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  1. #1
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Default Recommended Daily BD Drills

    Hi!

    For a beginner and also intermediate bd student, do you have any suggestions for a program of daily belly dancing practice drills to improve my bd? I'd like to practice at home when I'm not having my belly dance lessons. Have to look for music for it!

    I have read in another thread about Rachel Brice doing 50 counts of different bd moves. Maybe 50 is too many for me, I don't know.

  2. #2
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    Hi, sorry this isn't actually a direct reply to your question but I just wanted to ask are drills where you practise so many moves repetivitely, one after the other? I've been dancing for over two years and have been to 3 different teachers and although we've gone over different moves, I don't remember them being called drills. I practise at home too but I mainly go over dances I've learnt and sometimes I go over moves I need to practise. So maybe I'm doing it already? But I don't do them repetively like 1, 2, 3 hip drops, 1, 2, 3 camels etc, I just practise until I think I'm doing it better.

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    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance drills

    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post
    Hi!

    For a beginner and also intermediate bd student, do you have any suggestions for a program of daily belly dancing practice drills to improve my bd? I'd like to practice at home when I'm not having my belly dance lessons. Have to look for music for it!

    I have read in another thread about Rachel Brice doing 50 counts of different bd moves. Maybe 50 is too many for me, I don't know.



    Dear Angela,
    This sounds rather as if Rachel has somehow disconnected movement from the music and does not care about that aspect of the dance, so I hope it is not true. The dance is in the end, all about the music. When I talk to my students about practicing at hone, I tell them to try to imagine what movements look like the music sounds and then try to use movements that seem to go with the music. A soft continuous flute with no fluttery sounds in it probably means the movement should be soft and smooth. A plunky sounding continuous oud probably means you will use a shimmy. Fast music with a very well defined beat probably means you will cover space with a walk and accent the beat. I think it is incredibly important NOT to leave the feeling and sound of the music out of your drills.

    Dear Marietta,
    I also do not refer to dance practice as "drills" mainly because I do not like the sound of the word as a dance tool. I would drill myself for a spelling bee or an excersize class or a cheer leading choreography, but not for belly dance.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 08-26-2008 at 04:49 PM.

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    Member meddevi's Avatar
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    I entirely agree with Aisha Azar - I am very much against the concept of repetitive "drilling" - while creating muscle memory and body familiarity with the movements is very important - being able to actually dance with those moves comes down to the understanding of the music and how the movements describe the music and flow into each other. The other dangers involve muscle fatigue/stress, and doing a move repetitively WRONG.

    I'd rather have a student do a hip circle as part of our warm up where we first stop at 4 corners for several counts, then slow and small for the next phrasing, then doubletime and fast for the next, etc - rather than 50-100 of any move. Then each week I give my students homework of different moves to practice and play with that we covered in that class, and how to combine it with something else. That way they can work with it at home, then bring it back to me with any questions.

    In my own practice, I have my basic warm-up, then movements and combos I want to work on, and then playing with those to various pieces of music.

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    having read the inital post, i am wondering if what was meant, was reallly a repetitive exercise of the movement lets say for example, doing a shimmy for maybe 3 minutes and eventually layering that with different movements (without compromising both) in order to perfect as much as possible the movements.

    I understand the importance of musical interpretation, i myself am learning that by watching videos of dancers as well as listening to the music consistently and visualsing what i would do as a dancer in that instance.

    but i think for some people exercises where a specific movement is repeated helps them better understand it, and even possibly perfect it. just a matter of different ways of learning i think.

  6. #6
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aisha Azar View Post
    Dear Angela,
    This sounds rather as if Rachel has somehow disconnected movement from the music and does not care about that aspect of the dance, so I hope it is not true. The dance is in the end, all about the music. When I talk to my students about practicing at hone, I tell them to try to imagine what movements look like the music sounds and then try to use movements that seem to go with the music. A soft continuous flute with no fluttery sounds in it probably means the movement should be soft and smooth. A plunky sounding continuous oud probably means you will use a shimmy. Fast music with a very well defined beat probably means you will cover space with a walk and accent the beat. I think it is incredibly important NOT to leave the feeling and sound of the music out of your drills.
    Oh gosh, Aisha, I have very poor rhythm (hahaha!) but God knows I am trying very very hard. I'd really like to perfect or at least do well with my belly dance moves so I won't get confused and make a mistake when I have to do it on my own. I am not sure if I can think of impromptu steps yet but I can see how it goes tomorrow with the music. Thank you for the tips, Aisha!

    From Meddevi: I'd rather have a student do a hip circle as part of our warm up where we first stop at 4 corners for several counts, then slow and small for the next phrasing, then doubletime and fast for the next, etc - rather than 50-100 of any move. Then each week I give my students homework of different moves to practice and play with that we covered in that class, and how to combine it with something else. That way they can work with it at home, then bring it back to me with any questions.
    Hmmm... Thanks, Meddevi, you gave me an idea. If you were my teacher, I definitely would have many questions about the moves during the next class. I'm so eager to learn and rather impatient to do so, hehe...

    From Kayshier: i am wondering if what was meant, was reallly a repetitive exercise of the movement lets say for example, doing a shimmy for maybe 3 minutes and eventually layering that with different movements (without compromising both) in order to perfect as much as possible the movements.

    but i think for some people exercises where a specific movement is repeated helps them better understand it, and even possibly perfect it. just a matter of different ways of learning i think.
    Yes, that's what I meant by my query, Kayshier. Thanks for making it clearer. My mind is so full I cannot express well in words sometimes I have tried practicing at home a couple of times but with no music. A few days ago, I bought the only belly dance music cd (called Turkish Temptations) available here and there are a few songs I really liked. The music just makes me want to dance! I'd like to practice the moves with the music but I might go out of rhythm like I usually do. Oh well....

    I'll let you know how it goes after tomorrow!

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    Angela

    at the end of the day, i think it is important where the music is concerned to understand how and when to use it, even if you decide to do your movements in a repetitive pattern. A'isha as usual, gave great advice, because at the end of the day, mastering movements are fine, but putting them into the correct context of the music, i.e proper interpretation is very important to the dance.

    maybe you should put sections of the music on your cd on repeat in certain instances in order to complement your exercises...the music is so varied and complex that its virtually impossible to do one movement throughout..its definitely going to change...understanding when that change is likely to occur is also very important.

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    I think 'drills' depends on what level a student at. Some people need to repeat certain moves until they develop muscle memory. But it should not be done until exhaustion or pain. Nor should the new dancer, only develop kinetic memory for just one style of movement.

    I will agree it should not be dis-connected from the music as the movements are it's visual expression. For brand new beginners I recommend, playing a variety of music and repeat moves as the music calls for it. Don't 'drill' over the music, but move within it. As it changes the moves should change. Over time the beginner dancer will understand the timing and rhythm changes and can anticipate accordingly. Of course, emotional connection to music will create depth beyond the moves themselves. So idefintley agree with the previous comments

    For intermediate students, i would recommend trying variations of certain moves, i.e. soft and flowing vs percussive and dramatic. Don't forget to use arms as an expression within the dance! Sometimes just listening to a wide variety of music without movement will also 'drill' the auditory senses. Zill drills fall into this category as well.
    Yasmine

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    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    As someone who has learnt omly a few limited choreos during my 2 years and has not had the opportunity to explore music/rythmns in a class situation, I find that my range of movements tends to bw v limited when I improv. Drilling certain sequenes of movement eg Drillsx3 dvd helps to losen up the movement possibilities

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    Senior Member Pirika Repun's Avatar
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    One of my teachers always say "listening to the musicĒ Especially listening the beat. When I have problem with undulation and figure 8, I can tell Iím off the beat, but I didnít realize before. Now I pay attention to the beat to get my move correctly while I practice.

    Angela, I understand you have hard time to get some music. If you have ipod or MP3 you can download music to your device. Another thing is go to YouTube and search any Oriental Dancersí video, so you can play these music. Anyway, itís better to have music with your practice for sure. When you get used to the music, your body will move naturally with the music. Just feel the music, and enjoy it.

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