The Essence of Belly Dancing- Food for thought

The Essence of my personal view on Belly dancing!

What is Sara’s Belly Dance?

Bellydance Academy BelfastTraditional Belly Dance through Expressive Movement Training (Warmly called BellyLove) is a “Method” that I’ve created few years ago but has been in development till recently; I have “updated” it, in the last few months in order to polish and improve it by giving it more authenticity, and essence to my own way of understanding, living and applying belly dance to my daily life.

I love to focus on technique when teaching, and perfecting the manifestation of each movement through drilling them as much as possible. Good drilling results in an awesome Memory muscle!

I have been working on Movement Psychology® and Embodying Health® as well as as Body alignment and Womb health as part of my practice in class, observing, assessing, contemplating. By supporting my students to feel safe, happy and good about themselves, I see that there is a opportunity for them to step up towards experiencing the beauty and benefits of this amazing dance style. It goes beyond its origins and its initial format and style; it is a new way of expressing our feminine self.

In class, I do like to play with combination of movements but I don’t focus only on them as the main part of my class routine. In my opinion focusing only of “combos”, only helps creating “muscle & mental laziness” when learning movements, and tends to fortify the “impatience” in the learner. We live in a society that is always rushing and we try to catch up, so we can “please” everyone. Unfortunately I try to keep the “old ways” – by offering my students the opportunity to slow down. By slowing down I mean, take time to learn the movement properly before being bombarded with new one and new one or allowing them to ‘dream’ with the given material and recall it again the week after so it’s engrained in their subconscious helping the body to feel more familiar with it.

If I only give them few moves in a combo format every class; I will only be strengthening their inability of “keeping up and letting things burn” – By that I mean: when it gets difficult “do not give up” – instead “stick with it”. Feel what you are doing with your body, learn how to judge your level of improvement by connecting with your emotional signs while dancing – avoiding outside inputs from mirrors can really support students on that too. We are constantly reassuring ourselves that we are how we look, and that image make up our essence. Do you believe on that? Or this is exactly how you feel?

“Combinations only quite often disturb the process of the dancer to create & dive themselves into improvising their dance!”

What can students do when they learn many movements often incorrectly and on a row, without grounding them in the body’s tissues prior to using them in a piece/performance/improvisation? They do what they ‘think’ its right – they don’t feel their bodies, they don’t hear the music, they rush, they don’t relax, they can’t gaze or pause during a piece, they look unstable and unsure of what they are doing. How can we support them on that?

I believe it goes beyond the idea of what this dance represents and what we see dance in itself – its a way of living, its a way of integrating the movements on our daily or weekly routine.  Without practice, commitment, understanding of our female anatomy, movement psychology and comprehending our inner path, the dance will always look more like an exercise or a sequence of moves, when in truth is much deeper than that.

By not improving our own dance as teachers; we only create a generation of dance students that don’t take time to ingest, digest and manifest their own way of sharing each and every learnt movement – but they will copy and try to recreate you. We don’t need more photocopies out there, we need unique stuff, Essence and Authenticity. We need empowered women that feel comfortable in their skin when dancing, when living …

But there are ways towards freedom…

“Drilling requires Patience & Combos applied as a result of “mastering movements” requires Intention & Attention.”

This is my food for thought