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So, this is a long overdue post, but the last couple of weeks have been insane with a new job, billions of gigs, the Summer Solstice and Christmas coming up!

Anyway, a week-and-a-bit ago was the end of year concert for our belly dance school. This was only my second-ever belly performance in front of not-just-a-little-group-of-friends. I’ve actually found that I don’t really do the nervous thing anymore, which is kind of scary in itself. As someone who has been dancing since the age of 5 and is now in two bands and studying performance, I think I do it so much I don’t even think about it. I miss that nervous energy!

So we got to the theatre fairly early to rehearse a bit and get ready. I spent most of my sitting around time balancing my teacher’s sword on my head – I reeeeally want to learn sword technique next year. My wonderful friend Jess did make up for a whole bunch of us who are make-up n00bs – she did such an awesome job!!

My make up

Make up by Jess!

Group shot

Before going onstage - that's me 2nd from the right, and our teacher in the middle.

This was the costumes for my first dance – the big class veil dance. It was particularly awesome because the beginner class (black skirts) joined us for it as well (they usually don’t perform).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veil Dance

Mid-dance shot. This is the intermediates in the veil section.

I was pretty happy with how everything went. I was disappointed with the moment of truth – scary solo-y butterfly turns towards the end. I just did one turn too many to the right and was out of time for the change of direction. I can just hear the audience: “oh, that girl clearly has problems with rhythm….”. Yep, the one studying music. Oh dear.

But I think that solo-y bit being just me and my teacher, who has danced for over 10 years, always meant I was going to look a little bit silly. I’m so glad I did it though – I love spinning with my veil!

 

 

 

2nd Costume

My costume for the troupe dance!

Second dance for the night was our student troupe – we’re the group that go out and do charity gigs and school fetes and nursing homes and stuff. We ordered these costumes online, going for the “Wiggles” look (ie, each person has a different colour). I love these costumes so much – they’re so shiny and beaded all over and make me feel like a “real belly dancer”!

The dance was so much fun. I was really comfortable with the space by this stage and it was just fun. It’s an Arabic pop piece – what we like to call “ham and cheese”. Just bubbly, energetic fun. I love it.

Troupe dance

Troupe mid-performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So – the performance has left me bubbly and happy and most of all, hungry for more. Uni starts back in March, so until then I’ve got loads of time for practice. I really want to improve my technique and make my dancing cleaner.

Goals for the summer:
– improve my posture while dancing. My shoulders and swayback in particular.
– make my shimmies cleaner and more controlled
– work on layering
– learn some new moves
– choreograph a solo for myself

And probably loads more. I have no idea how realistic my short term or long term goals are, but we’ll see how it all goes.

So to any dancers reading this – how much do you usually practice? Do you use DVDs at all? I have a few, but I don’t use them all the time. How do you structure your practice in terms of warming up, drills, choreography etc etc?

Expect lots more catch-up entries soon…..

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