Weekly Challenge for 2/4/13

Are you ready for another challenge?  Remember, these challenges are for one week, to be done every day.  Now, this doesn’t mean that you will master these after only one week.  These challenges are meant to, well, challenge you, make you think, make you get into the habit of practicing every day, and to help improve your dance.

The Other Side

No, not that Other Side…your other side.  We all have them…the weak side that we forget to practice, or don’t practice at all.  ATS® ladies will especially be challenged in this one, because you’re gonna have to do everything on your LEFT.  It’s important for your body to be balanced and strong on both sides, or you risk repetitive stress injuries.  Give your right side a break and use your left!

Beginner: Ummis (or interior hip circles)…we all have a direction that sucks.  Everyone is different, so some may find that counter-clockwise is awful, others will be challenged by clockwise.  Whatever your weak direction is, try it.  Keep an eye on your direction!  It will happen: you think you’re doing fine going your weak way and then suddenly find how easy it is!  Wow, that was simple!…and then you realize that you had switched back to your “good” direction.  Dang.  Keep at it!  If your teacher hasn’t taught you ummis yet, not to worry.  Either ask for it or switch to hip drops.  Most of us only do hip drops using the right leg.  Try your left.  When you are practicing this, don’t actually neglect your good side/direction.  Just focus on your weak side.  ATS® ladies, you should practice these ummis, too!  If that doesn’t appeal, try Arabic leading with your left foot, facing the other diagonal.

Intermediate: Turns.  We all have a direction that we do naturally, and the other way we risk falling over.  Find out which one that is, and practice your “bad” way.  You’ll need lots of space, so be careful!  No injuries from falling over, okay?  Just make sure your posture is good when you do your turns; it makes a huge difference in your balance.  Make sure that your arms also match your “good” direction.  Some of us (me included) tend to do strange things with the arms when we turn the “weak” way because we’re more focused on not falling over than what our arms are doing.  Pick a turn that you like and practice!  For you Tribal ladies, try any turn that interests you, but I highly suggest paddle turns or barrel turns.

Advanced: Remember that sword you used last week?  Heh, heh…you’re not done with it.  While it seems silly to hold your sword in the left hand, you do still want to practice.  You never know when you might need to use your left instead of your right.  What if your sword spins around on your head?  Do you awkwardly try to grab it with the right, or gracefully reach up with the left to take it off and do some other move with it (…the sword was supposed to do that, really!).  Practice all your sword (hey, even your cane) movements with the left hand!  It will be weird, but this is a great way to keep your left arm strong and make yourself more flexible with using your prop.  This will also prepare you for double sword and double cane work!  Tribal ladies can do the same!

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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