount of training on the subject

I am scheduling my registration somewhere in February an dplan to record and upload my video within three days. 24 hours is just not possible for me, though it would give me a good head start on the other competitors. Part of this is given in by my insane need to keep busy and part of it is a dancer's midlife crisis. Once I have kids, I don't see myself training on this level or being able to run off for a couple of weeks to dance.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
With a bit of a break between day 1 and 2 due to health, However, I did get back into it.

Day 3
I was still chewing on the material from Fluid Tribal bellydance with Fayzah. This time I decided to start with the warm up. Unfortunately it was a warm up aimed at superfit twenty year old dancers. It included a whole lot of crunches, some squats, stretches that weren't held long enough for me and so on. I did a quick run through of the tribal basic moves and then moved on to the choreography. I had been stalling this part because the choreography is daunting.

The choreography is 1.16 minute long. The choreography explanation is 8.04 minutes long. I kid you not.

My rule of thumb for creating and learning choreography is that it takes roughly one our per minute of intermediate/advanced choreography to create the basic framework. It then takes three hours to get the framework solid in your body for one minute of choreography. It takes roughly five more hours of practice per minute of choreography to make it smooth and polished. Compared to the other teachers in my area, I am pretty fast with creating and learning choreography.

I did the choregraphy section and paused after every combination, practiced a couple of times, then moved on. At this pace it took me roughly 30 minutes to go through this section. It is a fun tribal choreography and contains some of the moves she explained in the earlier sections BUT I can't get it to work for me. Oriental dancer says 'no'. Instead I jotted down the moves I really liked and created my own practice flow, which is roughly four times slower and a hell of a lot more fun.

I then started on the preparation of my Zambra Mora class and worked on the hand-out. My search took me to Old Bhuz and it was fabulous. In depth threads on dance styles, remember those? Say all you want about facebook but facebook is impossible for searching and retrieving information. We're basically just yapping at each other in groups now with the memory of a goldfish.

Day 4
I planned on dancing but I didn't. Instead I continued on my hand-out for Zambra Mora, created a playlist with music for the class and then decided to make a new free hand-out for circle skirts. It took me three hours, using material from my 2007 costuming book combined with new insights on costuming and what a useful format would be. I then continued to write out the chapters of my Bellydance skirts e-book (in Dutch) that I plan to release later this year. It will contain at least ten extensive how-to's on bellydance skirts and in total will be roughly 50 pages. This is a follow up of my grand masterplan to not rewrite my costuming book, but instead make smaller (wahahaha!) seperate publications for online sales. The freebie turned out pretty good and if I can work some more this week on the rest of the patterns I might send out the newsletter in January announcing the release date, probably start of March 2015. I need products that I can sell during the expected time that I won't be teaching/performing next year if I get pregnant again.

Day 5
I dug through my dvd collection and found some real gems. I started with Jenna's Bellydance, the next level. It is a WDNY dvd so quality is good and this dvd is more my style so easier to work with.

The warm up works for me and I did the three drill sections for a total of 35 minutes. I stopped at the choreography section and instead put on steady music to drill the combinations I wrote down from the fluid fusion dvd. The moves are growing on me and hav an Indian flavor to them. If I continue drilling these, I will put them in my new intermediates choreography, to give them something to chew on. Looking at Fayzah's website, she has dropped bellydancing and is now into futuristic streetdance stuff. I dare you to watch her trailer. It contains dancing octopussy, fire breathing, headstands and a windows phone commercial
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
For posterities sake I'll keep a record of a mini version of Andalee's 90 day challenge. I've just started and I'll see where it ends. My previous bouts of super activity are usually brought on by bad things happening in my life. For example, four years ago my break up with my ex caused me to finish two complete costumes and various projects from my to-do pile, I organized a bellydance show and worked my ass off, creating two solo performances that I am still really proud off.

I might as well make the most of my current state of mind and dive into my costuming and dance passion.

Day 1

I started off easy with one of my alltime favorites: Jillina's Shap up and hip out. It contains three practice flows of 20 minutes each, with the first one on beginner level, second on intermediate and third on advanced level. I usually cheat by skipping the first section but this time I didn't. It caused me to feel a bit frustrated and bored at times because things were moving slow. I really wanted to experience those feelings as students will often experience these emotions in class too (well, not too often, I hope). What helped me is the knowledge that the next sections would be more enjoyable. I also noticed after about ten minutes, that I started to be more relaxed and that I could pay more attention to the details of basic moves. Much like dance meditation, I felt more ín my body'. It helped me to correct my posture consistently throughout the first section and the effect carried over in the other two sections. Nice! I finished up with a couple of sun salutations.

Day 2

This was one of those days that I didn't know what I wanted to do. It is hard to get moving if I have no clear idea of what I'm doing. I popped in the 2th dvd from From A to Zoe, which contains great material but coldn't grab my attention. I wanted to move instead of work on intricate isolations!I was in doubt between doing an Essentrics dvd as I really enjoy those, but that wouldn't be bellydance. I ended up with Bellydance Fluid Tribal with Fayzah, with the idea that it would be better suited to my mood.

Wowza, this is a good dvd! Not for beginners, as all the tribal moves are explained in ery short sections. I did get inspired by the moves and got hooked on pausing the dvd and trying several moves in order to get it right. I did fail miserably at that, I'll need to work at least 5-6 times with this dvd to get the material into my body. Fayzah is a soft spoken, excellent multi diciplinairy dancer. There is some ballet technique in there, some modern... I only got through the explanation of basic tribal fusion moves and the practice flow (twice). She is also teaching a choreography (watched it, tried it, too hard for me right now) and the performances.

I will not abandon my love for Egyptian and folcloric dance but this dvd certainly helped me to get inspired and get moving. So that's what I plan to do tomorrow: try the meditation and warming-up section (I skipped it because I didn't feel like meditation). I recommend this dvd because it has some excellent ideas on turns, moves and combinations that translate well to traditional bellydance.

as I felt inspired afterwards I hunted youtube for clips on skirt dancing. I'll teach a class on skirt dancing in January and I need to prepare. I also started sewing crystals to my old school Bella Bedlah to add a bit more bling to the costume. I end up wearing it every year with different skirts, for different performances so I might as well make it prettier for the next time.
mekyria: (Default)
I've been watching three bellydance dvd's today:' That's Hot!', ' lights, camera, bellydance' and 'shake it up!'.

Most memorable awful performances:
-Kaya and Sadie dressed up in white feather boas including the white feather headdress, doing extremely huge pelvic moves. It'll take a while before this is out of my system
- meleha doing an oriental fantasy number in a catsuit with ski-pant feet and a black and gold lace thong and triangle bra tied on top of it. Too much 1001 night fabtasy, higly artistic floorwork without any depth in emotion. Why the thong?
-kaya doing the 'seduce the sultan act' with a dressed up guy in the background sitting on pillows and smoking a shisha. Loved the sleeves on her crop top. Hated her adult movie faces.
-bellydancer on speed doing cane dance. I like cane dance when done well, but this was just too much of everything.

what I liked:
-some of the duo dances where nice to watch, they match well when it comes to dance style, though I rather watch a dancer with smaller and more controlled moves. I like the hat-dance thing they did, very cabaret.
-ava fleming showed her amazing muscle control, but I think the music was added out of sync.
-Sadie has good technique and nice flwoing arms
-there are some great drum solo's on these dvd's.

Hate to say it, but my armwork is a bit like that of Kaya. ai. Right now it's a bit between Samia Gamal (she could get away with it, I can't) and kaya (I'd like to keep my arms up, but somehow they always go down). Need. more. practice. I'm going to tape some choreo's next teusday, some of which aren't finished yet, because I like to keep things open when performing.

Adana- turkish folk, upbeat song
Mouna- arabian classic, everything goes style wise (Egyptian would be best, but GP likes a mix of everything)
zay al asal
mekyria: (Default)
Sometimes it seems like the weight of the world is pressing on your shoulders all the time. How come that it can be so hard to find the energy for stuff that you love to do?

This is a good week, because I seem to have boundless energy. It might be because it's the week that I'm not taking the pil, I have to start saturday with a new strip. I got up early yesterday to prepare my class, print the bills for the health center, work, went to class and did 40 minutes of pilates afterwards.

I woke up feeling thouroughly worked out. I wish I did this more often! I did Aziza's practice companion this morning for the first time. I love her drills and her shimmy drill is to die for. It made me think about what I want to incorporate in my dayly drills and what I want to achieve. There are two performances on it that I also really enjoyed. She's such a beautiful woman and has a very 'real' feel to it. I like Jillina for her technique, but her stage pressence is obviously highly polished. Aziza shows her audience a part of herself when performing (and when teaching) that really pulls you into the music.
mekyria: (Default)
Blurry picture of the cute lilac top that I made teusday. I made a darkblue assymetric top today, with a white slant across the front and baby blue sparkly stars. I'll show that one tomorrow.

September 2017

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