Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just what I needed!

Yesterday I was in the mood to do some Datura Online, but I also had a lot of my own stuff to practice so I didn't want to dedicate 2 hours to diving back in to Raq Steady. I decided this was a perfect time to try the new Intermediate Tribal Fusion class from Ashley Lopez. I'm happy to say, it was just what I needed!

This 50 minute video is structured just like a normal bellydance class -- it starts with a nice little warm-up, goes through a series of moves and layers by breaking them down and drilling them, includes some turns and traveling moves, and ends with a short cool-down. If you're starting out cold you may want to warm up a little more than the video does, and you may want to do some extra stretches to target your own problem areas afterwards, but in general it's nicely well-contained and perfect for when you have just an hour to work.

I found that I really enjoyed having Ashley Lopez as my virtual teacher, she had a very friendly personality in the video, explained things clearly, and drilled things just enough that I had time to understand them but not time to get thoroughly bored. Because this is an intermediate-level class, there's not a lot of time wasted on getting into the basics of a move, which was good for me.

For the most part I already knew the moves in this video, but she combined them into layers in a different way than I normally do. That's a big part of why I say it was just what I needed. It let me take things that I could already do, and do them in new and interesting ways. I definitely have a bad habit of falling back on the same moves and layers, so it's good to shake things up. And since I already knew the basics of what we were doing, I didn't waste any time getting frustrated and removing layers to be able to keep up.

I think I'll want to revisit this video a couple of times so I can get the layers into my muscle memory, and it serves as a good drills session since the pace is pretty good. I believe this is going to be a four-class series, so I'm really looking forward to the rest of them, and I may even go back and check out her beginning-level fusion classes to see if they'll give me some new insight into my basic moves.

As a silly aside, like all Datura videos this is filmed so that you can see Ashley from behind and in the mirror, which is really helpful for seeing the move from all angles. This video also has two students following along, and you can see them in the mirror... which lead to a weird moment where my brain was like "OMG why can't I see myself in the mirror?!?" Oh brain. You're so easily broken!

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