Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 2 of My Dance Recovery

Move over birds. It's time to dance.
Since I no longer have the luxury of a dance studio, I keep trying to come up with alternatives. As I was sitting here watching the birds on the porch, it suddenly occurred to me that my giant, long, flat front porch could be my outdoor dance studio! Why didn't I think of this before? It even has a railing I can use for a barre. I can either cover it with thick carpets (since it is concrete) or buy more of those big foam mats with the jigsaw puzzle edges. I have 4 in the kitchen that I can use right now. Harbor Freight has good prices on those when they go on sale. They come in packs of 4. So if I buy more each time we go there, I'll soon have enough to cover the  porch. I'm so thrilled! The porch is also shaded sometimes to keep me out of the desert heat, and right by my bedroom window so I can play music through the screen. Not that I mind dancing on the sand, rocks and gravel, but I'm afraid of tripping in a gopher hole. Also, I don't want to lay down on the ant covered sand. So the porch will work much better.

As I expected, my neck and shoulders were stiff this morning from the veil work yesterday for the first time in many moons. So I spent time in the kitchen doing all the basic ballet hand positions. I use modified ballet arm positions for belly dance. I find students do much better when you teach them specific ways to hold their arms. Then if you wear your finger cymbals, it's an even better arm workout (weight plus momentum). So I did those to work the kinks out of my muscles while I was cooking breakfast. Then I did some tendus for my ankle issues. Just slow steady stretches to build up my strength and flexibility. Remember, I'm 55, with injuries, so I'm taking it easy. Work without your own fitness range.

The quail will have to share the porch railing with me.

Quail on my fence.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rainy Day Dance Practice

I confess I haven't danced much since moving here in Oct. There is no indoor place to dance, and who wants to dance outside when it's 100 degrees for 7 days in a row. Plus I've had injuries, including a pulled Achilles tendon, a pinched nerve in my left shoulder, and a pinched nerve in my lower back.  But today, between raindrops, I went out there and practiced. My arms felt like they weighed a ton. I practiced veil mostly, to keep the weight off my bad foot. Hey, at least I practiced. I'm so rusty, I feel like it will be a year before I can teach again. I miss the body I used to have. Sigh. It is super humid out, so I kept it short.

What Happened to Tribal Dancing?

Have you ever noticed how when tribal belly dance came along, it allowed for great experimentation and freeing ourselves from the cages of traditional dancing. And now, everywhere I look people are selling conventions and books and videos on 'how to do it right.' And the higher the ticket and the bigger the name, the more clout we are supposed to have as dancers and dance teachers. At some point you have to own the dance and make it your own. Otherwise you will perpetually be a clone of someone else.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crocodile Stitch Hip Band or Bustle

I learned a new crochet stitch called the crocodile stitch.  There are plenty of tutorials for it over on Youtube. It has a great texture that I thought would either make a wonderful belly dancing hip band or a combo bustle/shawl for steampunk. I'm using olive colored Woolease yarn by Lion. I might add more colors for each successive layer but I haven't decided yet. My hips are big so that first row is going to be very very long and it will take a long time just to do one row. When I get further along I'll show photos.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Facebook For Belly Dancers

Follow my blog with Bloglovin One of my friends has become a belly dancing teacher. I assume it is tribal since that's the kind I've seen her do. And not too long ago I ran into one of my belly dancing students and met one of her students. Somehow Facebook makes belly dancing seem a lot more fun than I remember it. There sure is a lot of inspiration to be found there. I know some people wouldn't be caught dead on Facebook, but I've been able to connect with many of the dancers I've known in the past. A lot of them have either personal or business Facebook pages. I think if you are selling any kind of belly dance related products or services (lessons, costuming, seminars, etc.) it would be a good idea to join Facebook.