Practice Routines for Belly Dancing

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Routines help you keep your belly dancing ability and body maintained for optimum dancing. In this free video, a professional belly dancer shows you some routines you can use for practice.

Part of the Video Series: Belly Dancing
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Linda and I'm here today at Essy's Rug Gallery in Franklin, Tennessee to talk to you about belly dancing practice routines. There are a lot of students that find it difficult to make that transition between beginner technique classes and putting together something of their own, so I'm going to give you a few suggestions to look out for, and things to do that's going to make that process a little bit easier for you. Assuming that you've been in belly dance classes already, you should know at least, I'd say, a good 15 different moves before you really want to start putting together a practice routine. Now, you can make it very short. In fact, that's one of the things I like to do to start getting into doing some routines, is to make a combination that's just a few moves, but you also want to make sure that by the time you're done with the song that you're not doing the same three moves over and over and over again. So, step number one, go to belly dancing class. Number two would be to work on your transitions so that moving from one thing to the other doesn't look awkward or feel awkward for you, and then start making short combinations for yourself. So for instance, you could take a shoulder shimmy and then you could take a hip shimmy and then perhaps a traveling move like a triple step, one, two, three, one, two, three, rocking with the hips a little bit, and that could be a combination that you repeat over and over again for practice. But, when you want to actually start making a real routine for yourself, you want to make sure that you pick a song that you like, that you don't mind hearing over and over again, because let's face it, if you're going to practice, you're going to hear it about 100 times. So, you better like the song and also having it be a shorter song is going to make sure that you don't get overwhelmed with all the music that you have to fill in. So, just small goals for yourself there. What I suggest for you as a new belly dancer is to start looking at yourself as a choreographer because that's really what you're going to be doing coming up with a belly dance practice routine. What you want to do is start looking at your music in more of a format overall, rather than just trying to plow through from one moment to the other. So for instance, one thing that might help you is to come up with a great entrance, a great exit or in some cases a beginning pose or an ending pose, and then find a couple of places in the song where you're sure of what you want to do there. So, you might be inspired to do some hip drops or you might say hey there's this great shimmy section right here. So, go ahead and write down those pieces of information, what you're planning on doing, write down how many counts you're going to do them, and if you really want to get organized, you can actually write down where it is in the song, like maybe at a minute and 25 seconds for something like hip shimmies. Then once you've got your format down, you can start kind of filling in the gaps a little bit. Again, you want to start with short combinations and make sure that they really work with the music. Listen to it, let your music really inspire you. Assuming you've picked a song that you actually like, it shouldn't be that hard of a process to start filling it in. My name is Linda, and that is how I like to put together belly dance practice routines. If you would like more information on belly dance or belly dance classes, or if you would just like to contact me with questions, you can reach me at my website www.lindabellydance.com. Thanks so much.

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