Weekly Challenge for 2-17-14

It’s Monday, time for the weekly belly dance challenge!

Proprioception

What a fun word! What is it? Proprioception is actually a sense, like hearing or vision, and it is how we know where our body parts are in relationship to the rest of our body and in space.

Here’s a fun exercise (and no, it’s not the challenge!): Close your eyes and reach your arms out to the sides, fully extended. Now try to touch the end of your nose with one finger of your right hand without moving your head. Extend the arm back out and try it with your left.

Proprioception is how we can touch our own noses with our eyes closed. How did you do?

Our brain has a map of our body and a kind of “map” of the space around us. “Clumsy” people actually usually have low proprioception and bang into things because their brain either isn’t paying attention or doesn’t have an accurate map of either the body or the space. In dance, if our proprioception isn’t great, our movements tend to be less of what the teacher wants, we can’t practice without mirrors, and learning new movements is extremely difficult.

If you didn’t do so well touching your nose, don’t despair! Proprioception can be trained!

Here’s the challenge, for all levels this week.

Practice without a mirror.

BUT, while you are practicing, be aware of what your body is doing. How does a maya FEEL in your body?

For this week, maybe you can stick to movements you know pretty well, and instead of concentrating on how they LOOK (in the mirror), concentrate on how they feel. If you ever want to perform, there will be no mirror for you to check and make sure your maya is correct. Your body has to know how it feels to know whether the hip is actually making it out to where it is supposed to go.

If you are learning new movements, a mirror is essential in making sure that you are doing it correctly by how it looks. Once you have that down, take the mirror away and again concentrate on the feeling.

For more advanced dancers, if you practice choreographies or layering or even facial expressions normally with a mirror, try it without one this week. Same thing – new techniques should be blocked out in the mirror, then take it away and see how it feels.

I actually do not practice with a mirror AT ALL. That’s primarily due to the fact that I only have a small mirror, but I still wouldn’t want to practice in front of one regularly. Of course, when I’m trying out new techniques, or if I’m trying to check to make sure something looks right, I will drag out my mirror and make sure it’s right before practicing without it.

Happy dancing!

Taking the challenge? Let everyone else know! Tweet it!

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Photo credit: ZL-Photography via photopin cc (This is the “Bean” in Chicago, aka Cloud Gate)

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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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  1. Weekly Challenge 4-28-14 | Kamrah - April 28, 2014

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