Posts tagged exploration
Posts tagged exploration
Day 29. (Long-but FUN-one ahead. Readers be warned. ;))
—Today I learned to find the joy in the little things. ^_^
Throughout this day I put dancing off.. and put it off and put it off and put it off some more. ..And BOY, was that a big mistake!! *lol* When I fiiiinally got down to dancing tonight/this morning; OMG it was SO MUCH FUN!!! ^_^
I was hurty and sore and looking none too forward to dancing tonight, so when I finally made myself go to it, I started out slow, determined NOT to aggravate my ankle, or this weird neck thingy I’ve been somehow stirring up. So I started off in the middle of the livingroom at like 5am, just sitting on a little rocking hassock, thinking I’d do all chair dancing tonight. BZZZZ!!! WRONG!!
For the first lesson of today, I learned that chair dancing is one thing, but chair dancing w/a rocking surface to park your bootie on is TOTALLY another. ^_^ Having the ability to move your lower half a little bit makes it MUCH more entertaining and enjoyable, as you can still keep your weight off of whatever’s hurting you, but you still get to MOVE a bit to the music, beyond solely stationary jiggles and lifts. You can do seated Mayas and Incase of course, but w/a rocking seat, you can also do FORWARD and BACKWARD figure 8s (some people call Camels), and work on isolating your lower half while you concentrate on your pelvis, too!
-In fact, I think this’d be a great technique for people trying to learn the back/forth pelvic figure 8! (Especially if it’s the isolation that’s giving them trouble.) My first bd teacher taught us this great analogy of imagining your pelvis is on a roller coaster: Starting out level in bd posture, you graaadually climb the hill/track, then crest over it, go dowwwn the slope, curve under back towards Home, and eeease your way back into starting position. ^_^ But I’ve noticed that lots of beginners have issues w/this movement, and even moreso w/keeping their upper halves sationary while their lower bodies go for a ride. So tonight w/the hassock, as I was using it to go back & forth easily w/o being on my feet, I realized how easy it was to DO that movement, w/o much effort when it came to keeping my body (ribcage up) straight. It kinda made me wanna pull hassocks into the next class I get the opportunity to help out with. ^_^
But after the first song, the music had LONG gotten to me, so I got up. ^_^ -And it turns out, putting your music on Random and challenging yourself to be smooth, calm, take it easy, and work in smaller movements CAN BE SO MUCH FUN!!! ^_^ (Especially when you add the challenge of still working to be just as expressive & illustrative of the music as you are when you can be a bit freer in your movements. ^_^) How neat it is to find expression in the tiniest sharp hip lift, or be reminded of how facial expressions & moving parts slowly can be JUST as expressive & passionate (if not moreso) than constantly going hard and moving all grand and fast!! ^_^ There’s a certain freedom & playfulness in being slower & steadier, too. ^_^ ..More.. intentional. :D And if there’s comedy in the music, have the chance to play off on what’s happening in the music can be -that much more fun,- and an opportunity to ham it up! ;D
Plus, this let me work on my transitions, which I’ve always had a little trouble with. I’ve always found it tough to say.. switch from left hip figure 8s in front to right hip figure 8s in front. I never know how I’m supposed to change my stance, or work the motion so it’s fluid. Plus I’ve always been a little hesitant of finding transitions between one dramatically different move to another. How do you get that all to work out and be fluid and seamless, w/o looking like you’re stopping & going between each move..? Well.. turns out, moving slowly makes you really focus on how to (gracefully & artfully) get from one move to the other, ‘cause there’s no frantic hopping or jumping from one point to the other. You gotta sliiiide or work another swirl of a hip in there, and that feels fantabulous. ^_^
Moreover, being forced to dance more slowly makes your dance more intentional and thoughtful somehow… It gives you time to go from mind to heart & back again as you travel through one loooong move, and allows you time to enjoy both aspects. :) While you’re taking one looong, wiiiiide hip circle around during 16 counts, you have time to plan your next meovemtn AND feel how good it is to travel there, in the moment, and that feels delectible. ^_^ N’ when it’s over, you just ooooze onward and go from there.. like improv, w/out all the panic. *lol* So, SOlovely. ^_^
Now, of course sometimes the music got to my head & I realized I was going faster or moving more grandiosly than I’d planned… But pulling it back was no big deal, and retuning to the “challenge” was both fun & engaging- not frustrating or disheartening at all. :) (And there was no shamein losing track, either. It was just like “ah-ah, girrl, you’re gonna hurt yourself again. Cool it down..!” *lol*) All said, it was too much fun- playing w/songs, keeping myself still and slow & easy, and glorying in the smaller movements to express the PERSONALITY of the music. ^_^ I loved being able to enjoy and love and laugh and revel in each moment, w/o feeling rushed. *beams*
Plus it was great learning that I could be easier on my weary body, while still dancing w/alll my heart, n’ having LOADS of fun.. ^_^
What a super challenge! ♥♥ I’m really likin’ the feel of this, and DEFINITELY wanna make do this again in future. ^_^
La Playlist de Esta Noche:
Last night I was exhausted & just didn’t feel like DOING it that day, so.. come the end of the night, I decided to get into my bed n’ “voice dance.” ^_^ I found a variety of tracks that inspired me to sing along (especially improv with) the music, closed the door so I didn’t disturb anybody, and snuggled into my bed to set to it. Turns out, even if you’re just intent on singing, the body tends to have a mind of its own, and I danced in bed anyway. ;)
I couldn’t letterrip like one would want of course (a; ‘cause it was the middle of the night, and b; because it’s hard to belt it out when there’s ANYBODY else at home-‘cause that means the TV is blaring until they’re unconscious). But that did give me a refresher course in keeping the throat open and still singing -correctly,- even if I was in bed, laying down, & had the keep the volume, way, way down. :) Plus believe it or not, singing (and subconsciously dancing in my bed ;)) taught me a few lessons about dancing, too.
When you’re singing w/a song (especially improving), it’s not always good form to just go and go and go. You’ve got to learn the art of timing, of listening, of responding to the music, and feeling when the time is right to sing, or stay quiet. You’ve got to let your brain and your heart do a duet of sorts, while you intellectually ponder when you might next come in, where you should go from that note, when you might wanna stop, hold a note, etc. But you’ve also got to FEEL the music- really- like in dance, become one with it. Because otherwise, whatever you’re doing w/your voice along w/the music is just noise.
So singing last night was a reminder of things like rests, of mindfully, thoughtfully listening, and of letting your brain & heart form this interesting kind of double helix, that gradually wraps in and around and through whatever piece you’re listening to.. dancing to.. or singing with. ^_^ It made me mindful of accents and rests, of that sort of synergy musicians and their singers, as well as their dancers can have.. and strive to have, at every collaboration. It reminded me that w/o mindfulness, just dancing w/ALL heart can be chaos, and w/o heart, you might was well be hearing a car alarm toll along w/your music, or seeing a Newton’s Cradle tick-tick-tick back and forth, like a mindless metronome to the beat.
It reminded me of the art & poetry inherent in dance, and in the collaboration of musician & singer, as well as musician & dancer. It reminded me of listening so you know when to come on strong, or when to just bloody STOP. *lol* It reminded me of rests and cadences and all the juicy moments you wait for as ANY kind of performer, regardless of medium, and of that succulent moment when you grab it- as well as that moment where you go too long, stop short, miss your cute, or whiff it all together. ^_^ Plus it was fun to dance along in my mind, and to take a piece of that mental-emotional connection & plot out routines to each of the pieces- even if only in flits and fragmentations. :) ..I guess that’s where my bed-dancing came from.. my over-active imagination, my attention-span issues, and a booty that just needs to MOVE when the music is inspiring. ;)
I hope you danced AND sang w/your body last night.. in whatever you did, too. ^_^
Playlist for Day 28:
As it’s close to Halloween and this is costume/makeup related (not to mention partially Tribal bellydance-inspired :)), I thought I’d share this w/you all. :)
So.. what you see before you is a sampling of the pics I took for my horns & ears pieces last night. :) I’m pondering various outfits for Raven’s Night & FaerieCon coming up, n’ this was both a means for experimentation, and a way for me to show folks how they might wear my weird, crafty little bibbledybobs. :)
These shots are PURELY for fantasy’s sake, and inspired by everything from good friends who do GREAT makeup, the interpretations I’ve seen some Tribal dancers do in the spirit of more ancient, aboriginal-style face painting, shamanic and warrior designs used by various tribes of peoples around the world, & faerie-related events; like the aforementioned, fast-approaching FaerieCon. :)
This was also my first attempt ever at doing makeup in this kind of style- so please be gentle. ;) (It was harder and more exacting than you’d think! ;D) And boy.. I cannot TELL you how truly & INCREDIBLY empowering this experience was. I dunno if it was the makeup, the shirt, the accessories or a combination thereof, but I do not exaggerate when I say that for the first time in my life, I was able to look in the mirror for once and not see ANYTHING lacking. I felt fierce, powerful, beautiful, edgy, magickal and STRONG, and I cannot relate how special that feeling is. For once, I was -completely- in love w/image I saw staring back at me- and that’s huge. :)
I have always found beauty and exotic, powerful qualities in others, but never, EVER believe myself capable of such things. Sure, at times I’d feel “pretty” or “well,” or “smart,” or even “strong..” but I neeeever thought I had the epic kind of “wow” that some others exhibited on stage- or elsewhere. I freely admit that I have HUGE confidence problems, likely an inferiority complex that it’d take a bulldoser to unearth, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I needed a truckload of counselling surmount it. But last night, I got a taste of that epic confidence, and that was amaaaaaaazing. ^_^ ..I kind of no longer feel like I entirely lack the Epic gene. ;)
If you’ve ever felt that before- like you were always wanting, but never had, or if you too have had an experience similar to this, you can imagine how powerful and transformative a moment like this can be. :) Now that it’s over, I sure as Heaven hope the power of that realization stays w/me.. always. ..But now that the makeup’s off, I can still feel that kind of gravitas and appreciation of my OWN beauty shining through.. so.. maybe this one’ll stick. ;)
I’m not exactly sure what or how it happened, but regardless, I am ENORMOUSLY grateful. I guess the lessons I learned from last night were “venture outside your comfort zone once in a while,” “have faith in yourself,” and “don’t be afraid to do what truly inspires you inside.. ‘cause the end result could mean SO MUCH more to you (and others) than you’d ever POSSIBLY imagine.” *beams*
If you’d like to see more, you can find other pics from this set on my FB page here. Mehopes you like what you see, and that you have a moment like this too sometime soon, if you haven’t already. ;) ♥
Great Big Hugs & Love,
Man.. if you’re interested in learning about others’ cultures, I -highly- recommend you check out the Tajik people of China. Not only are their raiments and their people strikingly beautiful, but their ethnic background and cultural systems are hella interesting. ^_^ (And keenly enough, though it’s said that the Tajiks from China are separate ethnically from the similarly-named Tajik people elsewhere, they seem strikingly similar. To me, this bodes need for further investigation. :D)
Oh! And do note! The last post about those paintings from China is what sparked all of this! Not only does it prove that you learn something new every day, but that there’s always room for learning something new; and that taking the time to investigate one little thing can spark a whole new branch of interest! :D I’d love to visit these regions & meet these peoples someday, and after I’ve learnt a bit more about them & their ways, hopefully incorporate what I’ve learned into my own Fusion dance. ^_^
-And to those who’re asking what this might have to do w/bellydance, just watch! The ornamentation, the music, the movements & dance, the language, all have a very Middle Eastern flair to them! The Tajiks have roots in Persian culture- and man, it’s all freakin’ beautiful! :D
Anyhoo, mehopes you enjoy what little bit I’ve found so far. :D
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(And is it just me, or does that male singer remind you of David Tenant, too..? :D)