This Week’s Challenge

Another challenge for this week! Yay! So are you ready?

And hey…if you have an idea or want to see something turned into a challenge, drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you, and you’ll get a shout-out on the blog!

Arm patterns (and…gasp!…layering!)

Beginners: It’s hard to think about your arms while you are still learning how to drop a hip or do a maya, and that’s normal and okay. BUT, it’s never to early to start learning how to use those arms! And what better way than to drill an arm pattern? Yup, you can drill arm patterns just like you drill hip drops, mayas, or any other movement. It will help get the pattern into your muscle memory so that you don’t have to think about it so much. So, take an arm pattern from class (if you haven’t learned one, ask your teacher for one) and drill it for one song every day this week! Sound boring? It doesn’t have to be! If you have the pattern down pretty well, try varying it a little by slowing down during one part, and speeding up another. Slow it waaaaaaaaay down and see how hard it gets to make it look nice while still doing the movement. Have fun with it!

Intermediate: You are (gasp!) going to layer this! Pick an arm pattern, or make one up for an additional challenge, and drill it while you are doing mayas. Remember to keep your mayas even and full (don’t cut them off halfway because you are concentrating on your arms!) and keep the arms moving. You may find your brain overloading a bit and end up dropping one movement in order to get the other right. Keep trying! Just stop, pick up your mayas, and then get the arms going again. You can do it! Drill one whole song every day!

Advanced: Ever notice that some dancers have lovely arm patterns, but they basically stand still while doing them? While that is fine and there is nothing inherently wrong in doing that, let’s spice it up a bit! Pick one of your choreographies that has a lot of arms in it (if you don’t have one, come up with a good, long combo with lots of arms). If you find yourself standing still, start moving with it! And don’t just walk! Pick a traveling step, like grapevine, and stick a maya on it, then do your arm pattern. Remember that just because you are traveling and layering it doesn’t mean it has to look like you are going through a seizure. It should still look nice and work with the music (especially if you are using an established choreography). Keep your hip movements defined, relax, smile, and make sure your arms are strong.

Happy dancing!

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About Kamrah

Kamrah is a belly dancer in Chicago, IL. They started belly dance as an exercise routine but it turned into a passion for dance that has not lessened, even after more than a decade. They have a powerful presence on the stage, and is particularly known for their amazing shimmies. Kamrah is also known as a very versatile belly dancer, and audiences have come to expect the unexpected from them. Performances can be anything from traditional Egyptian, to tribal fusion, to fantasy cosplay (costume play) pieces.

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