I hope you are having a wonderful and meaningful Martin Luther King day. I previously did a challenge, for last year on this important day, and would like to put that one out there again as a way to do something good for your community.
As an alternate choice, we have a drill challenge this week!
Drills, drills, drills
One of the hardest things about belly dance for many beginners is that we don’t “get it” right away. Belly dance takes intense muscle control, which takes muscle strength and muscle memory. To get that, you have to, have to, have to drill. And drill. And drill some more.
It’s boring, and it’s hard, and it’s not so fun. I agree…I got into belly dance to have fun and get fit without having to slog to the gym or do boring and “stupid” exercises. Drilling isn’t my favorite either. But I make it a game sometimes, or I try some other way to make it more fun. So, this week, we’re going to try to make drilling fun!
Every day this week, try something new for your drilling. Pick a move you need to work on, something that needs improvement, not something you already do well (although, every dancer should know to drill the basics in order to keep up the skills), and drill, drill, drill!!
Then try some of these ideas to make them fun: (just make sure to remember that the drill is still what’s important here, not the game!)
- Get a drill partner and drill together
- Put on your favorite song–no matter what it is–and drill something to it
- If you have a drill partner, have a contest. See who can shimmy longest, or can do the most of your chosen move in a minute (just make sure you don’t sacrifice technique for speed; keep each other honest about whether technique is getting sloppy)
- Start layering, even if it’s just arms, over whatever movement you are drilling
- If you are up for it, try a marathon drill session. Drill 100 of each of the movements you are working on (just be careful with yourself and your body, and don’t overwork it and risk injury…start with 25 or 50 if 100 is too hard)
- Smile while you drill (yes! This will make it more fun!)
- Film yourself drilling and see what your improvement is like over the week (or longer!)
This is just the start. Come up with other ideas and see what you can do to make drilling a little bit more fun! It doesn’t have to be a slog of boring moves. Inattention is just as bad as not drilling at all, so anything to keep you drilling, keep yourself interested, is going to help in the long haul. And remember…belly dance is tough, but the rewards are well worth it!
Taking the challenge? Let everyone else know! Tweet it!
Wow! It’s October already, and fall is here! And since it’s Monday, it’s time for another weekly challenge!
Drilling should be nothing new to any dancer. And no, we’re not talking about making holes in walls! Drilling is what helps build that “muscle memory” so that we can execute technique without having to look in a mirror and concentrate on it. Belly dance requires a lot of drilling because of the difficult nature of the movements; we ask our bodies to do things it’s never considered before!
Of course, drilling is not a lot of fun. Drilling can take up a good portion of a workshop or class and your own practice time. It’s way more fun to dance, or learn a new combo, than to drill. But even though it’s not very exciting, drilling is necessary for improving your technique. If you do not drill, it’s now time to start.
Every day this week, no matter what level of dancer you are, drill. Pick a new move every day, or, if you are having difficulty with one move, do that one all week. Pick a song, pick a move, and drill it. But don’t just stand there and move. A good driller never lets her mind wander during a drill.
Drilling is not effective if you are not doing the movement correctly. Watch yourself in the mirror and see if there isn’t something you can improve about the movement. Yes, even in a movement you feel comfortable or confident with. Are you executing the movement the same every single time, or do you get sloppy? Make sure you tighten up the move and do it right. Every. Single. Time.