Monday, January 31, 2011

One Month! WOOHOO!

Day 31 of practice. That's right! One whole month!

You'd think I would celebrate this milestone with some sort of really awesome practice, but I'm actually quite busy getting ready for gem show, so instead I did shimmies while cleaning the kitchen and making tea, and belly rolls while drinking tea and writing this blog post.

Suddenly, I am good at belly rolls. I mean, not amazing, I'm not going to flip quarters or anything like that, but they're so much smoother, I can feel the transition from upper to mid to lower abs, and they're not making me queasy. I guess the sporadic practice has done me a lot of good! I intend to practice them every day while I work at the gem show (I spend a lot of time sitting behind the counter packaging crystals, so I won't be weirding the customers out). After that it will be time to explore how to do flutters, because that would be a really nice trick to have available for my solo work.

I am really excited that I'm already 1/12th of the way through my goal of one year of practice!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Long, dance-filled day

Day 30 of practice.

Well, today I had much more than half an hour of dance practice! I spent two hours at a workshop taught by the lovely and talented Amanda Rose, and I had fun even though there was a lot of choreography (I'm such an improv girl!). We played belly dance tag for our warm-up, which was hilarious. Everyone was laughing by the end.

Then I met up with my friend Jen to practice for our performance. We danced in muddy grass and got dressed in the ASU student union bathroom. Getting ready for a performance is my ultimate girly-girl experience... comparing jewelry and make-up, admiring each other's new accessories, playing with hair, checking that everything looks good from behind, too. It's so much fun.

The performance was... not what I expected. I'm too tired now to get into the full thing, but suffice it to say that there was pretty much no one there. On the bright side, that meant there weren't a lot of people to see me get rushed and flub a few moves. We also participated in some open dancing to live music, which is a rare treat!

Video and perhaps pictures later this week!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Belt!

Day 29 of practice.

I don't post a lot of pictures on this blog, so I'm rather amused that one of the only pics I've posted of myself is one of my backside. Also entertaining is the fact that even though I knew my husband was just taking a picture of my butt (by my request, I wanted to show off the belt), I immediately pulled myself into dance posture. It's become an ingrained habit!

The cool belt is my awesome find from the gem show today. The diamond-patterned panel is all beadwoven, and there are two smaller panels around the front. It looks simply awesome over my new peridot green skirt, and I know this for a fact because I just got done with giving tomorrow night's costume a test run!

My plan to practice as soon as the guys left was thwarted by my need to convert the straps on my bra (the last time I wore it, it kept creeping up), which took far longer than I expected. Then I had to get all dressed up, which involved running around the house finding all the different jewelry I wanted to wear. But I still got started before 10, which meant I had much more energy and enthusiasm.

I practiced lots of Anaya Tribal fast moves, since that's what we'll be performing tomorrow and I haven't danced with Jen for a while, so I don't know what moves she'll be busting out with. Plus I did some slow, because I always need the practice. And I spun around, because I was wearing a new 25 yard skirt and they demand spinning. I did not, however, practice veil. There were just too many rings on my hands! I'll get back to it on Monday.

Switching up the play list

Day 28 of practice. That's 4 weeks!

If there's one bad thing about practicing every day, it's that I listen to the same songs 4-5 times a week, and I start to get sick of dancing to them. So I have to switch up my "Homework" play list every now and then. Tonight I swapped in the song that we'll be performing to on Sunday (no idea what it's called, or who it's by), some Dead Can Dance, an Omar Faruk Tekbilek remix, some Wolfsheim and some Stellamara. I might use the Stellamara song for my veil solo -- it's very pretty, and lends itself better to throwing in a few spins than my previous veil favorite, Pilgrimage of Lost Children.

The new play list is almost 40 minutes long, so I didn't go through the entire thing tonight, since I was tired. But tomorrow I plan to start practicing when the guys leave to go to D&D, so I'll go through the entire thing and a couple repetitions of our performance song.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Day 27 of practice.

Forgive me if this post is a bit short. I got up earlier than usual so we could take my brother-in-law up to Tempe for the day. We had a good time hanging out in the Phoenix area, but I'm quite tired after a very long day.

Our day of course culminated in my usual two hours of Anaya Tribal classes. In Fun-Duh-Mentals, the newbies were finally introduced to zills, with predictably noisy results. I'm glad that we'll be zilling in that class, because I need all the practice I can get. Advanced/Performance Prep involved trying different transitions between formations, which resulted in me picking the entirely wrong move to use in a diagonal formation. Good thing it was just practice!

Also, I got a new green skirt. Squeee! Perhaps this blog should actually be called Confessions of a green skirt addict.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Tonight was the last part of the 4-week veil intensive. I'll miss it so much! I'm going to keep taking Fonda's classes at the Dance Loft, but they won't be VEIL classes!

I think I'm going to perform veil at a hafla in March, which means I really have to start shopping for another veil. Once I get a veil I like, I will post photos showing just how ridiculously big my veil is compared to a normal-sized veil -- I think maybe it was made for a basketball player? It's so big that yesterday I somehow managed to get my foot wrapped up in it!

Speaking of performing, my friend Jen and I, and maybe our friend Meghan, will be performing some Anaya Tribal style moves up in Tempe on Sunday! My first performance of the year! YEAH!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Day 25 of practice.

Ok, this late-night practice has got to end. I was yawning my way through combos, and spending entirely too much time in basic moves because I couldn't remember other combos to practice. I do not feel like I am getting the most out of my daily practice this way. Of course, I won't be able to really adapt my schedule until after the gem show next week... next week I'll just dance whenever I can!

Still really enjoying one-armed veil spins, though. Tonight I practiced spotting while doing them, to try to reduce dizziness.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spinning faster and faster

Day 24 of practice.

In veil class last week, Fonda taught us the secret to a good one-armed spin with a veil, but she didn't really have us practice it much -- probably because that many dancers spinning with veils in a relatively small studio would have resulted in collisions, veil tangles, and possibly injuries. But she encouraged us to try it at home, and boy have I! I started with relatively sedate turns, but tonight I was really feeling it and I spun faster and faster, so that my rather heavy synthetic veil was really billowing behind me! After the song finished I was pretty dizzy, so it's a good thing it's followed immediately by my slow veil practice song, allowing me to pretty much stand in place while the room spun around me!

I've also been practicing some really quick, dramatic turns for my solos, and I'm happy with how they're coming along -- although I only know how they feel to me, they might actually LOOK awful. I don't have a mirror in the living room, so I rely on my shadow, my reflection in the TV, and how things feel.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oatmeal time is dance time!

This morning I learned that I can get quite a bit of dancing done in my kitchen while cooking my oatmeal. I intend to take full advantage of this fact during gem show, when I will probably have to divide my half-hour of dancing into smaller chunks. Today I got some pretty sweet traveling shimmies done while waiting for the water to boil.

But that was only a few minutes of daily practice, so tonight was 20+ minutes of practice to my homework playlist. Anaya Tribal fast and slow, slow veil moves, one-armed spins with the veil to a faster song, and solo practice, too! I'm getting bored with the current playlist, though, so I'll probably change it up a bit in the next couple of days.

The latest practice yet!

Day 22 of practice.

Ugh. I overslept, work wasn't conducive to more than a few seconds of belly rolls here and there, and our game ran past midnight. By the time the game was done, I was so tired that once again all I wanted to do was sleep (I really need a day where I can sleep in until noon, but I don't think that will happen any time soon). Practice consisted of half an hour, ish, of shimmies and other isolations while my husband and I looked at some YouTube videos (mainly seeing just how many different covers of The Cure's Lovesong we could find, none of which were as epic as Tanzwut's version).

My brother-in-law is getting into town tomorrow and staying with us for a week, but I am determined not to let him being here interfere with my practice or class schedule.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Three weeks!

Day 21 of practice.

Here we are, three weeks in and I haven't given up yet! I also haven't changed my trend of late-night practice :) Just got done with my daily half-hour, dancing my way through my homework playlist (a mix of Lisa Gerrard, Wench, Dead Can Dance, Voltaire, Abney Park, and Beats Antique), playing with my veil, practicing the new Anaya Tribal combos I learned last night, and experimenting with solo moves.

Tomorrow should be a bit of a challenge, as I have a crazy-busy day. 12-5 I'll be working, helping a friend get ready for vending at the gem shows, then by the time I get home, my gaming group will be here to play some Legend of the Five Rings, which will probably last past midnight. Should I dance before work? Do belly rolls while I work? Dance during the dinner break at the game? Or dance after the game? I guess I'll have to see what feels good at the time, but it will be good practice for gem show itself, when I'll be working 8-10 hours a day and then socializing almost every night after work!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Practicing Leadership

Day 20 of practice.

Thursday nights are of course Anaya Tribal nights! My goal is to eventually join Anaya's student troupe, Qadesh. One of the requirements is to be able to lead any and all of the moves in the Anaya vocabulary. However, I tend to be more of a follower than a leader, and when I do lead, I usually stick to a few moves that I know well and enjoy doing. So I'm trying to push my boundaries. Tonight, I volunteered to lead a move that we had just learned, even though it involved a layered shimmy -- another of my weaknesses. I'd love to say that I rocked it, but I did in fact end up being off-beat (my *other* weakness). But I lead it three times, so go me!

Also tonight, I signed up for workshops with Mira Bentz in April... so I guess that will be something like a reward for what should, at that point, be over 3 months of practice!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My veil is good for some things

Day 19 of practice.

Tonight was the third of four veil classes... I'm going to miss it when it's done! I had lots of trouble with my veil tonight, though. It's just so BIG, I kept tripping over it. Plus it kept clinging to the scarf I was wearing around my hips. Lots of static!

But then we learned The Envelope, which involves wrapping the veil around yourself and doing moves. My huge, sheer veil created a very pretty image but allowed the imaginary audience to see me doing moves underneath it. It was nice to do something where my particular veil was an asset instead of a liability.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tired dancer is lazy

*yaaaaaaaawn* Too little sleep, a whole lot of sun, and plenty of walking in newish shoes. This dancer is tired, worn out, and foot sore. It was all I could do not to collapse into bed early tonight, but I needed practice!

I did need to rest my feet, since I have class the next two nights, so I did my practice sitting here at my desk -- 10 minutes of zills, 10 minutes of belly roll/ab isolation practice, and 10 minutes of hand isolations with some rib slides and a few more belly moves thrown in.

Now... bed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dancer vs. Dogs

Once again I forgot to put my corgis in their crates before dance practice -- they were napping so it slipped my mind. During my practice they slipped out into the living room and sat together on the couch, watching me. I was impressed by their good behavior and thought they were finally used to my dancing... until I did a sudden spin, and suddenly they were barking and trying to wrestle me again! *sigh* But I was really into the song, so I didn't want to just stop. I decided to make crating them part of the dance -- shimmied and strutted my way into the bedroom, turned my arm movements into imperious points and finger-snaps in the direction of the crates, and a deep, graceful bend to throw the latches. I only broke character long enough to tell them they were good girls for obeying my mostly non-verbal cues ;)

I had a fun breakthrough, where I discovered that layering a hip drop over a downward level makes it appear like my hip is pulling me down with the music, and then I POP up with the beat. Wee! It really fit the particular Beats Antique song I was dancing to, I'll have to see if it works with anything else.

Otherwise, because I was pretty tired it was a mediocre practice, my veil practice was especially bad, I kept getting tangled up, throwing the veil in my face, grabbing the wrong edge of the semi-circle. My head just wasn't in it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

DUI -- Dancing Under the Influence

Day 16 of practice.

Even though I'm almost 29, drinking is a relatively new thing for me... I finally started experimenting with it last year, and I'm still a very light drinker, never having more than one drink in a sitting and only enjoying a small selection of alcoholic beverages -- ciders, fruit lambics, and girly mixed drinks that I can't taste the alcohol in. Oh, and absinthe with sugar, because it's GREEN! and tastes like alcoholic licorice.

Since the first time I drank an entire glass of absinthe, I've wondered whether I would be a better or worse dancer with a buzz on. But most of the time when I drink, it's with a meal, or when we have friends over for a gaming night, so there's not really a good chance to test it. But I currently have a fridge full of lambic and cider, so tonight I decided to drink a cider quickly while putting together this week's "Homework" playlist (more on that tomorrow) and then see how it affected my dancing.

At first I thought I didn't even have a little buzz, but as I started to crate the puppies and get my veil, I started to feel it. During my warm-up and the first song, I felt fine. For the second song, I felt very sassy, had some fun, and thought I should be wearing my fedora to match my attitude. But then it really hit me. I started to feel slightly detached from my body, unable to fully focus on the music or remember my slow moves (actually, I always have a hard time with slow moves, but this was worse than usual). My Maya Box was a joke! I forced myself to do one song of veil after that, and really just drifted my way through the song. I wasn't really awful, just not as involved in the dance as I should be.

And now I'm having a hard time focusing on the screen to type this, and I've corrected a lot of typos. I think it's time to drink some water and write this off as a failed experiment! And to think, some people drink a shot before performing to ward off anxiety!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Skirt Combos and Shopping!

Today I went up to Mesa (part of the Phoenix metropolis) to go to Yasmina's Belly Dance Swap Meet. I don't know how Yasmina can do it, but she lets people set up booths for $10 and the workshops are $5 each! It's a super deal, and the weather was so warm and beautiful, so it was nice to be at an outdoor event (although we got really hot inside doing the workshop!).

The workshop was skirt combos with Divine Chaos, and in an hour they managed to cover FOUR combos! Those ladies can teach! The combos were a lot of fun, kind of flirty and sassy and energetic, but also graceful because of the swirling skirts. It was a good thing we were in a big room, because there were a lot of students and of course we were all flinging our skirts around and twirling and traveling!

Unfortunately, by the time I got out of the workshop, which was the last of the day, most of the vendors were already tearing down their booths, which made it hard to shop. I did get myself the prettiest hair clip, made with hand-dyed flowers, and a cute belt with shisha mirrors, and spent less than $20 total. I'll post a pic, maybe tomorrow!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two weeks!

It's the 14th day of the year, which means 14 straight days of practice!

Tonight was some general practice. I made sure to do the new Anaya combo I learned last night, so I wouldn't forget it, and the new veil moves from Wednesday. I tried my cotton rectangle veil to see if I like it better than my synthetic semi-circle. The answer is no, I do not particularly like it.

A couple quick observations, two weeks in:

It was a great idea for me to take Fonda's veil class, having the veil to play with adds an extra dimension to my practice which has been a lot of fun! Plus I get to support my local community and meet new people.

If I'm going to do drills, I need to watch a DVD because otherwise I really slack off.

Ceiling fan. Grrr.

Having this blog really keeps me accountable!

Tomorrow I'll buy myself a two-weeks reward at the belly dance swap meet!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I love performance prep class!

Day 13 of practice.

Another fun night of Anaya Tribal classes. In advanced/performance prep, we once again split the class in half and practiced performing for each other, but this time instead of having the roomy dance floor to work with, we had to dance in the retail area, simulating a crowded restaurant or tiny stage! It was really challenging to have 5 dancers in a small space, especially since we were pretty much right on top of our "audience."

I really admire people who dance in restaurants as their regular gig. There's not a lot of room, you never know what will be on the floor, you and the wait staff have to dodge around each other, and some of your audience is more interested in their food than in you!

As is usually the case after two hours of dance and a 3+ hour round trip, I am beat! Time for some restful sleep to recover.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More Veil Fun!

Tonight was another hour and a half of tribal and veil at The Dance Loft with Fonda. Great class! But my veil is seriously way too big! I should probably start shopping for a new one. The current one won't go to waste, I've used it a couple of times as sort of a skirt/drape over 25 yard skirts. It's a lovely sheer, shimmery dark teal that compliments green really well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The perils of practicing in my living room

Day 11 of practice (I probably identified yesterday as day 11, because it was after midnight).

I envy people with a dedicated space to practice their dance in. I really do. When my husband and I went shopping for a house, I had dreams of having a room to bead in, and someplace wide open for dancing. Somehow I didn't get either of those. Oh, someday I'll have them, if we ever finish renovations, but for now I have to content myself with dancing in the living room.

The main problem with my living room is that it was designed for a short person. Despite the fact that it has regular ceilings, the ceiling fan is drop-mounted. Tall friends have to duck to walk under it. I routinely hit it with my hands when I'm dancing (during the summer, I of course turn it off before I dance!). For some inexplicable reason, my two dogs cannot stand the sound of the pull-chains clanging against the glass fixture. So tonight's practice went like this.

Warm Up.
Start dancing.
Accidentally hit pull chains, summoning the dogs from the bedroom. Try to keep dancing while telling the dogs to be quiet.
Dogs return to bedroom.
I hit the chains again. I'm now dancing faster, so the excited, barking corgis decide this means I must want to wrestle. I tell them to be quiet, to no avail. Maggie decides to bite my pants to try to get me to join their herd dog games.
Give up and lock dogs in their crates (it's cold, so I don't want to put them outside to play).
Decide to play more with my veil. Discover that veil layers nicely over Maya Hip Bump and Maya Box.
Run out of veil moves. Toss veil onto the couch. Watch in dismay as cat decides that my veil is his new bed.
Chase cat off of veil, put veil in dance bag, and struggle to hold onto my sense of inner happiness as I wrap up my practice.

I love my pets. I really do. But they are not very compatible with my dance life! Don't even get me started about the orange corgi hairs on my black dance pants...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Good Practice, and Music Links

Day 11 of Practice

Just got done with another late-night practice. You would think that in the winter months, I would practice during the day when it's warmer, but no, I waste the warm hours working on the computer and then wonder why my muscles are so cold when I dance. I'll try to fix that this week.

Most of tonight's practice was just working on Anaya Tribal moves to my Homework playlist -- two songs each fast and slow -- plus practicing some solo moves to "Beauty Beats" by Beats Antique. But then I realized that I had a few minutes left, I wanted to practice my veil moves, and I was out of slow songs on that playlist. I switched over to my Slow playlist and found "Pilgrimage of Lost Children" by Lisa Gerrard. I don't practice to it often, because it's so slow and stately, but the mysterious vocals really suit the veil! I can't wait to learn more moves on Wednesday so I can continue to work to this beautiful song!

And speaking of music, if you direct your attention to the left-hand side of the screen, you'll see that I have begun to compile a list of bands mentioned on this blog! Be warned that many of the sites have music that plays automatically. They're also rather graphics-intensive, so if you're still on dial-up, you may be in for a long wait.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Today's practice was an hour and a half long double sword workshop. I only had one sword, so I got to have fun improvising on the one combo that required two swords, much to the teacher's delight. Hey, I'm an improv girl at heart! A lot of my friends were there, so it was a social occasion as well, and one of my classmates custom-ordered a necklace, so it was lucrative as well. What a great day!

I love sword dancing in theory, but in practice I really hate my sword. It's supposedly designed for dancing, but it doesn't balance well and I don't like how it looks on my head. Of course, I liked it a lot better back before I met people with cooler swords, so it's probably partially envy and partially the fact that I have one of the cheapest possible belly dance swords ever. I keep telling myself that I need to practice with the cheap sword and get better, and then I can reward myself with a nicer sword to actually perform with!

Just dancing

Another night of way-past-midnight practice. This was an odd day. There was a shooting in my city, an attempted assassination, which put me in a rather off mood. I was determined to dance away the negativity, but we also had house guests coming, so the first part of the day was spent cleaning house. I settled for little dance moves here and there, and lots of loudly singing along with songs, but the real dancing didn't happen until after the guests left.

I put on some music and just danced, mainly focusing on the joy of the movement. I did practice some of my Anaya Tribal moves, but they were sprinkled in with lots of straight-up improv. My favorite part was dancing to "Iyansa" by Faun, a song that starts out slow, kicks into a medium tempo, and then gets faster and faster and faster, until I can barely keep up, and then gets slow again. It's a fun one for practicing fast turns, spins and shimmies.

Next week, I think I'll add links to some of my favorite bands to the sidebar, so that when I talk about one, you have the option of easily visiting their page and hopefully checking out some clips or sample downloads and deciding if you like them, too. I'm lucky to be married to a guy who loves music and really enjoys finding new and unusual things for me to dance to!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One week in!

Yes, I am posting this after midnight, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so I consider it to still be Friday. And Friday marks one week of daily practice! Woohoo! Go me!

Although, before I get too self-congratulatory, I should admit that I did not make the 30 minute goal today. I was feeling particularly beat, cold, and prone to coughing fits, so I slacked off and only did 10 minutes of actual practice, plus various bopping along to music while I cleaned earlier. I have a feeling that Fridays will often be low-level practice days, especially as long as I am taking classes on both Wednesday and Thursday. I should devise something for Fridays that counts as practice, but doesn't take as much energy -- maybe a combination of zills and some dance-centric yoga.

Tonight's practice was productive, even if it was short. I played with my veil to "The Gates of Istanbul" by Loreena McKennitt, not only doing the moves that Fonda taught on Wednesday but experimenting with turning them, and also with using the veil to frame other simple slow tribal moves. I suspect that on a more energetic day I will do even more tests to see what works. Then I did some fast Anaya Tribal practice to "Indiscrete" by QNTAL because I had heard it while I was doing dishes and my dance ability was limited by my desire to not break any plates. That particular song is very fast, but it has an easy, catchy beat which makes it ideal for practice, especially for someone with no natural sense of rhythm (me!).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fundamentals to Performance Prep

This is a session of polar opposite classes for me. Anaya Tribal is offering Fundamentals (actually, I think they're spelling it Fun-DUH-Mentals, which makes me wonder whether I should be having fun, saying "duh" or going mental. Maybe all three?) and Performance Prep classes back to back on Thursday nights. I'm taking both classes, which means I went from doing moves I've re-learned about 3 times now, to pretending to perform and trying not to mess up when people whipped out advanced moves that I barely remembered. In other words, it was a really fun night!

Two hours of class more than exceeds my half hour of daily practice, and it's left me feeling pretty beat (actually, I can probably blame the 3 1/2 hour round trip for that).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tribal Veil Class

Tonight, I branched out a bit. One of my Tucson friends, who teaches drop-in-friendly tribal classes in town, announced that the first four weeks of the year were going to be a veil intensive. Well, that got my attention fast! I have two veils just lying around my house, loved but unused, and finally I would have a chance to do something with them!

So off I went to The Dance Loft, which is, I might add, very hard to find at night. It's in a very dark warehouse district and has one little unlit black sign pointing to it! But I made my way there and found myself in the company of a mix of regular students, people who were familiar with belly dance but new to The Dance Loft, and one lady who was new to belly dance altogether. A very fun mix.

That means that tonight's half hour of practice was actually an hour and twenty minutes plus of class, reviewing slow tribal moves and layering veils on top of them, plus going over wrapping yourself with the veil, doing a veil entrance, how to properly hold a veil, etc. It was all very much fun and it got me out of the house, which was a big plus! I can't wait to go back next week.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

That felt GOOD!

Day 4 of practice.

Ah, finally, real dancing! My living room usually feels too small, but after three days of confining myself to the tiny office, it felt huge today. So much room to move! But the ceiling fan still hangs too low. I've really got to replace it with a flush-mount model.

I put on my "Homework" play list. This ever-changing short list of songs always has 1 or 2 songs appropriate for practicing Anaya Tribal fast moves, 1 or 2 for slow, songs that I'm considering for solos, and if applicable, songs that have been chosen for recital or that are being used for classes with choreography.

Tonight, the first song to come up was "Sadrang" by Niyaz. I want to perform a solo to this song, but it's over 5 minutes long and most haflas and open dances only allow 5 minutes for amateur solos. Nonetheless, I still practice to it. This time, the combination of Azam Ali's beautiful voice and my joy at actually dancing made me nearly burst with joy. What a feeling!

I proceeded to practice slow moves to "Kodama" and "In Dreams of Mine" by Faith and the Muse, and fast moves to "Beni Beni" by Niyaz and "Omnis Mundi Creatura" by Helium Vola. OK, let's just get this out of the way early: I really like Faith and the Muse and Niyaz. I practice to them a lot, and listen to them all the time outside of dance. Expect to see those two names a lot.

My main thoughts tonight, once I got down to practicing my Anaya Tribal moves was that I was really rusty! Good thing classes start back up on Thursday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Contraption Chair Dance

Over the holidays, Beats Antique offered their album Contraption (EP vol I) as a free download. I didn't have this particular album yet (my music wants far outstrip my budget), so I was happy to snap it up.

Since this week has been so awful so far and I am stressed out and prone to fits of coughing, today's practice is just plain fun. I'm listening through Contraption and bopping along in my chair. Lots of chest isolations, a few arms and shoulders here and there, and because my chair is made out of bungee cords, I can even bounce my hips along.

Tomorrow, no matter what, I need to get some Anaya practice so I'll be ready to go back to class on Thursday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Drilling rather than dancing

Day 2 of practice.

Still having furnace problems, which means I'm still stuck with the tiny dance space. As such, I decided to stick with drills for tonight. 10 minutes of zills, 10 minutes of assorted shimmies (mostly 3/4, as it's my weakest), 6 minutes of assorted arm and hand movements, 4 minutes of cool down stretches.

My main thought today was that I would much rather be actually dancing. Hopefully we'll get the furnace fixed tomorrow.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Obstacles already

Day 1 of practice.

This year of practice is not off to a good start -- I woke up today to find that not only was my furnace acting up, but I had no hot water pressure in my bathroom. I'm cold and cranky, I had to go to Home Depot for parts that didn't fix any of the problems, and then we had our holiday gift exchange with my family. There was barely time to dance, let alone inclination. But I danced! I barely squeaked in for the day, finishing my practice at 11:58pm.

Because the furnace isn't working well, I'm holed up in the office with a space heater. I had a tiny patch of floor about 2x3' to dance in, with a low-hanging ceiling fan directly overhead, which means that I mostly just drilled shimmies and snake arms and levels. But then I got bored, so I put on a few songs and figured out what I could do in my tiny space.

Today's practice songs:
"Kodama" and "Bushido" by Faith and the Muse. Yes, I do in fact like to practice belly dance to Japanese-inspired Gothic music. I've got an entire three-part Japanese steampunk performance tumbling around in my noggin.
"Sweet Demure" by Beats Antique.

No real major breakthroughs in this practice, though it did warm me up nicely and did wonders for my mood. But I still hate dancing in a tiny space. I have long limbs and I like to use them!

While I was in a bad mood earlier, I popped onto Etsy and made a treasury of dance items, some of which I might use as rewards for my dance progress. I call it Tribal Wishes.