This week’s challenge is back to basics!
Don’t know what a maya is? Some people also call it a vertical hip figure 8 up to down.
Beginner: If your teacher hasn’t taught you this move yet, ask her (him!) about it. This move (to me) is so fundamental to belly dance but many people don’t learn it right away. Just remember to keep your heels on the ground, and keep your posture correct. This move can easily injure the lower back if you push it too far too fast, so go slow and have your teacher check your posture and help make any corrections. Your challenge is to practice the maya for at least one FULL SONG every day. Again, don’t push it too far too fast. Keep them small until you build up the muscle range so you do not injure yourself. If you feel any pain in your lower back, stop, and have your teacher reassess your posture.
Intermediate: You hopefully know this move by now, so see what you can do with it! Can you walk with a maya? Try a walking maya and practice for a full song every day this week for your challenge. Remember not to let your arms drift inwards/downwards as you concentrate on moving both your feet and your hips. Keep the movement small, and travel gracefully so that it still looks nice.
Advanced: Go wild with your mayas! Make ’em big, make ’em small, travel, or try the X-maya (R hip twist forward/maya, L hip twist back/maya, R hip twist back/maya, L hip twist forward/maya; basically you are making an X shape with your hips while you maya). Add a shimmy on top. Whatever you do, make them interesting. This move is a staple belly dance move, and it can be even more beautiful with some additions. Whatever you pick, practice it every day this week for one full song. Then practice it on releve for another song.
Enjoy the challenge!