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Back with a vengeance! [Jan. 13th, 2008|09:13 pm]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Back to Sunday classes today, also a second set of advanced classes run by Candi on Sunday afternoons, so today was quite full of dancing!

First session this morning was the usual practice session, going over a lot of basic moves and travelling moves. It's amazing how much Candi can squeeze into 1 hour! We covered hip hits, double hip hits, hip circles, chest circles, figure eights, hip-drops, shimmies and forward & back all in the first session! I love these sessions, Candi just has a way of making everything seem easy, and turning even the warm-up into a dance, so you can't tell when the warm-up ends and the dance instruction begins!

Second session was in 2 parts - the first half hour was spent working on finger cymbals. I'm dreadful with cymbals, but I love playing them and would really love to improve. The problem is that when I practice at home I try to play the standard longa rhythm along to a song, and I get lost so many times that I get frustrated and give up! And that's even before I try dancing and playing at the same time! Today though, Candi took us through it at a really gentle pace, starting with playing only on the beat, then dancing a basic movement at the same time. Next we played twice as fast, then added a basic dance move in time with the beat, then we began playing in short bursts of 3, 5 or 7 at double speed, then doing that whilest keeping up a basic dance move. Eventually we moved onto the longa rhythm, and I found it a little easier to 'dance' and play this time, although I still find that I lose the beat after a little while and have to stop for a second and find it again, but I'm definately getting better. Now I have a structure to follow in my cymbal practice at home :)

The second part was a new type of dance to me - debke. It's sort of oriental line-dancing and it involves standing in a line holding hands and all dancing in time. The particular dance step that we were learning today also involves learning to dance to a count of 6, even though the music is playing to a count of 8, so every other step combination feels a little weird as you don't finish on the accented beat. I think we managed quite well though, and I can see that it would be a fun dance for a troupe to do.

This afternoon we started with arms. My arms are awful, I tend to forget that I have them, so the more practice I have with concentrating on them, then better! We were practising 'making shapes' by always being concious of the shape your entire body makes as you dance, so although the movement is in your hips, your hands and arms need to be in a suitable position to either frame the move (showing arms), complement the move (balancing arms) or stay out of the way of the move (posing arms). We also did a little work on actually dancing with your arms. Then your hips should be still, but you should still make sure that you're standing in a definate pose, and haven't just stopped however you were standing in order to wave your arms about a bit!

After that we moved onto accents, largely of the type that involve a lot of buttock clenching! We've also been set homework! We must practice the buttock clenching, preferably by doing an 'accented walk' to ensure that we clench both sides equally and don't end up with one super-buff bum cheek and one wobbly one because we've only drilled one side! I can see this leading to a few embarassing moments when I think I'm alone in the lab but it turns out I'm not...

In other news, I've finally dug out my cheque book and filled out my Jewel of Yorkshire workshop request form. Tomorrow I will buy a stamp and post it :)

[User Picture]From: ju_bear
2008-01-19 05:23 pm (UTC)
We did arm movements too in class this week as well as travelling and a free dance. I always feel a bit lost in free dance.

I think your arms are really good, very graceful! :)

I saw Tempest's dvd Belly dance for beautiful Freaks the other on Ebay at £12 and I thought of you, only it had like 15 mins left before ending so couldn't send a link to you in time.
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