Monday, February 24, 2014

Workshops with Mahin!

Photo by Lee Corkett, costume by Mahin, beaded jewelry by me!

Yesterday I spent five hours in workshops with Mahin! It was great to be in belly dance workshops again, and I always like working with Mahin because she has a ton of knowledge, a great personality, and a good teaching style. Oh, and good taste in jewelry! I always love seeing pictures of her wearing the custom-made set I beaded to go with her costume.

Anyway, the workshops in question were on anatomy, 3/4 shimmies, and palm flames, so it was a really good range of topics and everything was applicable for all styles of bellydance. I'd taken a much shorter version of the anatomy workshop in Bisbee last year, so I was looking forward to the full two-hour version to cover even more ground, and I'd also purchased palm flame in Bisbee so it was well past time that I started working with them. And as for the 3/4 shimmies, well, mine always need work!

Belly Dance Anatomy and Injury Prevention was definitely my favorite workshop of the day. I really like knowing how my body works and how to take better care of it, and this workshop really gets down into that. Not only does Mahin talk about the different muscles used in dance, but she teaches lots of great stretches and exercises for conditioning your body. She even has a tiny skeleton that she uses to show you where on your body different muscles and tendons connect. I totally geek out on this workshop and will probably continue to take it whenever I get the chance.

Full on with 3/4 Shimmies covered a wide variety of 3/4 variations and how to pair them with foot patterns and upper-body layers. I enjoyed this workshop because Mahin introduced me to some shimmies that I don't often see in tribal fusion and some foot patterns that I never use. It definitely got my brains and muscles working! Plus she has a really smart way of breaking down 3/4 shimmies to help you remember how to do each one and to diagnose the problem if you're not getting it. I highly recommend this one for anyone struggling with the 3/4 shimmy or looking for some new versions to add to their bag of tricks.

Hot! Hot! Hot! Combos for Palm Flames covered palm flame basics since we were all beginners to working with them (well, I took an 8 week session years ago and haven't practiced since...), then concepts for working with them such as framing, tracing, and negative space, and then combined all of those ideas into a long combination. We also spent some time discussing nice ways to travel and turn with palm flames. It was a really good introduction to the prop. It also reminded me that I have not been working my arms and shoulders enough lately. Yikes! I'm a little sore today.

Over all, my head is full of new knowledge and new ideas, and my body is full of the pleasant aches and pains of a busy day of dancing.

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