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  1. #11
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    As difficult as it is, be thankful your teacher is encouraging you to learn to dance improv. I've been dancing over 5 years and my teacher has never done this, and I totally panic and go blank whenever I'm in a situation where I need to dance improv.

    We also never discuss music or rhythms in class, so it's difficult for me to put moves together with different types of music. I'm taking a drumming workshop this weekend at the Rakkasah East festival and I'm hoping that learning to play the rhythms will ultimately help me with my dancing.

    Good luck with your practice, and keep at it.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huraiva View Post
    As difficult as it is, be thankful your teacher is encouraging you to learn to dance improv. I've been dancing over 5 years and my teacher has never done this, and I totally panic and go blank whenever I'm in a situation where I need to dance improv.

    We also never discuss music or rhythms in class, so it's difficult for me to put moves together with different types of music. I'm taking a drumming workshop this weekend at the Rakkasah East festival and I'm hoping that learning to play the rhythms will ultimately help me with my dancing.

    Good luck with your practice, and keep at it.
    GOOD IDEA!!! learning mid east drumming is an EXCELLENT way to improve your dancing!!!
    & ASK your teacher abt improv... but if SHE is NOT into it... it is easy enough for you to practice at home... after 5 years you must have several cd's w/ only one or two songs you like... well PLAY & DANCE TO ALL of those OTHER songs on the cds!!...

    I want you (& all the rest afraid of improv!!!) to commit to dancing 15 minutes A DAY to music you are unfamiliar with (or at least have heard, but never "REALLY" danced to)...
    just for ONE week !!!!
    oooohhhhh my birthday is may 10.... so you can ALL report back then & tell me how it was!!!!!

  3. #13
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    Since you’re getting a feel for what moves go to what music, why don’t you write down those improvised dances you imagine as soon as you think of them? Then you’ll have combinations to fall back on when you get stuck.

    (And sometimes just plain old goofing off to your favorite music really does the trick – at least it works for me! )

  4. #14
    Member nicknack's Avatar
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    Improv everywhere, and to anything. When I'm browsing shops plugged into my ipod or listening to the music they're playing I'm always dancing discreetly to it, or improving in my head. Even when I'm at home and there's no music I can run a song through my head and start dancing to it. And most important of all have fun

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by belly_dancer View Post
    I want you (& all the rest afraid of improv!!!) to commit to dancing 15 minutes A DAY to music you are unfamiliar with (or at least have heard, but never "REALLY" danced to)...
    just for ONE week !!!!
    oooohhhhh my birthday is may 10.... so you can ALL report back then & tell me how it was!!!!!
    Let me raise my hand and say I'm one of those afraid...Raquy and the Cavemen were in town and invited anyone who wanted to dance to dance and of course the music drives you to dance but I was too afraid. Lately I have been just messing around trying to dance improv during my practice time just to see what I looked like...glad to hear this messing around can really help me.

    happy early b'day
    Last edited by sstacy123; 05-04-2007 at 01:16 PM. Reason: bday wishes

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstacy123 View Post
    Let me raise my hand and say I'm one of those afraid...Raquy and the Cavemen were in town and invited anyone who wanted to dance to dance and of course the music drives you to dance but I was too afraid.

    ME TOO!!! What is up with that?? I improv-ed about 3 minutes with Uncle Mafufo and LOVED it!!! But then I sat back down, horrified to do any more.

    Why are we so afriad of this? When I'm on the regular dance floor, I'm a dancing fool, but stick me in any situation where there's the remotest hint of live drummers or middle eastern music and I freeze.

    SStacy -- it does help if you've had a few margaritas beforehand. That's how I ended up dancing with Armando. Maybe if I'd had a few more, I would have done a whole song...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Why are we so afriad of this? When I'm on the regular dance floor, I'm a dancing fool, but stick me in any situation where there's the remotest hint of live drummers or middle eastern music and I freeze.

    SStacy -- it does help if you've had a few margaritas beforehand. That's how I ended up dancing with Armando. Maybe if I'd had a few more, I would have done a whole song...
    Haha well I've only danced (not bd) about 3 times maybe in public so it is any kind of dance that scares me...but I think I'm losing my fear of that...(and of course I've never had any training in that) but not of BD improv...

    Yeah the other girls from class got up and danced but they had had a couple and all I had was a diet coke....

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    SStacy -- it does help if you've had a few margaritas beforehand. That's how I ended up dancing with Armando. Maybe if I'd had a few more, I would have done a whole song...

    OK I'm up for this challenge. Margaritas and 15 minutes of improv dancing practice every day for a week.

  9. #19
    Member RioDancerCO's Avatar
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    Wow, now I really feel like an alien I 'grew up' belly dancing in improvised settings and for me choreography is a struggle! My early dance experiences were almost all to live music in very casual settings. I find that improvised dancing is immensely easier if you are dancing to live music instead of a recording. Any of you who have danced for a crowd have probably experienced the wierd energy that happens if you make eye contact with an audience member for more than a second or two. When you dance with live musicians, they have a medium with which to respond to the energy of your dance. You feed off each other. With a regular crowd, they don't have many ways to interact that are appropriate so when they get a direct look, they often feel a little awkward. The point of this is that 'drum and dance' parties are an excellent way to learn improv. Also, just having music playing while you do your house chores will likely lead to some interesting dancing. lol, you should see me when I'm cleaning house! Something else to consider- take the choreography that is intended to go with a particular song and try to put it to completely different music. This doesn't always make something pretty but it does force you to listen to the heart of the music and respond to changes in tempo. Have a blast and let us know how you're doing!
    Rio

  10. #20
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    I get the feeling it's easier to improvise if you start learning to improvise very early in your dance career. When I had my mini-venture into teaching, all the new dancers didn't seem to have too much trouple improvising.

    I wish that more teachers would start teaching improvisation early on. Nonetheless, instructors can't just turn on music and expect beginners to groove, that's like throwing baby birds into a hurricane and expecting them to learn to fly. Instruction should at least have some structure(for example..."so I'm going to play a song that has the baladi in it. x, y, and z moves go really well with baladi, so I want you guys to experiment with these and anything else you think goes well." Okay, I'm done ranting.

    For dancers who ever perform in resturaunts or with a veil, improvisation becomes necessary. What happens to your coreography if the waiter needs to walk by? What do you do when you step on your veil and lose your grip?

    I started out in the same class as Huravia, and can attest for the lack of improvisation instruction. One day in class, our instructor was teaching a coreography and decided that we should all improvise for the first 45 seconds. For most of the class who had never improvised before, 45 seconds was really scary! Everyone looked like deer in headlights.

    Anyways, I think there was a point somewhere in my long and rambling post. I'll summarize: Learn improv early in your dance career if you can, and if you haven't learned it yet, practice! Lots! Get new music from dance friends!

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