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  1. #1
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    Default Practicing and rehearsing.

    I have a silly question

    How much do you have to practice before you become more or less fluent in the moves? I know the common answer "practice until you get it right", but I am asking more about how much is "enough"? I don't want my dancing to be a workout, but slacking off for a hour a week is not for me either. How much time normally passes before you grasp a shimmy for example? Or simple layers?

    All dances have their own standards for progress, some demand a lot of time and sweat. I wonder about belly dancing....

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepbystep View Post
    I have a silly question

    How much do you have to practice before you become more or less fluent in the moves? I know the common answer "practice until you get it right", but I am asking more about how much is "enough"? I don't want my dancing to be a workout, but slacking off for a hour a week is not for me either. How much time normally passes before you grasp a shimmy for example? Or simple layers?

    All dances have their own standards for progress, some demand a lot of time and sweat. I wonder about belly dancing....
    Becoming fluent as you said in any step/movement is an individual thing. Some people pick things up quickly others don't. Then there are the steps you get quite quickly and others that seem to take an age. So it is quite difficult to say after X amount of hours you will have mastered the shimmy or whatever. I've seen dancers after even after a year still struggling with some things. I have been dancing 5 +years and belly rolls are still difficult even with enough practice to fill a candy store or even 3 of them It took me a good 2 years to master zills (meaning good enough to dance and play and I am still learning the zills). I picked up the movements like the jewel, oomi's, ribcage slides very quickly and perfected that over time ( and continue to do so) Shimmies took a while to learn control, especially the fast ones, I can't remember how long, probably months. Hip drops were Ok it was the release that stumped me as a beginner, I thought that someone had glued my foot to the floor But with determination, persistence and time it all came together. The things I struggled with took several months to be at a point where I felt that I had got it, but still needed practice, Things that I picked up quickly also needed continual improvement. It is stamping all these new things deeply into muscle memory correctly that is the key, then building on that base. Do so incorrectly and you have to undo the incorrect and start again.

    Some people can hit the belly roll or several different shimmies on the head in a few short months, but may struggle with hipdrops or something, so I can't really give you an answer to that question
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  3. #3
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    It depends on so many factors - how co-ordinated and aware of your body you were before you started, injuries (physical and mental), quality of teaching, etc. As a rough rule of thumb students can usually not make a fool of themselves in front of a tame audience after 12-18months - doing a pre-prepared choroegraphy. Some will pick it up faster some slower.

    Individual moves again depend on your physical makeup as well as practice habits, teaching methods, etc etc. If you want to get ahead, I'd say practice (correctly) about 2-3 times a week for no more than 30 minutes. Better a short focussed session than drilling bad habits

  4. #4
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    This was very helpful, thanks!

  5. #5
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    I don't know how far you want to take belly dance but my dance teacher says a lot of pros practice almost 4 hours a day... fo course they have the skills down. but she it will take 3-6 weeks to get it and its different for everyone.

    I actually started practicing about 3-4 hours a day because I missed almost half of my college belly dance course and I REALLY wanted to get it down right and make it up and I ended up learning it faster and m y teacher was quite impressed. Like I said every one is different. I dont know what your goals are... Mine after a while have changed to really wanting to be an instructor and performer.. but its just a LOT of practice..but it should also be a lot of fun...if it helps I tend to do drills on moves maybe drill for one song on a moove then pick a nother song and a nother move..so on. then just a dance and have fun. pick a few moves to rreally work on for a bit and then just have fun and dance! then the next day pick another few moves..and repeat!

    good luck!

    Ruby

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby~<3 View Post
    I don't know how far you want to take belly dance but my dance teacher says a lot of pros practice almost 4 hours a day... fo course they have the skills down. but she it will take 3-6 weeks to get it and its different for everyone.

    I actually started practicing about 3-4 hours a day because I missed almost half of my college belly dance course and I REALLY wanted to get it down right and make it up and I ended up learning it faster
    Problem for most beginners though is they don't know enough to be able to practice for long stretches. If you practice something for hours and are not doing it correctly you are drilling to the wrong thing and it'll take at least twice as long to get it right. (I saw this happen to a past beginner student who had to miss classes for while and mis-drilled at home until her hip drop went!)

    Pros - yes, many do several hours a day 6-7 days a week - plus performances to keep on top. But they have good body awareness and theyhave lots of different things to work on.

  7. #7
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    mis-drilled at home until her hip drop went!

    does this mean she injured herself?

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    I think there are two answers to your question. First of all, after many years of dancing, I am still working on getting the nuances of the moves down, such as where does my weight actually go, how do I shift it, what muscles should I be using. The second is stringing moves together so I can dance. When I started learning, I would do moves with my weight equally distributed between my feet and that made it hard to string the moves together. I did that because my instructors never discussed where the weight should be. I've had to relearn so I can shift my weight and slide from one move to another without getting stuck.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by teela View Post
    I did that because my instructors never discussed where the weight should be. I've had to relearn so I can shift my weight and slide from one move to another without getting stuck.
    I have a similar problem now, although it's more from the lack of coordination.

  10. #10
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    I'm just starting myself, but thought I'd chime in!
    My class is only an hour and a half a week, but I do the Aziza DVD a couple times a week, and it was easier the second time than the first.
    I just wanted to tell you this because it showed me even very difficult moves can be better absorbed from one practice to the next.

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