Sunday, February 22, 2009

Promising Instructional DVD

I was recently at the World Dance New York website looking at their newer releases and came across Bellydance: Beautiful Technique from Step One with Autumn Ward. All of the reviews from Amazon so far have been extremely positive, and from viewing the sample it seems like Autumn's instruction is really in-depth and well-structured. It claims to be geared towards beginners, but the really thorough treatment of the techniques would be of benefit to any bellydance student — it's always good to brush up on the basics. I also like how Autumn's focus is on bellydance as personalized artistic expression rather than strict adherence to one regional or ethnic style.

It looks really promising, and I think that the structure will benefit my learning style, so I've ordered a copy and hope to offer a review soon!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Back in the Coin-Bedecked Saddle

As you can probably surmise by the lack of entries, I look a break from blogging and my bellydance classes as well. Mostly this hiatus was due to financial reasons, but also simply because I've been wearing myself too thin (mentally, emotionally) over the past year or so and something(s) had to give. Bellydance wasn't the only thing which I chose to put on hold, but it was one of the things I've missed the most. I've been keeping an eye on the class schedules over at Hipnosis Studio, anticipating the posting of the Spring 2009 session, and last night the new classes were listed. I did not hesitate to register for Tribal Bellydance Level II and I'm very excited to start classes again.

However, I'm going to try my best to ensure that this time around won't be precisely like the last; I don't want to get caught in the same rut in which I found myself a few months ago. Many things fascinate me, and I'm voracious and determined in learning about those things, spending time and money which should be used more judiciously (I really should keep something in my savings account). Unfortunately, being pulled simultameously in so many directions takes its toll. There are certainly worse things to be afflicted by than an intense interest in so many subjects and activities — I wish I had the funds and opportunity to explore every one of them fully — but I need to strike a balance. As much as I'd love to try to throw myself back into bellydance with the same fervor I once had, I know I have to rein it in.

So, I suppose my New Year's bellydance resolution is to simply focus on being a better amateur. By amateur I'm not just referring to someone who does not do something on a professional level or as his/her career, but to someone who does something for its own sake out of the joy it provides. My profound level of interest in things causes me to want to become an expert in a very short amount of time, and I need to learn to be comfortable with learning at a less frantic pace. It's going to be difficult, but ultimately I think I'll be a better dancer for it.

I have two sessions of Level 1.5 behind me, and I truly think the concept of cueing, leading, and following has actually stuck, but I know after a roughly three-month hiatus I'm going to be rusty. Really rusty. Here comes the humility again....