A new student to belly dance may use her weekly dance class as her only chance to practice the moves of the dance. However, the more serious student, the student interested in performing some day, may make a point of practicing each day, reviewing the moves her teacher taught her in class or using one of the numerous dance DVDs on the market.
Preparing to perform requires a different focus. The well-rounded dancer will develop her own dance practice routine that she learns to adapt when she gets ready to dance in a show. Both practice and rehearsal are essential to this dance form.
Practice is a way to develop a movement to the point that it becomes unconscious and the dancer can rely on muscle memory to execute a move. Repetition in practice is key. This means, do fifty hip circles to the right and then fifty hip circles to the left. Put on a piece of music and allow the tempo to direct the speed and intensity of each repetition.
A dancer can work her way through the different dance shapes and different body parts. As a dancer learns more variations of the movements, it may become impossible to practice everything each day. Create a personalized practice routine that provides variety each day. Along with changing the speed and intensity of each move, try a level change by bending the knees more deeply or standing on the balls of the fee.
Not only are you practicing the moves, but you are playing with them, finding variations and interesting ways of presenting a dance move. Practice doesn’t have to be stagnant, keep it creative; one day try every move while kneeling or lying on the floor. Dance each day for twenty-to-sixty minutes. If that is too much time, put on one song and carry out five or so moves.
Belly Dance Rehearsal
It is easy to watch a group like the Bellydance Superstars and become jealous of their ease of movement and timing; however, they practice eight hours a day (at least) because that’s their job. For the nurse or engineer who is also a belly dancer, it is unlikely that she has that much available time.
Rehearsal is different than a daily practice. The purpose of rehearsal is to prepare for a specific show. It doesn’t matter whether a dancer prefers to follow a strict choreography or a free form improvisation, she still needs to rehearse.
Through daily practicing, a dancer becomes familiar with the moves that best suit her body and the variations for the core of belly dance moves. During rehearsal, a dancer puts on the piece of music she will perform to and she discovers which moves best accent the music. More dramatic pieces within the song may suggest certain moves. A performance piece will emerge the more often the dancer runs through this particular song.
The dancer has the option of jotting down notes on her detailed choreography or allowing free form dancing to fill in between a few specific combinations of moves. To keep a performance piece fresh, free dance to a variety of songs during practice.
Belly dance practice is the regular routine of repeating the basic moves of the dance. Rehearsal is learning how to gear those moves for a particular piece of music. Both are essential. To only rehearse for a particular piece means that the dancer may miss out on using moves that have slipped her mind and therefore limited the variety and creativity in her performance