Day 108 of practice.
Wow. What an experience I just had! I decided that one of the things I would do this week, to keep my practice dynamic and help me really work on strong improv skills, would be to dance to one random song a day. After working through my playlist of homework songs, switch over to the giant melting pot that is my iTunes collection, hit shuffle, and dance to the first thing that comes up! I have some pretty weird stuff on there, so who knows what I'll have to work with.
Tonight, I got "Gotta knock a little harder," which if I remember correctly is from the Cowboy Bebop movie soundtrack. Yeah, a song from an anime. But what a powerful song it is... kind of soulish, and it starts out "Happiness was just a word to me, and it might have meant a thing or two if I'd have known the difference..." It's a very sad song about locking the world out so tightly that once you finally find someone you want to let in, you can. I've always identified pretty strongly with the song, as I'm negative, introverted, and socially awkward (when I'm not dancing!). To have this song come up, randomly, on the first night of really throwing myself back into dance was a strangely moving experience. I danced hard, and passionately, and beautifully (at least, it felt beautiful from the inside, and since I wasn't dancing for an audience, that's all that matters). It was fun, and emotional, and I just allowed myself to connect to the music and do whatever moves felt right, whether or not they were technically belly dance -- just focusing on keeping my posture and dancing powerfully.
Before that, I did a whole bunch of other practice. My solo, of course. Anaya Tribal fast, with and without zills. Anaya style slow. Slow with veil. Slow with a basket on my head. I did it all! And throughout the day, I danced while I cleaned. Not quite my hour goal, but pretty good for the first day, since I also had to run some errands.
For my dance immersion, I watched a lot of videos on-line, and picked up a Belly Dance Superstars DVD while I was out, to watch later this week.