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.
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6 thoughts on “The 30-day belly dance improv challenge

  1. Good tips! Dancing to unknown music is the best way to work on that skill without pressure. When I began working with a band I remember talking to another dancer of the previous generation who laughed about how the “newer dancers” didn’t know how to improvise – she said that’s all her generation ever did! She found sticking to choreography the hardest way to dance, said there was no life in it…
    It’s good to be able to do both!

    • Absolutely! You never know when that day might come that your cd/iPod doesn’t work and all you’ve got to dance to is that one random Middle Eastern song the DJ happens to have. Choreography is only reliable if everything goes well.

      I’ll keep you posted how it goes 🙂

  2. Gosh, I love this idea! If you ever have a moment I wonder if you would like to share a tip or two on the bellydance guide at my blog? Thanks!

      • Awesome. If my website didn’t come through it is: LifeLearningToday.com. You’ll see the post there. “Ultimate Bellydance Resource Guide.” I also just posted an interview with bellydance superstar Ansuya! Very lucky to get that interview. She is amazing!

  3. Thanks. You can see the post at LifeLearningToday.com (Ultimate Bellydance Resource Guide) Also see the interview with Ansuya – bellydance superstar. She is amazing! Thanks again!

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