Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gotta work on this! - Originally posted 20 February 2007

Well, the Moria workshop was amazing in many ways.

The only negative was that the combos and the choreography bit went way too fast for me... and for everyone else, it seems. But that's okay. At one point, I realized that I couldn't follow up as closely and as neatly as I normally do (even the Arbee workshop on dark choreography was not as hard to follow as this one), I just totally let go of doing the move perfectly and just did the best that I could. That was much less frustrating. lol And it was still a lot of fun. I won’t remember much from the choreography but that’s okay too as there are instructions on her tribe and she will film that piece for the all-Tribal BDSS DVD (filming will be in a few weeks).

So the workshop started with some yoga and warm-up including squats and the Suhaila bun exercise. Well, I was pleased with myself. I did everything. And I didn’t suffer too much! ;o) I still have a stigma from my childhood: I was always picked last for team sports (they were almost fighting not to get me) because I just sucked big time when it came to sports. The bummer part was that I somewhat liked playing sports but since no one liked playing with me, I didn’t do much sports. So, whenever I do something well physically, I’m impressed with myself (and a little puzzled… did I do it right, really?). So it was a good feeling to be able to do everything in the yoga and warm-up section of the workshop.

Then, we went over good posture. I am always grateful that we do that in workshops. See, I always think that my posture is real good but then, when told in a workshop to remember all the details, I realize that I don’t lift my chest as I’m supposed to. Man, that’s hard to keep. It hurts like hell. In order to do most of the moves that Moria taught, you needed to be in perfect good posture or else you looked like a noodle instead of a controlled snaky thing. I actually went over the posture again with my students and with my tribe sisters last night (ow!). One thing that I did not realize in the workshop because I didn’t have a mirror to see myself is that, when I do the correct dance posture, I look taller and leaner. That’s why the Indigo ladies look so glamazon-like and taller than what they really are (except for Sharon… she really is THAT tall). And it so frees up my hips and legs to do whatever! Geez! I gotta work on that!

So I thought that I should focus some of my gym training on my upper back and arms to be able to maintain that contraction (as I’m supposed to) for longer periods. I have to work in endurance for that. I was wondering lately what I would ask a personal trainer to work on. I think that I just found my answer! ;o)

I also REALLY liked the way that she did her chest circles. They were so much snakier than mine! I thought that I was doing my chest slides muscularly and, to some extent, I did but hers were really with the upper back and, because there was a slight slant to the slide, it made your circles definitely smoother. Oh and she was so muscular herself that, when it was so fast in the choreography and I would forget which way to go, just from seeing her back, I knew which way her chest circles were going! And that’s a definite advantage when doing tribal improv. Whoahee!

I always struggled some with the chest horizontal figure 8s because I think that I end up looking like I’m having a seizure. Well, with her muscular way of doing chest stuff, it looks so much better! I’ve caught myself practicing them Sunday and yesterday, at random moments. So that move is starting to look better on me. I showed that to my students and they want to learn how to do that. Since the next session is with veils, I thought that this would be a nice addition with veil. Actually, the veil might highlight more what your chest is doing, if placed at a correct position. ;o)

And then there were the omis. Oh boy! First off, again, I thought that I was doing the pelvis tuck/release muscularly but I was doing it only half-muscularly. I was tucking my pelvis in with my lower abs, as I’m supposed to but, for the release, I would basically just release my pelvis to a neutral stance. She made us contract some tiny muscles in our lower back for the release part. Yes, it did make the move smaller but, boy, I felt a shift in weight… or, rather, a lack of shift in weight. What I mean by that is that, whereas I could move forward (or back) with the pelvis tuck/release but only on the tuck portion, I can now move at any point that I want because my legs are not involved at all! Talk about a revelation! So, for the omis, she showed us how there are multiple ways of doing them. So she had us do the hip lift with just the glutes contraction (i.e,. contract R glutes to bring R hip up; pelvis tuck; contract L glutes to bring L hip up; contract lower back). Now, this gives a very “hippy” omi. Then, she made us bring the hips up with the obliques. Totally different look! This time, it looked like the belly was doing all the work (which it was, actually). It also looks like a sideways undulation. She didn’t mention this one but, of course, there is still the good ‘ole bringing your hips up with both glutes and obliques. So, I now know 3 ways of doing omis. Whoa! Who knew that you could do so many?

Moria mentioned that, when dancing, you have to dance from the arms down. That was a weird statement as we typically learn moves from the feet up. Her point was that, when performing, what people will notice first are the arms. If your arms are nice, whatever move that you are doing is going to look nice. Conversely, though, you could be doing whatever nice under those arms but, if your arms are awful (because your hands hang limply or your arms are in a weird position or whatever other problem), then that’s all that the audience will notice. OMG! This is so true! How many times have I been distracted by someone “palming” the audience and all that I could think about were the arms and I totally missed the move. Such a good point! I still think, though, that it is best to learn (as a beginner) from the feet up. That being said, at one point, you can reverse and work on arms. It was funny that this was brought up in the workshop because, when Chy and I practiced our piece last week and had it taped by Jeff, he noticed right away that our arms (and hands) were completely different. We’re talking different level of arm positions and different hands (my arms were higher and my wrists were bent in tribal mode).

So. Hmm. Are you catching a theme? I gotta work on those arms and hands: strengthen them, smooth them, and pay attention to them.

Boy, I love workshops! They fuel me with ideas and new material. It also humbles me: I so don’t know much! I know a lot but there is still so much to learn. How fun! And I love and I mean looooooooooooooove passing it on back to my students and tribe sisters.

PS: For those who missed last night’s practice, have no fear: I will repeat everything again. ;o)

Comments I had received

From Yetta:
I gotta work tooI agree, the Moria workship was the bomb! I love challenging things however, the dance combos could have been done more slow...but it was so much fun huh?? peace, yetta

From Molly:
The workshop kicked butt. Literally and figuratively. :) Aaaaaannnnd.....I got to finally meet you!!! Woohooo! Sorry I was so zombified. I finally meet you and I was so unethusiastic. I felt bad about it on the drive home. Just so you know, I was dancing around inside. :)

From me:
Oh, don't feel bad, Molly! It took all my energy left (and I had taken a Rock Star drink to perk me up) to do the performance so I totally understand. Someone in our troupe (who didn't take the workshop but came to the show) said that the show ended up feeling a little flat to them, like the enthusiasm wasn't there. I looked at her and said that it was rather simple: we were all exhausted! ;op It was definitely great to see you!

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