2011 Medieval Festival at Ft. Tryon Park

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of dancing at the 27th Annual Medieval Festival at Ft. Tryon park, home of the Cloisters Museum. Not only was it an absolutely beautiful fall day with an enthusiastic audience, but the stage I danced on had replicas of some of the museum’s tapestries on it! One of my favorite parts of this event was teaching the audience afterwards, especially my new troupe of lil knights’n’ladies.

Scroll down for a picture gallery and video.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The 30-day belly dance improv challenge

I’ve been working on improv a lot, and had (what I thought) were a few pretty good improvisations at my performance yesterday. Still, it’s something that’s hard for me, and there are specific things I’d like to work on, including dynamics, varying arm positions and holding onto my posture (which seems to be the first thing to go when nerves or the unknown kick in!). I’ve been reading up on improv threads on Bhuz.com and the like, and have decided to make my own 30-day challenge based on a combination of advice I’ve read.

Who else is in?! What have you done to improve your improvisational skills?

Najla’s 30-day improv challenge

  1. Improv to one song a day, preferably something unknown. Dance through the whole song, even if it feels horrible that day. Work your way up to longer pieces. I’m planning to use my stock of Radio Bastet podcasts to help with the random music.
  2. Choose something to focus on for each song, whether it’s arms, floor patterns, speed, etc.
  3. Focus on the music! There was a great quote in one of the Bhuz threads that said “your dance should make a deaf person be able to understand the music’s structure.” That’s definitely something to aim for.
  4. Channel someone or something, be it Dina, Ranya or just a mood or a word like quiet or joyful. Dance that idea throughout the song and see how it affects your dancing.