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How long does it take to learn a belly dance move, and learn it well?
In class sometimes our bodies surprise and delight us by taking to a new movement with ease. However we are all familiar with the feeling of not getting a move right, having a lopsided maya or a belly that just won’t roll!
Too often we are told that our body shape lends itself to certain moves well and not others. Well has Ms Rachel Brice every paid attention to the myth that belly rolls don’t show up on someone with a slender figure?
I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with Sadie recently and among the fabulous moves she drilled and broke down for us was the reverse belly roll over a maya
-a challenging move by anyone’s standards. However her suggestion that stayed with me was to keep trying the move for ten hours. It simply is a case of getting the movement into our bodies and brains, which takes time and repetition.
It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s that you haven’t done it enough!
There is nothing we can do now with ease that we haven’t done again and again in the past. Remember joining up the dots to practise handwriting as a child? Or learning your multiplication tables by rote?
By drilling movements we strengthen the connection between our brains and the part of the body we’re targeting and develop the muscle memory necessary to be able to execute the movement.
So take those undulations, figure-eights, flutters or whatever movement that’s not quite there yet and give it ten hours.
- Spread out the ten hours over a few weeks so as to focus on the movement along with your normal practice routine.
- Ask your teacher for help with the movement to make sure you are using correct technique.
- Do some targeted strengthening exercises to help you execute the movement. For example if you’re working on mayas do some bicycle sit-ups to warm up the oblique muscles.
- Take time to visualise the movement, watch videos on youtube and study how it looks on different dancers.
Fluidity in any move can be achieved if practised with dedication over a period of time, supported by your normal practise. Remember- We all learn at our own pace. The key is not to give up- whether it takes you ten minutes or ten hours of drilling to get a move down you have to keep practising safely and effectively to achieve your dance goals.
The next step is to maintain it, improve it and move on to the next ‘pesky’ move!
If you liked this then you’ll love what we have in store for you! So look out for your next Undulate Update!
Until next time,