New Year's Resolutions of a Bellydancer

Every year we all make general resolutions to become ideal versions of ourselves. This year, I would love to focus more on becoming the dancer I would like to be. My ideal dance self. My resolutions focus on my own areas of improvement, but hopefully it'll encourage you to look at your own dance habits and form resolutions for the year, it's not too late!

1. Stretch

I am personally not very flexible so this is pretty important for me to work on,but even for people who have no problem touching their toes or doing a back bend, it's still important to stretch.

If you're like me, you have a day job which primarily involves sitting at a desk all day in front of a computer. And also like me, when you finally get home and finish any errands or chores, you sit down again to binge watch a Korean drama. And all that sitting makes your muscles tighter increasing the chance that you could hurt yourself if you go straight into dance class cold. Plus, since I adore Turkish style bellydance and floorwork is an important element of that style I will need to stay limber to descend to the floor and get back up safely.

My resolution is this: Get up from my desk at work and stretch briefly as much as possible and stretch for 5 minutes in the mornings. This means I will have to get out of bed a little earlier and quite frankly that will be the hardest part of this resolution!

2. Practice

Yes, I did stage this photo because there was no free stock image that embodied bellydance practice for me. Yes, I am pretty darn proud of it, even though objectively it's not the best. And, yes, I will stop talking about the photo now.

Practice, a thing I often procrastinate even writing about. I justify it to myself by thinking, "oh well I am in class so often anyway", and "oh I have too many other things to do right now" and the infamous "but I am so exhausted!". So let's tackle these one by one.

Yes, I am in class a lot, but that often means working on troupe numbers and technique. These are both important, but so is drilling the technique we learned in class, practicing the troupe choreography and working on my own solos.

Even on a busy week I can spare at least 15 solid minutes to really work on technique and choreography. Right now I mostly fit in micro-practicing. This is shimmying while brushing my teeth, traveling steps while cooking, and hip circles when I happen to get on the elevator by myself at work. Every now in then I will shut everything else out for an hour and work with a DVD or try to choreograph, but that may happen once a month while I'm waiting for something to defrost for dinner. All things considered though 15 minutes to just focus on dancing per week should be attainable even when I'm busy.

As for being tired, hopefully my general resolution to take better care of myself should help with that!

3. Keep learning

This one will be easiest to keep! While DVDs are great for practice, I learn best with a teacher (mostly because DVDs can't help you correct yourself or stop and explain it another way). I already go to classes regularly, so that's a plus to continuing to learn and grow, but I feel I could do a little more.

I would like to take a class I don't normally go to or attend a workshop at least once a month. This month I plan on dropping in on one of Omaris's classes, next month I will attend a workshop with Rachel Brice (extremely excited about this!) and so on and so forth.

So why is this a goal? While stretching and practicing more will be the foundation for becoming a better dancer, making sure I step outside of my routine and learn something new or learn the same thing taught from a different perspective will be the icing on the cake. It will increase my arsenal of moves to pull out when dancing. I also teach as part of the Hiptastic summer camp, so learning from different instructors will give me different ways to explain the dance to students when they are struggling.

I hope this helps give you some ideas of different ways to grow this year. If you have other ideas on how to improve let me know! Happy New Year and Happy Dancing!

#paloma #goals

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