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  1. #1
    Member Imeera's Avatar
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    Question Practicing without a mirror

    Hello all!

    Its been a while since I last danced and even longer since I was here. I got a degree and now find myself unemployed so of course bored out of my mind! I want to get back to dancing after I stopped to finish my degree but the house I have just moved into with my partner doesn't have a full length mirror or a place to put one safely as its rented. With no classes nearby I am stuck to self study.

    So how do I practice wihtout one? I normaly go along with a DvD or just dance to music in front of a mirror to see if I am doing it right but how can I "correct" myself if I am doing something wrong without one? Or is there no way to do this without a mirror or someone to tell me?

    Thank you!
    Immy =]

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I used to shadow dance: put a strong light behind me and watched my shadow on the wall.

    Welcome back, by the way, and congratulations on that degree!
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    If you have a suitable big window (like a ranch slider) and no neighbours you can pull back the curtains at night and with the lights on full you have a mirror of sorts. Probably more practical would be a video camera feeding directly into a TV or screen. Failing that, video and then watch yourself.

  4. #4
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Wait until night time and practice in the reflection of a window. Practice with the tv off so you can see your reflection. Pop a small mirror at one end of the hallway and dance right down the other end - you'll be tiny in the mirror, but you'll be able to get feedback. Use a video camera and play it back through the tv.

    And of course, the shadow thing that Shan mentioned. That's actually how I got feedback in my first two classes because we never had any kind of reflective surfaces in the classroom when I was a student.

    The last option is to buy a cheap full-length mirror. It'll be a carnival mirror so don't spend a lot of time looking in it if you're not drilling or your ego will take a huge hit, but it'll only cost around $10.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  5. #5
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    And fyi, I didn't add that link to my post, and it kinda creeps me out that something else did. I can't edit it out and it's not something I would add in like that. Brrrrrrr!
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    So it's not just me getting unwanted links added. I've been having problems with an add-on that I have not been able to delete- it just appeared without my permission a week or two ago and I hate it and its stupid links and popups.

    Sorry. Off topic.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I'm not seeing any links. Maybe it's because of the anti-ad subscription. If so, kinda WTHish about the idea that my posts are published otherwise than what I posted. Move to new thread in the about this website area?

    On topic, I love the shadow dance idea, although I have been severely distracted on stage getting mesmerised by my own shadow on a backcloth. It'd be great for making one focus on the movement rather than oh no look at the size of my behind/tummy, that top is doing me no favours, must do something about my hair, that colour doesn't suit me, would you look at that stupid hipscarf rucking up again?etc etc etc.

  8. #8
    Member Imeera's Avatar
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    Great ideas thank you! Can now finally get to work on improving!

  9. #9
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    There are full length mirrors you can hang from a door or stand on the floor. It's not perfect but it should help a little.

  10. #10
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default What our friends told you!

    dancing with seeing your shadow is great because it replicates much of what audience sees in big places where they cannot see the details of your moving from close distance. So, you have to think of big movements and body postures to make dancing visible.

    Dancing with the window-mirror is very god solution, because it can be big mirror, i mean a balcony door becomes mirror if you close the outer stores/window covers.

    I do both all the time and actually, no matter how much money you have, you need to use both those tools because the picture you get is not the same with the clear mirror - audiences will not have clear picture of your movement usually, so f.ex. bad posture looks worse on the window than on the quality mirror, so you take more care of deficiencies.

    I would add video shooting of your dancing at some regular base, f.ex. every other month, so that you can watch the details you miss because of the lack of mirror. Actually videos are better than mirrors because whle dancing you have no so much time to watch all details while video catches everything the eye does not while dancing.

    Having good and prolonged experience of unemployment or precarious employment and what this means for dancing education, i can tell that having all technical means at hand, does not always help. Even if you get super rich tomorrow you still have to use shadow, window mirror and video, and if you stop using them you will soon realise that money does not make you necessarily a better dancer.

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