Weekly Challenge for 2/18/13

Another challenge for the week! Are you ready?

Using your head

Part of dance is using your whole body to express the music. Some styles may ignore certain parts, but belly dance definitely calls for your whole body to move, from head to toe. Many dancers forget they have heads, except their faces (and some dancers forget those too!). So today we are going to try to use your head more in your practice!

A word of caution: the neck is extremely delicate and can easily be injured if not warmed up enough before trying these movements. Make sure that a qualified teacher has shown you how to warm it up, and do so diligently.

Beginner: Let’s use the head slide! It’s probably the easiest movement, and one that can be incorporated into your dance in a way that will look good. A head slide is just that, a slide of the chin from left to right (you better be warmed up!). Don’t thrust the chin forward, keep it tucked back but not down. This week, your challenge is to fit this head slide into your practice. Drilling shimmies? Add a head slide. Doing a combo? Add a head slide to one of the moves, or toss it in for an 8 count. But, wait…that sounds pretty advanced…but this is a CHALLENGE! So challenge yourself by adding that second layer to your shimmies. A head slide on a shimmy is one of the easier layers, so try it out! You can do it!

Intermediate: Time to start learning how to toss that hair around! You MUST ask your teacher for the proper technique for hair tossing. This can seriously hurt your neck if done wrong (whiplash anyone?), so do it right, and do it warm. Your challenge this week is to incorporate hair tossing into your practice. Not sure how? Try it at the end of a series of hip drop kicks as a way to move to the other leg instead of just a reset or a step. Add it into a combo for a count of 8. Try out a Khaleegi combo! Just get that hair flip in there!

Advanced: This can be troublesome for some dancers. Tribal dancers and Tribal Fusion dancers often have hair gardens, fake hair, dread falls, or all sorts of other head pieces that make head movements difficult on stage. Your challenge? Figure out how to incorporate the head into your dance, despite the head gear. Sound hard? I hear you. I’m still working on this. I like my hair to be in dread falls when I do fusion, but there are times I like to toss my hair around. Can I do that with a hair piece in? Maybe, if it’s done right, and the hair is anchored properly. Try it out with different head moves and hair pieces and see what you can’t come up with for moving that head a little bit more. Cabaret ladies, your challenge is the same! What? “But I don’t wear hair gardens!” Maybe not, but I’ve seen dancers lose hair, and it’s kind of embarrassing. Put on your fake pony tail and get to moving that head!

Happy dancing!

Note: if you feel any pain during these, STOP IMMEDIATELY and see a doctor before attempting these movements again. Remember, the neck is easily injured and hard to fix, so be responsible. Find a qualified teacher, follow his/her instructions, and warm up before attempting this challenge.

And for bonus points (and sprinkles!), please take 5 little minutes out to take my survey! Much appreciated!

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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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