Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tips for becoming a bellydancer

Hello there my lovelies,

Have you ever tried bellydance ? Or have you ever wondered about it ? Here are a few of my suggestions and stuff to take into consideration if you are considering dancing.........

1.) Try to learn barefoot. Bellydance is a very feminine, natural dance and by dancing barefoot, you are "getting back to the basics". It is also easier to get the postures right.  Your feet may become rough, but they will be tough enough to handle turns. Many bellydancers are proud of their "rough feet".

2.) Bellydance is all about attitude. When you are dancing on the floor, make sure you think you are the hottest thing alive. Command peoples' attention with your eyes. I'm not saying you have to be a conceited person to be a good bellydancer. But you do need to think you're hot stuff while you dance. Save the modesty for when you get off the floor.

3.) Never compare yourself to another dancer. Most people have their own styles and interpretations of the dance.  The reason you don't dance like the other girl is because you are YOU and not the other girl. Know your style and what you're good at and embrace it. Which brings me to #4.

4.) You're teacher's method isn't the only right way to dance out there. There are many good teachers out there. But don't let them convince you that their dance is the only way to dance. There are many forms of bellydance, and it is open to each person's interpretation.

5.) In addition to breathing, your posture is the most important thing to maintain. If you are slouching or sticking your butt out, you will severely damage your back over time. Sticking your butt out is not sexy, it is dangerous and makes you look like you're trying too hard. A good teacher will always emphasize that you straighten your back and tuck in your pelvis at all times while you are dancing.

6.) Bellydance is a feminine dance where women are supposed to bond and support eachother. This isn't a competitive sport, and it is never okay to be catty. Women are never too overweight, old or clumsy to dance. Ever.

7.) If you really want to get into bellydance and are serious about it, take up yoga. The flexibilty, postures and breathing lessons you learn will be very valuable when you dance.

8.) If you want to buy a costume, make sure you do your homework and shop around. In my experience, I got the best deals when my dance teachers or classmates made my costumes for me. If you shop at festivals or dance shops, you are really going to shell out a lot of money. Another suggestion would be Ebay. I've seen a lot of good deals there.

9.) If you want to be good, you have to be patient AND practice often. If you get frustrated you won't get the moves right. When I started out with the sword, I couldn't even balance it on my head and get down to the floor. Now I can do a lot more.

10.) This is a journey, not a race. You're not in a hurry to get anywhere or become perfect. Your happiest moments will be "along the way". You'll experience joy when you finally get the moves right, put on a new costume for the first time, perform in public, form close relationships with other women, ect.....

11.) Chances are your biggest fans will be women, not men. And I prefer it that way. I would rather have a woman that watches in amazement and tells me that she wishes she could dance like me, rather than a man telling me I look beautiful in my costume.

12.) Bellydance now has become very Americanized and open to interpretation. People nowadays dance in glitzy, glamourous costumes and sometimes in a manner that is too seductive. Bellydance back in the day was done between women in closed quarters for eachother, and also to help with childbirth. Plus, women were dressed from head to toe. Women that danced at weddings were hired( not part of the family) and were there to help the bride and groom get in the mood for their wedding night.

13.) The funny thing is, that most of the teachers and performers I see aren't Middle Eastern. Yes there are some out there, not many. When I go to festivals I see a mixture of Latin, White and Asian women. When I go to a hookah lounge or a party that is packed with Middle Eastern women, they can do the moves naturally. It's in their blood, without any lessons.

Okay, that's all I have for now.


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