Weekly Challenge 8-5-13
It’s Monday. Again. Let’s get our blood moving and perk us up a bit for the rest of the week!
Endurance is definitely a skill that belly dancers should develop. We get used to doing one 3-4 minute song (typically what show organizers will let us do) and then we’re done. Ever feel like you’re going to die after only one song? If you have plans to dance at a restaurant, or if you want to do full sets (like for weddings, etc.) then you need to be able to dance for more than one song. The way to do that is to work on your endurance. A typical belly dance set for a soloist is 20 minutes or so. That’s a long time to be dancing by yourself!
Beginner: We’re going to start our endurance training by seeing how long you can do one movement. Pick a move that’s pretty peppy, like a choo choo shimmy or Arabic (pick a slightly faster song, perhaps, than you normally would use) and see how long you can go.* One song? Two songs? Probably not, and that’s okay. Try for one song for now. If you need to, take a quick break, but don’t just stop. Walk around, shimmy (steady and slow) in place for a few counts, and then get right back into it.
Intermediate: Try doing all of the choreographies you know (or are working on) back to back. Make a playlist and do them all! If you know more than 5 right now, you can probably stop there, but see if you can make an entire show out of all the choreographies in your repertoire. For improv-ers, pick 3-5 songs you usually dance to and see if you can get through all of them at once. Again, make sure you are fit enough for this, and if you need to take a breather, don’t just go sit down. Walk around, shimmy in place, and then get back into it.
Advanced: Hopefully you can make it through an entire set by now. If not, try to pick a set (20-25 minutes) worth of songs and get to it! If one set is no problem, try 2 sets back to back. This is tough, tough, tough. That’s nearly an hour of dancing. Be sure to toss in some slow songs, too, and take breaks by walking around or doing a slow, even shimmy. Just don’t stop. If you can dance for nearly an hour, one 20 minute set will be nothing!
Tribal dancers…do think that you’ll never dance that long of a set? Think again! (YouTube link)
*Please make sure you are fit enough for this. If you are in doubt, check with your doctor and use your smarts! Don’t kill yourself by trying to do an hour of dance right from the get-go. Pace yourself and work up slowly. Always check with your doctor before starting an intense exercise regimen.