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  1. #1
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    Default Bellydance: how many hours a day/week?

    In 2006 I did a year of belly dance (two hours a week). For various personal reasons, unfortunately I could not continue. Now I wish start again. In your opinion, how many hours a week should I do to become good? Obviously I don't expect everything at once, I know that it takes many years, but two hours a week seem too few. When you were beginners how many hours dance a week/day? And now?

    P.s.: Sorry for my bad english! I'm italian and cannot speak it well...I hope to improve.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    As a beginner I started with one class for the first term and did a little practice at home, then after a term I began to take 2 classes, then by the end of the first year I took 3. I ran out of time basically and cut back to 2 with a couple of hours practice at home. I currently take 2 classes a week, and practice at home anything from 2 hours to 4 during the week. More if there is a performance coming up. I also try to do several workshops a year. I have been learning for 6+ years and will keep learning for the rest of my dance life

    It is difficult to say how many hours a week to become a good dancer, everyone is different and has different learning curves.
    ~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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    If you want to become good (assuming you have what it takes), I'd say at least two classes a week and practice most days. Practice has to be focused using mirrors and/or video of yourself. Once a month (say) go for a private lesson.

    This all assumes you have access to a good teacher - that is one who can teach and knows technique, musicality and Arabic culture (it is very hard to really get belly dance if you don't have a feel for how music, lyrics and history mesh in with the dance).

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    every day I do about an hr - not intense just round my room with some music - then I have an hour on a Monday for lessons and 4 hours a month with a workshop so on average every week i dance for about 8 hours - would like it to be more though!!

  5. #5
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Hi Ebano, and welcome to the forum!!

    For me, I also started out with just one hour and some practise at home.

    After about a year I soon went to about 2 hours a week with practise whenever I could make some free time (I was finishing high school back then). The third year I really got into it and in about two years time, I went from 2 to 4 hours of class a week. Now I've been dancing for about 7 years and am in class almost every night, additional training with my troupe 2 nights a week, additional teaching 2 days a week, plus everyday I practise in the morning for about 1 to 2 hours before going to work. I work on DVD's, workshop material (I've always loved taking workshops and still do whenever I can, which is many a year) and choreographies, improv, technique drills.

    Besides that, I'm a total nut for Arabic music and this is almost the only music I hear.

    Do you have a teacher yet? If not, find yourself a decent teacher and start out with once a week to get into it again. The you can do more when you feel ready for it. Good luck on finding Bellydance again!

  6. #6
    Senior Member GypsyStacey's Avatar
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    I also started with one class once a week. I'm now taking two. I probably practice 30 mins - up to two hours a week depending what else is going on. i'm still very much a student. good luck to you & have fun getting back into bellydancing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default 1-2 hours of lesson per week is fine

    if you practice everyday at home on your own. Attending workshops with several teachers is also good, because it shows you the variety of styles and teaching methods.

    However, keep in mind that 1) you avoid exceeding 15-16 hours of total practice per week, to permit your body recover from training but also build muscles and flexibility without hurting yourself 2) you share the total practice hours within the 7 week days, e.g. it is better to practice 30 minutes everyday than 3 hours on Monday and 4 hours on Friday and 3) even in cases where you are supposed to overdo it, f.ex. in a workshop that lasts for a weekend or 4-5 days, you permit yourself some days of rest afterwards.

    Overdoing it does not make your body "readier" to dance, but more vulnerable to injuries (and your mind has no time to absorb the information nor invent new ideas).

    Note 1: oriental dance is an art - you improve your dancing not only by practicing dance, but by listening to music, learning about the culture of Middle East and all the areas and people who share this art. Make sure you dedicate some time to this, too. It seems theoretical, but without ideas and context practice is not enough.

    Note 2: never forget to have fun while practicing or dancing!

  8. #8
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    And then there's strength and flexibility work for your specific needs. I need better balance and core stability to help my turns be less wobbly, so one of the things I do is sit on a gym ball while at home. Also need to improve upper back strength and flexibility for posture and sustaining arm movements, so that's some yoga, draping over the gym ball and swimming ( I must look more than a bit silly, practicing graceful hands while swimming, but with ears under the water, I can't hear people laughing ).

    Listening to music to and from work, shimmy at the photocopier when no-one else is around..... It all adds up to a few hours a week, but done coincidentally with other things, helps the day along happily

  9. #9
    Member DancersDad's Avatar
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    Right now Laura is taking 2 classes a week. The last week or so haven't been very forgiving for at home practice with all of the graduation stuff going on. But, I'm sure that in a week, when it's all boiled down and things return to a semblence of normalcy, she'll be able to get more practice time in.

    dus'

  10. #10
    Junior Member mikhailsharqi's Avatar
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    i take 2 classes a week, back to back, so two hours, when i get home i practice whatever sets of combinations while they are fresh, even write them down on the way back on the train.

    i do 12 hour shifts however on my days off i practice, with a mirror, then free of a mirror, then video myself and watch it back.

    at home i'll practice 2 to 3 hours, and also i like to break down and mix up combinations on improvisation, on the count and with music. its good to try the same sets to different songs to work out the timing as a way of developing an intuition for the music and feeling out steps and moves too.

    i will practice as in the class on the count without music, then to any song, and where i've an awkwardness with any move i just repeat the movement like a mantra.

    may spend 15 minutes or half an hour on one move, then bring it all in to polished off combo. its good training for stamini as dancer too, 1/2 hour on the tead mill 4 times a week doesn't prepare you at all! lol!
    Last edited by mikhailsharqi; 06-27-2010 at 08:26 PM.

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