Weeks 6 and 7 – 90 Day Belly Dance Challenge

written by Andalee on May 19, 2014 in Healthy for life with 4 comments
Dance with Mirrors

Andalee using the “mirrors” at her “dance studio”

This blog post covers days 31-41 (May 6-18) of the 90 Day Belly Dance Challenge. 

Did you forget about the Challenge? Who’s still in it with me? I’m working at it although things have gotten much more slack as I prepared for both a Hafla and a brand new website launch, CarolinaBellyDance.org. However, I was hit in the face with a big breakthrough this weekend. It was kind of one of those hard-to-deal-with moments when it feels like everything you’ve done as been in vain.

You see, I’ve been practicing a lot for a solo to perform at my Hafla (well, I did skip 3 days during this time period) and I thought I was doing pretty well. After my performance, I thought I had nailed it. However, when I watched the video later, I was pretty disappointed with myself. I know some of it was the fact that I was stressed and tired from putting on a big event, but the biggest reason was that I’ve mostly been practicing without the feedback of mirrors, video or  a teacher.

I’ve been lacking in that critical need for self-critique in order to improve my belly dance skills. I would have never guessed that this would be such a big deal, but it makes sense. For many years I’ve been practicing with the aid of mirrors or a selfie-video so that I can watch myself either during or after a dance. However, lately, while I have been using some video to make choreographies for my students, I’ve been practicing in my living room or my bedroom where there are no mirrors.

This is pure laziness on my part. I have an “everything but the kitchen sink” room in my house with mirrors, but I don’t like using it because it needs a lot of work. It’s small, dark and cluttered, and it’s where I do most of my computer work, so I get pretty tired of it. I also have 24 hour a day access to the multipurpose room in my neighborhood clubhouse where I have mirrors and other amenities. I used to hang out there rather often, especially before or after class, to work on solo work. I even would make special trips out there to use the gym. But I have really fallen out of the habit of being consistent with mirrors. It’s just so much easier to turn on my iPod in dance in the living room, especially for 5 minutes…So I really should consider installing a mirror or just taking the extra effort to dance in the spare room or head on over to the clubhouse.

I’m really disappointed in myself and my performance. You would think with all of my experience and my steady (ok, close to steady) work over the last few weeks that I would have seen great improvement. Sadly, there hasn’t been. It just goes to show you that perception and reality can be very different things. 

About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.