Friday, March 25, 2011

Motion365 - Day 096: Knight Rider Theme

This is a duplicate blog entry from Motion365, my personal dance adventure from 2010-2011.  Notable entries have been copied to this blog so students and fellow dancers may enjoy the ponderings and combos created from the experience.

March 25, 2011
Song: Knight Rider Theme (1:19) by Stu Phillips from The Stu Phillips Scores: Knight Rider (Original TV Soundtrack)

(If only this track were longer!  It’s filled with sweet intricacies, sharp beats, and imaginative whimsies.  It begs to be danced with and explored!)

Tonight in bellydance class a student commented on how she wished she moved as gracefully and fluid as I did.  Several others chimed in.  I expressed my appreciation for their compliments and let them know the fluidity of coordinating body, breath, and space happens with time.  Like any other new skill, it will take practice for things like hip movements to become second nature and “habit.”  Once they do, then you’ll have mental space and energy to focus on the details like arm placement and flow or which direction to face your head or tilt your body.

In a stroke of personal genius, an analogy quickly popped into my mind.  Becoming familiar with bellydance moves and being able to maneuver many at a time is similar to learning to drive a car.  Remember when you first learned?

I sure remember!  I was excited, nervous, and petrified all at the same time.  I wanted to look cool and know what I was doing, yet I didn’t really have a clue.  There were so many things to focus my attention on both in and outside the car.

Inside the car I had to keep straight which was the gas and which the break - quite disastrous if I would have mixed the two up!  Then there was checking mirrors and blind spots plus using directional signals.  Of course I shant forget the all-important radio tuning.  Outside the car there were pedestrians milling about along with other vehicles, not to mention all the critters.  Then the road signs and traffic signals plus all the other “eye candy.”  Yep, it’s a lot to focus on.

I vaguely recall always setting my radio up before even leaving the parking lot so I wouldn’t have to attempt to concentrate on it while in transit.  Fast forward to today and I’m not only able to switch my radio station, I can swap out CDs, talk on my phone, and eat a sandwich all in a carefully orchestrated dance of the driver.  (I feel it is important to note I rarely do these three things at the same time and mostly never talk on the phone when driving any more, but I add them to make a point…)

And so it is will bellydancing.  In the beginning I could barely remember to breathe (man, I remember going home with oxygen-deprived headaches!) let alone move my hips and arms at the same time.  I thought for sure my body wasn’t designed for the art form and there was no way I would ever be as graceful as the ladies in my class (and certainly never at the skill level of my instructor).  Then, one day, I started to see the changes taking place.  I could move my hips and breathe at the same time or not have to consciously remind myself to take a breath.  I realized my arms were able to move along with my hips and finally one day I was aware my hips and arms could both be moving in different directions and different speeds, a la patting the head while rubbing the belly.

So what’s the point?  Enjoy the learning experience.  It’s great to have a dream and certainly to work toward a goal, and while you’re doing so celebrate your decision to learn along with any small (or big) successes.  Be grateful of your shimmying hips today and appreciate your snake arms tomorrow cause in the not-to-distant future you’ll be able to not only execute them both with grace, sensuality, and spunk, you’ll being doing so with other layered goodness added on just cause you can!

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