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Thread: Is it hopeless?

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    Junior Member Desidra's Avatar
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    Default Is it hopeless?

    I am overweight, and am using belly dance DVDs for exercise (and fun). My problem is that I am a bit uncoordinated, and some of the moves feel strange to me, like my body doesn't feel flexible. It never hurts. I follow exactly what they say and show, but when I try something like the camel, I can't seem to move that way. Will it eventually fall into place, or is it just hopeless?

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Hi Desidra! No, not hopeless - that all sounds perfectly normal. Some of the movements do feel weird to start with, and can look very weird indeed until you get to grips with them. You are trying to get muscles you probably never knew you had to do things they are not used to - it takes time and practise to get the fine control and strength and range of movement to make it look good.

    It can be harder with DVDs though. Most people here would strongly recommend finding a class, especially as a new beginner, because a live instructor can give you encouragement when you are on the right track (no matter how awkward you are feeling/looking), or correction when you aren't.

    Good luck, and happy dancing.

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    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Nope, not hopeless Part, a sizeable part in my opinion, on what kind of quality in movement a dancer achieves has to do with where he/she is at in terms of flexibility and balance. Consistent stretching for flexibility (at the optimal time - at the end of practice when you are nice and warm) goes a long way in terms of ease and range of movement, grace, and control. Of course you have to practice the movement vocab itself to improve the execution but you can supplement that, hurry it along if you will, if you prepare your body.

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    Junior Member Desidra's Avatar
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    Thank you. Actually there probably aren't any classes that I could take around where I live. Plus, I'm quite low on money, and I'm pretty out of shape.

    That's good to know. I will start stretching more, and maybe incorporate yoga and pilates into my exercise routines.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 03-07-2010 at 07:49 AM.

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    Member Miranda Phoenix's Avatar
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    Desidra, it's absolutely not a hopeless prospect. It may take a little longer to really understand what's being taught, but perseverance goes a long way. :-)

    When you can, though, I would definitely recommend taking lessons; even if it's just one private a month. You'll progress faster when you have on-the-spot-correction and feedback.

    Good luck! And stay in touch. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Salome View Post
    Nope, not hopeless Part, a sizeable part in my opinion, on what kind of quality in movement a dancer achieves has to do with where he/she is at in terms of flexibility and balance. Consistent stretching for flexibility (at the optimal time - at the end of practice when you are nice and warm) goes a long way in terms of ease and range of movement, grace, and control. Of course you have to practice the movement vocab itself to improve the execution but you can supplement that, hurry it along if you will, if you prepare your body.
    Salome, if you don't mind (and you don't think it's OT), could you please describe some of the stretching exercises you find most effective, or, perhaps, recommend a good stretching DVD or two?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Miranda Phoenix; 03-06-2010 at 12:05 AM.

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    Junior Member Desidra's Avatar
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    Thanks, Miranda Phoenix, that's something I should have asked.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desidra View Post
    I am overweight, and am using belly dance DVDs for exercise (and fun). My problem is that I am a bit uncoordinated, and some of the moves feel strange to me, like my body doesn't feel flexible. It never hurts. I follow exactly what they say and show, but when I try something like the camel, I can't seem to move that way. Will it eventually fall into place, or is it just hopeless?
    As others have said learning by DVD is very hard - especially when first starting off. I am wondering if you have started with a DVD that is too advanced. I do not start teaching camels to students until they have mastered the basic, simple and safe moves. Certainly not for 6-12 months unless they are already fit and dance ready.

    Checking posture is important. If you cannot get to class get someone to check your alignment - or use a video camera on yourself - both standing and moving. Bad habits you develop now will take a long time to undo.

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    Junior Member Desidra's Avatar
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    I completely understand. I am using basic videos like Veena and Neena, and this one called belly dancing basics and beyond with Jenna. My husband watches my posture. Also, I've been using videos for a while, so I can usually follow fine, except that I sometimes have trouble with footwork, because I'm uncoordinated. Thanks for your concern, Kashmir!

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Any movement that requires changing your weight balance, or moving the body through space is going to be quite challenging without a teacher. No offense to your husband, but unless he is a bellydance teacher, he is not going to be able to correct your alignment, weight placement, etc.

    Although I don't mind the Neena and Veena videos for people to practice with, I think they are very poor instructional videos for people with no live teacher.

    I've had students come to my classes after "dipping their toes into the pool" with videos, and I swear they have the HARDEST time in actual classes. I don't know if it's just that have already developed bad habits, or what, but it's immensely harder to teach them than it is the absolute beginners.

    I personally believe that if you enjoy bellydance, you should enjoy it with a proper teacher. You will get a LOT more out of your workout, will be able to exercise much more efficiently, and you won't develop bad habits or balance issues that you have to correct later. Where are you? There are teachers EVERYWHERE -- you'd be amazed. And don't you OWE it to yourself to take a real class?

    (Don't let your weight or fitness level keep you out of class. PLEASE don't do that.)

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    Junior Member Desidra's Avatar
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    I live in Dickson, Tennessee, and I'm pretty sure there isn't anything at all like that down here. Very, very country.

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