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  1. #1
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    Default Not sure what to do or liking what I see

    I have the problem where I want to dance at home but feel stupid just shimmying in my made up "studio" (it's our extra bedroom with a large mirror in it). Sometimes I just don't know what to do. I'm also having a problem liking what I see in the mirror. I'm just so worried that I am doing "it" wrong that I just don't, and I can tell that I have let my dancing slip. It's been bothering me for a while now, and I'm not sure what to do.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    You could do an instructional video, review what you've learned in class, or just turn on some belly dance music and dance your heart out.

    I might be more fun to invite another belly dancer over to dance with.

  3. #3
    Member BigJim's Avatar
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    I do 95% of my dancing at home in the basement in front of a mirror. It's great that you have a designated space to workout in. What will improve your situation would be to get a T.V. and DVD player so you can work on instructional tapes. This will give you some structure to your practise time. Finishing up a workout you can just play some music and have a little fun time.The mirror is for feedback... it's fun to see improvement so don't worry about how you look right now... things always get better...

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    yesthatgirl what is it you don't like seeing in the mirror? Is it your technique, body line, or your looks?

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Then again, most of us are harder on ourselves more than others are on us. Make the mirror your friend because it will give you close up feedback. If you don't like what you are doing, practice that move until you do while looking in the mirror the whole time. Don't get intimated because that is the quickest way to quit - buck up and keep watching. You WILL get it the way you want it.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    The mirror is a dance tool that allows you to compare the movements you are making with the movements you've seen on your teachers, be those teachers on dvd or live. If you use it to critisize everything from your complexion to the shape of your knees, it defeats the purpose of having one.

    Every dancer worth his or her beads reaches places where they don't like what they are seeing in the mirror. This is usually the first step to a new level of dance. If we let the challenge depress us to the point where we don't continue to practice, we get nowhere. If we press on we will eventually reach the next level.

    It's wonderful that you have a studio- and no need for quotation marks around the word to denigrate it. I dance in my living room using the windows to reflect me back at me and have done so for 35 years or more. I only have real mirrors when I teach.

    I'm happy that you've joined OD. All the information and encouragement around here are bound to help you advance.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
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    I'm going to go ahead and cheat here, because I know you in person and I've seen you dance. And you're a beautiful dancer! I think, though, that you, me, and several other local dancers could all benefit from more social dancing. I'm not aware of anything other than the drum circle at PJ's (and that's not geared toward belly dancers, to my knowledge) that offers the opportunity to listen to the right kind of music and get up and dance freely. Where you have a purpose, a community (for companionship, inspiration, and feedback), and a relaxed, no pressure atmosphere. Not that that would take the place of drilling or home practice, but I think it would certainly augment it, and help bridge the gap between "practice" and "dance".

  8. #8
    Member gypsy's Avatar
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    Maybe this is bad advice, but what if you practice with DVD's and lose the mirror-at least for a while. Providing you practice and have an instructor to guide you in classes, you could lose the mirror for awhile, and when you do bring it back to your practice space you may see the improvement!

  9. #9
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    I was going to say the same: don't use mirrors for a while! Sometimes they can be so distracting because you feel you have to dance a certain way and you loose spontaneity. Then later you can go back to using mirrors

  10. #10
    Junior Member LaurenRaqs's Avatar
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    I agree with dropping the mirror for a while, it sounds like it's becoming a distraction.

    Here are some ideas:

    1) Drill basics. Think of it like a ballerina doing barre work, you're never 'too advanced' to benefit from muscle training. Go back to your hip lifts & drops, simple ribcage moves, figure 8s. While you drill them, focus on strong upper body, long neck, and simple (but graceful) arm patterns.

    2) DVDs are a fantastic idea! I love Azizia's Practice Companion for intermediate to advanced dancers.

    3) Just jam. Improv. Sometimes it's easiest to work with music you're familiar with, songs you danced to in high school, instead of Middle Eastern music at first (though I think listening to lots of ME music is very important, too!). Ditch the mirror, don't worry about right or wrong, You're just getting used to using this movement vocabulary to express yourself.

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