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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On DVD's and YouTube

Yesterday afternoon I practiced belly dance moves using a DVD I bought online:  Bellydance Basics and Beyond, with Jenna.  Jenna is a professional belly dancer and instructor.  She explains posture and proper form thoroughly.  She goes through all the beginning isolations and combination movements I know, and then some.  I read in a review of the DVD that it’s over two-and-a-half hours long, although I haven’t gotten that far yet. 

I think it’s good to get input from different sources.  One person’s explanation or demonstration may make more sense to you than another’s.  I particularly liked Jenna’s way of teaching reverse undulations, which were really kicking my behind.  A reverse undulation showed up unexpectedly in one of the choreographies we are learning, and I was caught unprepared.  I tried to imitate Miss K’s movements, but my version looked more like a seizure than a dance move.  

I went home and searched YouTube for a step-by-step explanation on the proper execution of a reverse undulation.  Naturally, a number of people on YouTube explain reverse undulations, and each person has a different take on it.  I’m finding that’s not unusual in the belly dance world, even though the end result looks about the same.  The problem with YouTube is that the videos are so brief and fast that it’s hard to break down the dance moves, much less practice them.  So Jenna’s DVD helped on the RU’s.  I spent my hour of belly dance practice with Jenna yesterday. 

All this will come to fruition eventually.  Progress seems to come to me in spasms.  I’ll struggle along with something, like a reverse undulation, that feels completely foreign and awkward for weeks.  Then one day, it just flows.  Overnight it magically becomes graceful and fluid.  Those are the moments that keep me motivated.  Those and the costumes.   

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