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August 8, 2013

Uniqueness and How to Find Your “Thing” in Belly Dance

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Unique Bellydancer
Wow what a truly inspiring weekend I just came back from at the Orlando Belly Dance Masters! Becoming a Unique Bellydancer is something that we all try to attain in our journey. I am sure you have heard this before…”make it your own”, “find out who you are as a dancer”, “what makes you different?.”
For years, discovering what that “thing” was that made me unique and different was a headache and a challenge. There were so many facets to analyze, but after much thought, it became apparent what it was, and from there, I have made it a point to showcase what makes my style uniquely me. I hope this blog will help others find that “thing” within themselves as well.

How to Find What Makes YOU a Unique Bellydancer:

-which parts of your body do you feel the music moving you from? Do you dance primarily with your hips, your torso, your arms and hands, your abdominal, etc…? Note this down; this is your intuitive strength.
-if there was no music in a room and you were asked to free style, what would come out? Film yourself and analyze which dance genres, movements, and expressions come about.
-Who were your teachers, and compare and contrast how you are similar to them and how you are different. If you find you cannot write down many differences, chances are you need to branch out and train with other dancers so you can obtain a different point of view on your dance style. Many dancers will become clones of their teachers if they do not branch out.
-what music speaks to you? It can be any style but really figure out why it moves you. Do you go for music with tons of dynamics, songs that are heavily percussive, songs with irregular rhythms and counts? Do you only dance to oriental, or to tribal fusion, or latin? Force yourself to dance to something completely out of your comfort zone at least once a week.
-Make a point to freestyle to music and force yourself to flow into new movements and combinations. Film yourself during these creative exercises and see what you discover. You might be surprised at what you can create!
-what are you afraid of? Falling? Having an ugly look on your face when expressing emotion? Looking heavy? Looking too skinny? Not having good technique? Messing up with a prop? Make a point to tackle each fear once a week for an hour and analyze how to incorporate these into your choreographies. Fears are useful strengths in dance.

Moral of The Story

Much of what makes a Unique Bellydancer is having the bravery and “balls” to just go for something and not care what others think. Many of the most famous dancers in the world have exercised their creativity and just “gone for it” when they practice and discovered new and exciting material to work with.
Just as dancer’s drill and train technique, belly dancers need to not get stuck in a bubble! Force yourself to freestyle and not be able to use any belly dance vocabulary. Or freestyle and select three belly dance moves and two non belly dance moves, and practice taking pieces from one and fusing it with another to create new dance movements. There are so many shows where each dancer looks like the one before, and showcase the “bubble” syndrome. Don’t be one of “those”, showcase what you bring to the table!
If you want to learn more about this in my Orlando Belly Dance Classes visit my private belly dancing classes in Orlando link.

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