Thursday, March 31, 2011

Threeeeee moooooonths!

Day 90 of practice!

Virtual confetti for everyone! Today marks 90 days/three months of daily (except that one day that I was sick) practice! Hurrah! And this was a milestone that I rung in with style -- three hours of awesome classes at Plaza de Anaya! Dancing with friends, and working hard on my zills, and learning drum rhythms. Good times, good times indeed!

I thought about buying myself something special to celebrate today, but I decided to wait for day 100, since it will coincide with the Mira Betz workshops and I'm hoping maybe she will bring some nice merchandise, as most of the traveling teachers do seem to bring costume goodies along. And if she doesn't, well, I'll still be at the studio and I can buy myself something special!

I did order a veil tonight, but only because the Ren Faire veil lady didn't work out. She had 1/2 circle veils when I went this past weekend, but not a GREEN one! She said she might have it this weekend, but I'm not going back out and when I tried to go to her website to contact her about maybe having it shipped, my browser got hijacked due to that injection thing that was going around the 'net. WAY too much hassle! I should have ordered from the lady who sells through Plaza to start with.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An assault on the ears

Day 89 of practice.

So, tonight was the last session of zills at The Dance Loft (although we'll be doing zills from now on when we do fast moves), and once again I did well in class and Fonda told me how I have zills down. Then I came home and did my 5 minutes of Anaya-and-zills practice, and I sucked. Wow, was I bad! I kept messing up, and one of my zills was a little loose and kept trying to come off of my thumb, and it was just awful. I mean, I was on beat as long as I wasn't doing a complicated combo, but get me switching feet and spinning and I sounded like a bag of zills falling down the stairs.

I realized that the song I practiced to last night was only 3 1/2 minutes long, so I chose a 6 minute song tonight and I'll practice with that for the next 5 days, too, which will more than make up for shorting myself yesterday.

Oh, and to make myself feel less bad about my zillage, I should also mention that Fonda gave me props for my vibration shimmy tonight. I'm telling you, dear readers, practice really pays off!

Next week we're going to do balance props, so I need to decide if I want to work with my sword, which I don't like much, or if I want to go out shopping for a basket or tray or something. I may go that route, because it would be easier to practice with at home, and The Dance Loft can get a little crowded sometimes, so it may be good to have a more compact prop to fall back on, even if I do want to work with my sword sometimes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The 5 minute challenge

Day 88 of practice.

In today's Daily Bellydance Quickie, Mahin offered a challenge to her readers -- for the next 7 days, spend 5 minutes a day practicing something specific that you need to work on. Well, since she mentioned my blog last week in a DBQ that later inspired this week's challenge (thank you, Mahin! You doubled my followers!), you know I have to play along! I've decided that every day this week, no matter what else I am doing for my practice, I am going to practice my zills with Anaya Tribal moves for 5 minutes a day -- and not just easy stuff, either! I'm going to do every combo that comes to mind, and keep powering through even when I mess up.

Anyway, I started on that today, and I also worked on my solo, and I also danced during the day while doing housework. I plan to run my solo one more time before bed, as I feel like I should probably run it 2-3 times a day now until I really get it, but if I do it over and over again in a row, I'll get sick of it and not really feel it.

True Story

Day 87 of practice.

Today's practice was nothing spectacular, so instead let me tell you a little story. It's inspired by a comment I made on yesterday's post, about being able to do beginner moves in my sleep.

My Anaya Tribal teacher Cari is a real stickler for posture! She's especially keen on beautiful arms -- no locking your elbows, and no droopy arms, even if you've been in class for three hours and you're exhausted. When we're dancing, if she sees anyone with droopy arms in the mirror, she calls out "elbows up!" causing us all to check ourselves. And truth be told, for many months I was usually one of the culprits, because I was also going to a hardcore high-intensity weight lifting gym and my arms were invariably tired before I even got to class.

So one night, I was drifting off to sleep, and I had a semi-lucid dream where I thought I was actually back in Anaya class instead of in bed, and I distinctly heard Cari call out "elbows up!" so of course I corrected myself... but I was just awake enough that I actually did try to bring my arms up, which jerked me right out of sleep!

There you have it. I can not only do beginner moves in my sleep, but I do them with perfect posture, too, thanks to Cari!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh my gosh, a picture!

Day 86 of practice.

Hey, a picture! Stolen shamelessly from Facebook! These are just some of my lovely dance friends who came out for the Ren Faire invasion! The back row consists of the Ghazaal Beledi dancers, with one of their musicians standing in front of them. Everyone else is an attendee! We were out in force! And so well-dressed, too. You can't tell in the photo, but I'm actually wearing some purple and blue with my black and green, much to the delight of my friends. I'm trying to learn to love contrast.

Anyway, today has been a lazy practice day, because I'm tired and dehydrated from Ren Faire! I danced while washing dishes, and now I'm sitting here doing isolations and chair dancing while I type. I think I'll do some nice stretches after this, as I didn't stretch at all after yesterday's shimmy marathon, and my legs were telling me about it this morning. I want to throw myself into some more hardcore practice this week, so I need my body to be in good shape and ready for a little abuse.

I think I'll also get back to work on my flashcard project. I need to remember to put some blank index cards in my dance bag; my goal is to write down new combos right after class, while they're still fresh in my mind and while Cari is there in case I need to ask for some clarification.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

You want me to shimmy HOW fast?

Day 85 of practice.

Ah, the joys of live drummers! My day at the Renaissance Faire ended in some real practice -- nearly an hour of dancing at the Drum Jam. And not just bopping around, either. My friends and I practiced our tribal moves, and I also got some serious shimmy action going on when the drummers kept playing faster and faster and faster! It was great fun.

Although I'm still disappointed with how the belly dance contest was handled (and don't ask how it turned out, I didn't go), I'm glad that I decided to go out to Faire today. It was fun to see so many of my friends, watch some shows, enjoy a beautiful day, and spend time getting to know one of my local dance friends better. All this AND I got to wear a costume all day? I call that a win!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just practicing

Day 84 of practice.

Nothing really exciting on the practice front today -- some dancing while doing housework, some isolations while watching DVDs, and then some solo practice and some zills. Solo went alright, but zills were pretty bad. Of course, I have a bit of a headache so my heart wasn't really in to the playing of clangy instruments.

Speaking of zills, we didn't really have what I would consider a "throw-down" last night, so I dunno what that was about. We did get to use our zills in Fundamentals class (and I really hope we keep using them, because I need the practice), and we did spend 20 straight minutes dancing with them in Performance Prep, so maybe that's what Cari meant? Not sure.

I have two more weeks to work on my solo, so by then it will either be awesome, or I'll be thoroughly sick of the song.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Day 83 of practice.

Ugh. Don't even bother to ask me about class. Class was great. The 2 hour drive home from class, on the other hand, has left me with sore, tense shoulders and a lingering hatred of all road construction. I'm exhausted and cranky and all my great post-dance-class buzz has evaporated.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No Contest

Day 82 of practice.

I will not be dancing in the contest at the Renaissance Faire. The powers that be (ie, whoever is in charge of the Facebook account) decided to not only not address our concerns, but to delete our posts. They also informed all of the people who wanted their kids to get a chance to compete that it was an 18+ contest only. Since the Faire has had other contests for kids, it seems pretty clear that they're trying to send a message that belly dance is Adult Entertainment, and that's not cool.

Normally I'm not really a kid person, but in this case I feel bad for the little girls who are being denied the chance to get up and shake their little coin scarves and feel like a jingly princess, or show off what they've been learning in their youth belly dance classes. Ren Faire is supposed to be a family-friendly event (you know, despite all the beer, and the wenches with the overflowing bodices, and the numerous shows with the "Loose Canon" designation warning of adult content), so you'd think they'd be all about giving belly dance the family-friendly image that most BD communities are striving for.

Anyway, enough about that. Practice! I skipped The Dance Loft tonight (so much for my extra zill training!) because my husband had a really bad day at work, so I felt like I should enjoy a nice relaxed dinner and evening with him, rather than scarfing down my meal and rushing off to class and coming home sweaty. So instead I had a nice chunk of practice at home, and I got some work done on my solo and played my zills. The zills are definitely better -- I didn't feel rushed at all, and I only screwed up during the transitional parts of a combo with lots of quick arm switching. And the breakthrough I had yesterday regarding my solo seems to be sticking. I won't be ready to perform it tomorrow, but things are looking good for next week!

Small breakthroughs

Day 81 of practice.

Today I was practicing my solo while cooking breakfast. I felt like I needed to do that, because when I'm cooking breakfast, I can't sit there and do long Anaya Tribal combos. It allowed me to relax a bit more, listen to the music, and play with pairing short combos with little isolations to hit accents in the music. I think I may be on to something here. I'll try more tomorrow.

Tonight I got distracted by talking with a dance friend on Facebook, so I'm sitting here practicing belly rolls instead of dancing with my zills. I intended to take them for a walk yesterday, but the wind and rain had something to say about that. Perhaps I will not be as prepared for the throwdown as I thought -- but at least I have zill class tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Flying by the seat of my dance-pants!

Day 80 of practice.

So here's the thing... the Arizona Renaissance Festival is having an amateur belly dance contest on Saturday, when a bunch of my friends and I will be there. Most of us were not planning to compete. Some of us were thinking maybe. Then we noticed that one of the three criteria they were going to judge on was sexiness.

Oh boy.

Now here's my thoughts on sexiness in belly dance: Is belly dance sexy? It can be. Are belly dancers sexy? They can be. Is that the focus of the dance? It shouldn't be. Any sexiness that I have while I'm dancing is just incidental. I want to be pretty when I dance, yes, but sex appeal is not on my mind. I just want to dance in a way that fits the music and makes my audience smile. If someone in the audience happens to think "Wow, I'd tap that!" I'd really just rather not know.

So one of my friends who has connections at the Festival sent a nice note letting them know how offensive it was to judge us on our sexiness, and how all of her talented amateur belly dance friends were now turned off from entering the contest. And a couple of us posted saying "Wow, we'd love to compete... if only we weren't going to be judged on their sexiness."

The upshot of this is that I may or may not be entering a silly contest on Saturday. Which means I may or may not need to practice something for it. I'd like to do veil, because it's pretty and showy and with any luck I will pick up my new veil on Saturday. But on the other hand, I like to wear lots of jewelry and hair stuff and jingly belts to Ren Faire, which I'd have to take off to perform with a veil.

In the meantime, today's practice consisted of dancing while I did dishes, and practicing my solo for Performance Prep class. I'm a little frustrated because before, when I would practice to this song I was hitting lots of things right and it felt good, but now I'm overthinking it and not doing as well. Some of my friends are choreographing their solos, but I am just not a choreo girl. I want to do improv, but my improv to the song has been lackluster. A continuation of last week's funk, or a sign I should pick another song? I don't know.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back to the usual

Day 79 of practice.

Today I went back to my usual practice mode, half an hour of dancing to my Homework playlist on iTunes. There were zills, and there was veil, and there was Anaya Tribal practice, and there were moments of "Wait, how does the rest of this combo go?" especially when it came to slow, because we just don't do enough of that in class.

I guess my zills sound less bad than they used to, but I still felt like I was playing a little too fast, and I lost the beat on some combos. I really do much better when I'm in a group with a strong zill player to keep me on-track! I don't imagine myself ever playing zills as part of my solo dance career -- I just don't have the natural musicality for it, nor am I really good at counting beats in my head.

Veil, on the other hand, still makes me really happy, and I think I know why. In my dance, I tend to be very expressive with my arms and hands, but sometimes I also go overboard, changing position a little too often. Veil allows me to really make my arm and hand movements the star of the show, but holding the veil also somewhat controls exactly how and where my arms are, and keeping my arms slow and proud and beautiful allows the silk to really flow nicely.

Well, those are my observations for the day. I think tomorrow I'll try to throw some drills into the mix.

Interspersed throughout the day

Day 78 of practice.

Practice today was mostly simple shimmies and bits of dancing throughout the house as I did some major cleaning. It's hard to get real practice right now because it's too warm without the ceiling fan on, but with the fan on I live in mortal fear for the my fingers (stupid low hanging fan!), and forget doing veil. Hopefully my husband will get the evaporative cooler up and running, so I can turn the fan off and practice. Otherwise I'll have to stick to practicing moves where my arms never go overhead, and that really cuts out a lot of my vocabulary.

The fun thing lately has been slowly learning to pick out the Middle Eastern rhythms in the songs I listen to -- although I'm also noticing now that a lot of them have a simple, boring drum machine playing a basic backbeat, instead of a drummer on the doumbek playing rhythms. Basic drum machine beats are easy to practice ITS to, because they don't change, but I think it may be time to occasionally challenge myself a bit more as I try to improve my musicality.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Short practice

Day 77 of practice.

Well, today was my 11th wedding anniversary, so needless to say, dance was not my top priority. I did put on "Turbo Tabla 4" and practice for my solo at 1pm, to celebrate Dance Anywhere. Not out in public, but I did leave my living room blinds open so all the world (or the neighbors across the street) could see me dance. Just now, I spent a few minutes walking around my house with my zills, then danced around to "The Hunt" by Niyaz, because it's one of my favorite songs ever. I did a solo to it almost a year ago, my first solo performance, and I'm thinking it might be nice to perform it at the next hafla down here in Tucson and see how much my dance has changed!

Add to that some stretching, some belly rolls in the shower and some belly rolls now and I probably only clock in at about 15-20 minutes of practice. But since I am overly full from a giant dinner, and I had 4 1/2 hours of belly dance classes between Weds and Thurs, I think I'm OK with not doing a full half hour :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Irish jigs here

Day 76 of practice.

I spent my St. Patrick's Day the way I spend almost every Thursday -- at Plaza de Anaya, taking classes! Sadly, this meant no alcohol for me, green or otherwise, since I was making the long drive home all by myself. But I did wear lots and lots of green.

Classes were good. Well, I am really quite bored repeating Fun-Duh-Mentals over and over again. I know it's good to practice the basics, but relearning them is boring. In Performance Prep, we got to practice different formations, and pretending to perform. Next week is apparently going to be a "zill throwdown" whatever that means, and we're supposed to practice our zills at home all week. Good thing Fonda is covering zills at The Dance Loft! Extra zill training for me!

In the Rhythm class, we covered Ayoub, also known as the rhythm used for the zar ritual dance. The class was half the size it was last week -- I guess everyone else was out partying. Oh well. I had fun, even though the ab/chest pop that we were supposed to do in one combo was really hard for me.

Tomorrow is Dance Anywhere Day! Whatever you're doing, drop everything at 1pm PST and dance! Whatever sort of dance you want!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Go away, funk!

Day 75 of practice -- yeah! 75!

Still in a funk, so much so that I almost didn't go to class at The Dance Loft. But really, I just bought a membership and a class card last week, I need to make the effort to be consistent.

It was good to get out of the house, see Fonda and my classmates, and get some practice. We did basic tribal moves and zills. Once again Fonda praised my zills, which made me wish that I played as well at home alone as I do in a room full of people!

Nope, still not feeling it

Today's practice consisted of doing belly rolls and floreos while watching TV. Pretty dismal practice. I'm just feeling run-down and uninspired this week -- probably coming down from the high of having so much fun at Saturday's hafla. I'm sure that going to class these next two nights will help pep me back up, or at least give me new things to practice!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just not feeling it

Day 73 of practice.

As the title says, I just wasn't feeling it today. It's not that I didn't feel like practicing -- I mean, I set up a new Homework playlist, I included a song for my veil, I decided to go ahead and zill through my practice solo. I did Anaya Tribal Fast and Slow, and I did some just-for-fun dancing. But I felt off for almost the entire thing. There were some good bits in the just-for-fun where I was really hitting the beat well, but that was about it. Oh, and I did a really good one-armed spin while playing with my veil. If only I could have pulled that off during my performance! Stupid fan or something, messing up my catch.

My zills seemed to be not entirely awful, so that's good. I've been using them muffled, since my dogs hate the sound of zills, so it's hard to say how good or bad I really was, but I felt like I was mostly on-beat.

Hopefully tomorrow's practice will feel more inspiring.

Well, now what?

Day 72 of practice.

The problem with spending a couple of months practicing for a performance is that once it's done, you have to figure out what to practice next. I want to keep working with my veil, because I love it, but I am a little tired of "Wandering Star", so it's time to work to a different song for a bit. Maybe back to "Pilgrimage of Lost Children"?

By the way, if you want to see my veil performance, click here because my awesome friend Dawn posted it on YouTube for me! Hooray!

So for tonight's practice, I took a little break from the veil and instead worked with my zills, and worked on my solo for Performance Prep Class. I should probably combine the two, because after all, I am doing a fast song so I should technically zill -- but I am a really weak solo zill player! I'm practicing, bur I don't think I'm good enough to play for my solo, even if it is just in class. We'll see.

I'm also sitting here working on my belly rolls. I'm trying really hard to be able to do sideways rolls, because I feel like I'm almost there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Day 71 of practice.

Today was awesome. I got to perform my veil solo, and while the veil and I had a little disagreement, I managed to keep my cool and make it part of the performance. I enjoyed it so much and I definitely want to keep working with my veil and look for other opportunities to dance with it.

I also got to see a lot of my local friends dance, including my teacher and some of my classmates. It was great! Not only that, but the owner of the studio and her husband gave us a Lindy Hop demo -- they were great and it was such a fun, unexpected addition to the hafla.

We were lucky enough to have live drummers, and after everyone had performed, there was open dancing. Much of it was freestyle, but we also spent a couple of songs dancing in an increasingly large tribal clock formation -- even the non-tribal dancers got in on the fun, and soon enough our circle had morphed into an oval that took up the entire room! What fun!

All in all it was a great night, and I really hope that Fonda and the Dance Loft will team up to host more haflas for the Tucson community!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Practicing for tomorrow

Day 70 of practice -- hey, that's 10 weeks!

Today's practice consisted of the usual bits of casual practice throughout the day as I cleaned the house, and running through my veil solo several times in costume, to make sure my veil wasn't going to catch on anything. I also decided that I'm going to go with Turbo Tabla 4 for my solo in Performance Prep class, because it's short, its fun, and I already know it well.

I'm excited to perform with my veil tomorrow! Woohoo!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Because I'm hardcore!

Day 69 of practice.

This session, I'm taking all three classes offered on Thursday nights at Plaza de Anaya. That means that I leave the house at around 4:30 and don't get back until around 11:30. People always act shocked and amazed that I make the round-trip drive once a week, more often if I'm also doing a weekend workshop, but hey -- some people commute from Tucson to Phoenix 5 days a week. And in the past, when belly dance was less common, dancers would upend their entire lives and move to another city/state/country to be near good teachers. So yes, I am a little hardcore, but I'm not the most hardcore.

And the three hours of classes won't be too bad this session, because Performance Prep now starts off with some seated Q&A discussion time, about performing and dance and such, and the class I'm taking on Middle Eastern Rhythms for Drummers and Dancers starts off with everyone seated for a drum lesson. So I don't feel nearly as beat up as I did when I was taking Anaya tribal and palm flames and sword. That was a rough session!

We have to come up with a tribal solo for Performance Prep class, so I need to pick a short, fun song to work with... but first, I've got to get through Saturday's veil performance!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oh yeah! Blogging!

Day 68 of practice.

I got back from dance class 2 1/2 hours ago, but I forgot to update my blog because I was busy eating dinner and such. Today I was weirdly nauseated again (before anyone asks, no, I am definitely not pregnant. I think my husband gave me a poisoned chocolate bar), so I didn't feel up to eating before class and I barely felt up to going to class at all, but I did anyway because I wanted to dance and have fun instead of vegging out in front of the computer all night.

Class was crowded! Probably the most people I've seen at the Dance Loft so far. It was the usual mix of beginning and returning students. Even though I've only been going off and on since the start of the year, I always get lumped with the advanced students due to my Anaya experience, so I got to stand at the front of the class and clock in and out of leader position. Too bad for the students following me that I keep cuing things the Anaya way! Sorry newbies, I'll try to be more consistent next time!

I'm happy, because Fonda said my zilling sounded just right tonight... I'm used to being totally off, but the song had an easy drum pattern and we were doing basic moves, so it was easy to stay relaxed and not rush my triplet pattern.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Practice really pays off!

I've mentioned before how my practice has really been helping me. Today I turned one some dance music to help me sweep the house before practice, and as I was walking to the laundry room to grab the broom, I found myself doing an effortless walking shimmy -- maybe even a fast 3/4 shimmy? Could it be?

Sometimes I feel like my "breakfast shimmies" practice is cheating, but clearly it's helping. I'm not good at drilling shimmies -- I get bored. But the past couple of months of dancing while I cook, do dishes, and work on other household chores has allowed me to slowly and naturally develop better shimmies, without overthinking it like I do when I'm actually drilling them.

In addition to housework shimmies and chair dancing while I sorted more music, today's practice consisted of veil performance practice (worked on my entrance! I think I've decided on one!), and some fast Anaya Tribal moves, and belly rolls while at my desk.

Earlier in the evening, I went to the bookstore and picked up a book on anatomy for dancers. It seems to be geared towards ballet, but I figure it will be good for me, too. I'll blog more about it after I've had a chance to look through it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Taking it easy

Day 66 of practice.

I'm still sore, tired and dehydrated from my weekend at Wild Wild West Con, so today's practice was broken up into manageable chunks. Breakfast shimmies, chair dancing to various music, and then just now a shimmy warm-up and some veil performance practice. I'm feeling pretty good about my veil piece! Now to figure out a costume already.

The above picture was taken at WWWC. The fun thing about having a convention at Old Tucson Studios (a former movie set where many westerns were filmed, before most of it burnt down in the '90s and was rebuilt and turned into more of a theme park), is that costume photos have fun, authentically old-timey backgrounds. Here, Miss Sophia Freelove Greene seems to be saying "Really, you expect me to ride in this?" It's easy to get spoiled by airship travel! This costume was inspired by Victorian-era Orientalist paintings, but of course I gave it a steampunk twist.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wild Wild West Workshop

Today I got some real, quality practice. While at Wild Wild West Con, I was able to take a workshop from Lori, aided by her fellow Lykiska dancers. There were three combos, including a special Clock Combo that they developed especially for the convention. It was my first time learning from Lori and I really enjoyed it!

The only strange part is that the workshop was held in front of one of the performance stages, which meant we had a lot of random people just sitting there watching us! Luckily most of them left, but it was still really weird to have an "audience" while learning. And just like last night's concert it was a concrete floor, which was less than ideal. I saved my feet by hopping onto the stage itself (wood!), which had the bonus of allowing me to see over the other students' heads.

Over all, WWWC was a fun event, and I may still head over to the hotel for tonight's after party.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Squeeee + Owwww = me right now

Day 64 of practice.

I have come to accept that some days, dancing at a party or concert is the only way I'll get to practice. Today was one such day, and wow, did I practice! Mostly, I practiced dancing in a tiny space and trying not to get stepped on, because I was on the dance floor at the Eternal Source of Steam concert at Wild Wild West Con! A delicious hour and a half of Abney Park playing live, and I was just a few people away from the stage! It was nothing short of awesome.

Ok, well, maybe a little short of awesome. Whereas Thurs and Friday's concerts were held in the hotel's ballroom, where they have linoleum dance floor, tonight's show was held in the saloon at Old Tucson Studios, which has a concrete floor. I have pain running from my feet to my lower back. It kept me from spending long at the Tesla Masquerade Ball, even though that was back at the ball room and there was plenty of room on the dance floor.

Anyway, I literally danced for hours today. I need sleep. Wonderful healing sleep!


Ta da! A pic of me, in steampunk finery! I'm quite pleased with how I look, especially since I pulled it together out of separates from my costume closet.

Today's practice consisted of breakfast shimmies and dancing to The Mission Creeps at Wild Wild West Con. I also danced a tiny bit to The Strand, and I danced to Voltaire, but the floor was so crowded for his show that it barely counted as dancing.

So... tired...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dance, dance, dance, then party, party, party!

Day 62 of practice.

No Plaza de Anaya for me tonight, instead I am off to the VIP Dinner and Concert for Wild Wild West Con! My inner steampunk (her name is Miss Sophia Freelove Greene) is going to come out and play.

But before I get all gussied up (oh yes, there will be gussying!), I had to get some dance practice. First, shimmy drills with Rachel Brice. I was feeling a little wussy today, and pressed for time, so I stopped when she got to 3/4 shimmies. I am so bad at 3/4 shimmies, sometimes I feel like they're going to take away my belly dancing license. Since the shimmies warmed me up nicely, I jumped into veil practice. I even did some simple floorwork, although I don't know if that will make it into my performance or not. Then I did some Anaya Tribal fast moves, to the song "Turbo Tabla 4" which I know really well because we dance to a remix of it at Anaya Tribal class fairly regularly. Being more familiar with it allows me to have a lot of fun matching up specific moves with different parts of the music and makes me feel like maybe I can go ahead and keep my belly dancing license. But then I decided to practice my zills along with some basic tribal moves, and I began to once again fear the belly dance police. My zills sounded awful! Even so, I got bored of doing the same three moves over and over again, so I decided to do some of them leading with my left foot instead of my right, which didn't make me sound any worse and was good practice and left me feeling more balanced.

Now -- the gussying!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back to The Dance Loft

Day 61 of practice.

Today I finally managed to get back to Fonda's belly dance class at The Dance Loft, just in time to catch the start of 6 weeks of zillage! Tonight's class was a little slow for me, as I've already done a lot of zilling, but I know that the next six weeks will be good for me. I always need more finger cymbal practice, and Tiffany was after the entire Anaya Tribal Advanced class to improve our zills.

Between this and the Rhythms for Dancers and Drummers that I'll be taking at Plaza de Anaya, I expect my musicality to greatly improve over the next two months!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Same as yesterday

Day 60 of practice.

So much for ringing March in with a big grand practice. I foolishly wasted my daylight hours on yardwork and dishes, then spent the early to mid evening with my husband (he had a rough day and needed to unwind), and the late evening finds me absolutely exhausted. I used to be such a night owl, but lately I've been quite tired. My body probably doesn't appreciate how I've had to keep changing my schedule for gem show, house guests, and doctor's appointments. Hang in there, body! Things will be back to normal soon.

So today's practice was low-key... shimmies and such while cooking and doing housework, mayas and belly rolls and floreos here in the office while talking with my husband.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the Dance Loft, and nothing had better get in my way!

*yawn* Tired!

Day 59 of practice -- two months!

I had to wake up early for a doctor's appointment today. You'd think that being up early would mean more time for dance, but no. Not only did I have a very Mondayful Monday, but being poked and prodded left me feeling pretty bleh, so I opted for some gentle belly isolations and floreos tonight. Tomorrow, I intend to ring in my third month of dance with massive practice. Maybe it will even be warm enough to take my zills for a walk! Attention weather: this is Tucson. It should be warm enough for shorts now.

Now of course, since I had to get up early, this body is ready for some sleep... and maybe some belly dance dreams?