How to Structure Belly Dance Practice

Belly Dance Journal

I’m actually not starting at 10,000 hours per se. More like 9,992. I had the idea for this project a couple weeks before I thought up the blog. But don’t worry — I’ve only been belly dancing for 8 hours since the official-official start. So for the first few blog posts I’m going to be catching you guys up on what I’ve been working on and the beginner tips I’ve garnered. I’ve been taking notes in this beautiful little journal I have at my disposal (on right).

My favorite website so far for studying belly dance technique is http://www.freebellydanceclasses.com/. Tiazza teaches you, for free, and explains everything in (sometimes excruciating) detail.

For instructional YouTube videos, it really is necessary to be as thorough as possible. There isn’t any real-time feedback from students, so to keep everyone on the same page, sometimes you have to progress a millimeter at a time. But Tiazza is personable, knowledgeable, and she has uploaded TONS of videos — nearly 700, according to YouTube.

How should one actually structure their belly dance practice? What should the daily routine look like?

Here’s one possibility that seems legit:

1. Stretch & limber up.
2. Drill your weakest moves.
3. Use strongest moves in combinations.
4. Freestyle to favorite music.

Personally, I’ve just been voraciously trawling through every YouTube video I can find, practicing what looks doable, and stopping once I’ve hit the 1-hour mark. (Don’t want to burn myself out.) Other times, I decide, you know what? I’m too tired to belly dance right now, so I’m just going to watch the pros at work and absorb their genius.

Here’s one great video of a particular style of belly dance called Khaleeji that I find fascinating, even if it isn’t exactly what I want to adopt. This woman, Kadia, is amazing.

Even though she’s wearing what, to me, looks like a really fancy sheet (actually the traditional garb for this dance, from what I’ve gathered), she moves around the dance floor with sensuality, attitude, energy, and style. I aspire to this kind of mastery.

Countdown to Belly Dance Mastery: 9,992 hours

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