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  1. #11
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    Default question for the super disciplined drillers

    OK all you who say you do drills for 1-2 hours per day (!) or 4 hours per week or whatever. When you do practice your choreographies and develop new choreos?

    Is that tacked on the end and you didn't mention it? Are we now talking 3 hours per day!?!

    Or maybe you improvise all shows and never do any choreos. Even then, I would think you would want to practice that actual music quite a lot before a performance.

  2. #12
    Junior Member Machiavellia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    OK all you who say you do drills for 1-2 hours per day (!) or 4 hours per week or whatever. When you do practice your choreographies and develop new choreos?

    Is that tacked on the end and you didn't mention it? Are we now talking 3 hours per day!?!

    Or maybe you improvise all shows and never do any choreos. Even then, I would think you would want to practice that actual music quite a lot before a performance.
    I have four hours of troupe rehearsal per week, where we work on troupe choreography, and I work on my own personal choreography/improvisational skills outside my drill time. I think both are absolutely crucial to becoming a well rounded dancer. Between classes I teach, classes I take, troupe practice, personal drilling and personal choreography/dance time, I dance about fifteen to eighteen hours a week. But it's starting to show in my movement, so it's worth it, and hopefully it will lead to more of my income coming from belly dance over the next few years.

  3. #13
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    Thumbs up Thanks for all the advice

    Hello guys,

    Sorry this post is late but been mega busy!

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice - it's drawn my attention to things I didn't really consider before, like how my practice could impact on my musical interpretation. This is something I want to improve on so I think I will base my practice more around that than jut standard drills.

    This may also stop things becoming too boring or repetitive,as if I'm totally honest I find drills a bit boring. I like the ones I do in class, but on my own not so much... I'm still going to do shimmy drills though.

    I've started dancing with a troupe so it's now even more important to me to show some improvement, so I'm very grateful for everyone's input. Thanks!

  4. #14
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darbla View Post
    I don't where I read this so I can't give you a reference for it. But I read that one of the pros sits on the floor and does shimmies in that position for an hour each day. You can watch an hour long TV program while you do it. Just alternate your knees just like you would while standing.
    Lorna told us that Randa does this while watching one of her favourite soaps, hahaha! Maybe that was who you were thinking of? I tried it but didn't keep at it, maybe I'll try it again this week!

  5. #15
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    Aziyade, you ALWAYS give such great advice, I spiritually rep you as I have to spread myself around again!

    I remember a fantabulous post you made about home practice some time ago, I scribbled down notes from it and use it in my own practice, it totally changed the way I think about structuring my practice sessions!

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathy View Post
    OK all you who say you do drills for 1-2 hours per day (!) or 4 hours per week or whatever. When you do practice your choreographies and develop new choreos?

    Is that tacked on the end and you didn't mention it? Are we now talking 3 hours per day!?!

    Or maybe you improvise all shows and never do any choreos. Even then, I would think you would want to practice that actual music quite a lot before a performance.

    My schedule is changing depending upon what I'm working on.

    Right now I'm working up for the Suhaila Level 2 next month, so I feel like I'm almost exclusively drilling the stuff that I'm struggling with in that syllabus -- and getting everything up to the appropriate speed. In Suhaila's fashion, I'll drill a movement standing for maybe 5 minutes, then spend the next 25 minutes drilling the same movement with different traveling patterns. The traveling thing is HUGE in Suhaila's format, and it's something I find personally challenging so I like spending time doing that. Lately I'll usually do this for 2 different movements, so that's about an hour. Some days I'll drill basic traveling movements with finger cymbals, or I'll "jam" with the CD, dancing a choreography I know while drilling different cymbal patterns over it.

    When I'm not working on Suhaila's stuff, I'll still drill movements that trouble me -- currently it's Sohair Zaki's Tap 3/4 shimmy, Nagwa's pelvic shimmy (always -- I will never get this as smooth as I want), and Randa's pelvic-drop pony thing. I can do both of these movements slowly, but they need to be sped up to look right, and my skill level just isn't there yet.

    Because I'm exploring improving my improv skills, I've been working with the techniques in Nadira Jamal's dvd, and spending a couple of nights a week putting on random music and working her exercises for 30-45 minutes. The time really flies and I really wish I could add another hour a night to my dancing (or another 4 to my day!).

    When not doing improv, I'm working on Raqia Hassan choreographies -- learning them, doing them, experimenting with changing movements to see if they still represent the music, and playing with making them alternately more "earthy" and more "airy," as a texture experiment. I'm not working on doing my own choreography at all right now (except the class choreos) since I haven't been performing for other dancers, and my public seems satisfied with Shareen el Safy and Raqia choreos.

    But my day job allows me to pretty much listen to music all day long -- which is what I do -- and that gives me time to study the music. I have a closed windowless office, so I can even dance a bit if I want, and I take the opportunity to do so OFTEN! So I get music study into my day without it cutting into my actual physical practice time.

    (I SO have no life. Seriously.)

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    Aziyade, you ALWAYS give such great advice, I spiritually rep you as I have to spread myself around again!

    I remember a fantabulous post you made about home practice some time ago, I scribbled down notes from it and use it in my own practice, it totally changed the way I think about structuring my practice sessions!

    Aw thank you!! That makes me feel really good -- thank you!

  8. #18
    Junior Member Chantal's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Aziyade had mentioned about Nadira Jamal's Improv toolkit (which i have ordered and i am eagerly waiting for it to arrive in the post. ) So i googled it and found that Nadira is also doing episodes on dance composition which i have downloaded. I have found them very useful, it makes so much sense.I love the way Nadira explains everything so clearly.

    Here is the link to her taktaba blogspot, you can either download the episodes for free (the downloads are very big but you do have a low resolution option for some of the episodes) or you can order the dvds:

    Taktaba: Episode 1: Repetition and Alternation

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