Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last few weekends - Originally posted 8 July 2008

So, over the last two weekends, I went to several workshops. Boy, did it feel good to start doing that again!

First, Louisville.

Asharah's workshop was amazing. Really kicked my ass! But she also gave a lot of stuff to work on. Real cool. She is very down to earth and easy to talk to. If ever she is again in the Midwest, I will go... even if it's the same topic...

The Taletha workshop was also very informative and fun. And I truly appreciated that she went with our energy flow... or lack thereof... ;)

The show was uber fun. Lots of very good talent. Lots of music that I liked. This so was my element!

Sri Tarasita's workshop helped my muscles recover from the previous day. She taught a few very nice combos as well as some cool Indian poses. Lots of info. The troupe has already started incorporating some of that in our vocabulary... as is customary, though, we have very much made it our own. ;)

Then, there was Lexingonton.

Mira Betz also kicked my ass. And that workshop revealed how much I had started doing bad habits and had compensated during the recovery of my ankle. Instead of doing straight up and down hips, which takes a greater toll on the ankle, I had started to sway to the side a little. That took some pressure off the ankle... but it's not a real "up and down" motion. Of course, when I teach, students can't tell the difference all too much but such an experienced teacher noticed it right away! Thanks for pointing it out. Same for the pelvis drops and tucks... I did them more with my knees than with my actual abs because there was less pressure that way. So, yeah, it's time for me to go back to basics and make sure that I have not created bad habits... and if I have, I have to drill them out of my body. I think that it's normal that I did that but, now that my ankle feels better, no more shortcuts! lol

The show was fantastic! It was so awesome! So much talent! Such beautiful costumes! So inspiring too! I only have 2 gripes: 1) I wish that the doors would have opened a bit earlier as I was sweating like a pig; 2) I wish that the music afterwards would have been something else besides hip hop because I very much felt like dancing. But, in retrospect, it was better that I did not dance too much.

Elizabeth Strong's workshop was very cool. Very different than our normal belly dance stuff. You actually have to shut down your belly dancer brain... which is hard to do, especially if you have trained your brain to think that way. But there was a point at which I was listening to the music and forgetting the belly dance training and I did not even notice it but the elusive 9/8 rhythm was relatively easy to follow when you do that. You just have to listen to the music without counting too much... at least in the beginning... I unfortunately had to sit down at about half the workshop time, because we had been doing too many moves that had me put my weight on my left for too long. So the ankle was not happy.

Zoe's workshop was a blast too... for the portion that I could dance. I did about 1/3 of the workshop and then my ankle felt weird and, when I looked at it, it was rather big so I decided to be a wuss and protect it and sit down. But I did learn the concepts, which is what Zoe wanted us to do anyway. You know, in pictures, Zoe looks very goofy and all that and, while she is indeed goofy, she is also very polite. She would always say "please" before a move. "Let's do it again, please." She reminded me of a teacher that I had when I did some modern dancing waaaaaaaaaaaay back when. She would always say that too... only she wasn't as nice as Zoe was. There was a lot of tidbits of advice that I have already started passing on and working on.

I felt so bad about having to sit down through some of the workshops. But I think that I may have been overly ambitious about doing two workshops weekends in a row. Maybe that's one comment about both weekends: it would have been slightly better if they had been seperated out by at least one weekend. But I understand that schedules are hard to figure out and it all turned out okay in the end. It's just a selfish thing where I could have probably done more if my ankle had had more time to rest.

Here's the thing that's a killer for me too: I have a continuing class and troupe rehearsal on Mondays so that's 3 hours of dancing again on Mondays. Again, being the masochist that I am or rather the dance fanatic that I am, I don't mind the dancing. But it's a bit of a killer for my ankle. As my hubby said, though, it's good exercise for my ankle and pushes it to become stronger, which where I am... so 5 hours of dancing a week is not a big deal... double that with instructors that kick my ass and it's too much. I will have to kick my own bootay and work that baby back into full shape... AND make sure that I am not cutting corners and compensating. ;)

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