Tim Ferris is better known for experimental lifestyle design than belly dancing. However his insights as a ‘would-be Tango dancer’ who went on to reach the Semi-finals of the World Championships in Buenos Aires after just six months of training, can be applied to any style of dance.
So how did he do it? You can read his article on becoming a world class tango dancer here but keep reading below for to see his tips applied to belly dance:
Tims first tip:
1)Find one primary male teacher and one primary female teacher.
Apply to belly dance: Become familiar with Belly Dance music.
Tim advises learning with both male and female teachers for Tango so as to become familiar with the cues necessary to become a strong lead. In belly dance it’s the rhythm and melody that guides us. Knowing our beledi from our chiftetelli helps us better anticipate and interpret the music. Getting to know famous singers and songs makes our belly dance learning more complete.
On to the next tip!
2) Videotape anything you want to practice, and videotape yourself as early as possible.
Apply to belly dance:
This tip is self-explanatory. It’s especially useful if you have a performance coming up. Even if you don’t by filming yourself you pick up on areas that need correcting that you miss in the mirror, which you can then work on to improve.
Filming yourself becomes easier the more you do it. So take a deep breath, either make up a short choreography to a song you love or use one that you’ve learnt from class, prop the camera or camera-phone up and go! The sooner you see it as a tool for making progress in your dance the less nerve-wracking it is.
3) Once you have a basic strong upper body “abrazo”, dance with as many women as possible to identify where you are weak.
Apply to belly dance: Learn from more than one teacher.
For Tango Tim recommends dancing with as many partners as possible to find weaknesses. By broadening our belly dance experience further than our regular class we discover our strengths, weaknesses, new moves and combinations that we would not have found otherwise.
As belly dance students we only learn more by exposing ourselves to different teachers each with their own technique, teaching style and dance vocabulary. In this way we learn more than we would have done just sticking to one class and can hone and combine new movements to add to our own individual style.
- Try supplementing your weekly class with youtube tutorials or practise dvds.
- Drop in on a beginner tribal fusion class if your regular class is more oriental focused and vice versa.
- Look out for workshops by visiting teachers in your area