This past weekend, Gabi and I attended Sadie workshops as part of Hiptastic. The Saturday was a Belly Dance Boot Camp workshop and Sunday was Drum Solos. Sadie is VERY talented at isolations and layering. She made me dance faster than I thought I could dance. lol The drum solo technique was a little 'busy' as Gabi put it but it totally works on Sadie... but not just on every body. Some people looked like they were having a seizure attempting to do the layered moves. I'm sure that I did too for some moves, especially the 'pelvic shimmy'... not sure that I'll ever incorporate that in my vocabulary but that pelvic shimmy looked good on Sadie... probably b/c she is so thin and so controlled in her pelvis isolations.
What the weekend thoroughly highlighted was that I'm absolutely right when I say that tribal, tribal fusion, and cabaret generally share the same movements but where the differences lie are with the general execution of the moves, the costuming, the choice of music, the dancer's attitude and expression. But, quite frankly, a hip lift is a hip lift... a hip drop is a hip drop... etc. I expected to be lost at times during the workshops but I wasn't.
I wasn't bored either, though. I've taken some workshops this year that have made me decide to be more choosy for which workshops I attend but I still learned things. Like I will strive for some of those 'weird' layerings where things are not in synch... and I will practice my speed too. And I will work on the way that she does her pelvis isolations: she essentially uses almost solely her psoas muscles to open and close the hip/pelvis articulation. It makes for a very interesting visual, especially when combined with a reverse belly roll.
Interestingly, my arms and shoulders are not sore at all... the lower arm position that is often preferred in cabaret was very relaxing for me. And, although I may indeed want to be more choosy in my workshop registrations, it does show that I attend roughly one per month as I was not really sore yesterday morning nor today. I also do teach 3 h per night two nights a week so that helps too. ;)
Now, I did have to stop dancing at one point yesterday afternoon, though: my ankle didn't like the quick change of facing that Sadie was instructing us to do, which required too much twisting on my ankles. Ah, well, that's all right... it's just another thing for my ankle to get used to again. ;)
Oh and it was interesting to see who was used to having their personal dance box around them or not... you could tell when Sadie instructed us on the first few moves of the drum solo choreography. We started facing away from the audience so we were facing the back of the room. And then it was shimmy for 6 counts then 3 hip drops on the left, with the last one having us twist to look at the audience in a 'diva moment', followed by 3 hip drops on the right and the last one looking at the audience again... so far so good, eh? Then you pushed your right hip at a diagonal to, essentially, your back right from facing away from the audience... aka downstage left if you're using the real staging names (http://redbirdstudio.com/AWOL/stage.html ); then you pivot over your left shoulder to go to the other diagonal, which is actually downstage right... anyway, I have a series of terms that I personally keep in mind for that personal dance box and it worked for me... but if you're not used to dealing with that box, then you were utterly lost as to which direction to go to next.
Anyway. Overall, it was a great weekend of workshops. I had a blast!
Comments I had received
From Nikki: Sounds awesome! I am left wondering at the personal terms for you box space that you mentioned. I still do not feel like I have a personal box.If only we could take down the mirrors or cover them up every so often, that could be a lot of work though... there are a lot of mirrors.
From me: Yes, that's a whole lotta mirrors. But if you do practice in your house, you can do the same. I can explain the box terms tonight after class. We'll anyway touch on the box terms for the veil class as diagonals are much used in veil. ;)