Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time to focus on something besides my core - Thursday, June 11, 2009

During my private lesson with Tempest, she asked me to dance in front of her. I was so nervous, it was unbelievable. I don't remember the last time that I was so nervous while dancing. So it was nowhere near as good as I can normally dance but the cool thing is that my natural flaws were blatant. I think that they all came out during those few minutes. lol

Just like Cesar Milan (Dog Whisperer) says about dogs, the best way to rehabilitate the dog is when he makes a mistake in front of him... otherwise, he can't know what's really going on. lol Yes, I just compared myself to an unruly dog. :p

Seriously, though, my ego was only briefly crushed b/c I of course would have loved to have impressed Tempest but that wouldn't have been useful... having all my flaws come out was way more useful.

Anyway, back to feedback. Basically, I need to extend more out of arms and all the way to my fingers. She also reminded me of what we had covered with Asharah the day before, which was to think all the way to your toes too. I'm lucky that, due to past dance experience, I naturally tend to point my toes but what are my feet really doing when I'm not pointing? And I need to lift my head more.

As I was writing my daily pages, I realized actually what is going on... See, Tempest put it well when she said that these things are 'polishing' or 'finishing touches.' My technique is good. But what is really my technique? Why is it good? I've (mostly) mastered my core, i.e., from my chest through my hips. Actually, we can even extend to my shoulders as well. Those body parts can pretty much do my bidding at will. Thanks to Ariellah's workshops, I've learned to keep my shoulders down most of the time but, as I point out to my students oftentimes, they still sometimes creep up if I'm nervous... it's a normal physical reaction. But, because I've worked on keeping them down so much, I can check more easily that there isn't any pressure on them and should apply some. So those things are going well.

What I need to shift my focus on are my extremities... stuff outside of my core. Extend arms out more. Ensure that my legs are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Make sure that my head is in a more regal bearing (which looks better on me, given the easy tendency to have a double chin). I also need to lift my chest more, which, actually, has an 'outward' feeling for me.

I've been working on integrating all my practices (yoga, meditation, pilates, belly dance) into one big integrated practice and, whaddya know, there is indeed a lot of crossover. For instance, in meditation, when I'm centering myself, I start by bringing my awareness inside, feeling the breath flow in and out and how it feels inside my body. Then I expand my awareness increasingly outward. So that's essentially also like what is going on with my belly dance: I don't even need my awareness at my core anymore to do what I want... it just flows... but it still often starts from that awareness first. And then I need to think of what my outward parts (arms/hands, legs/feet, chest, head) are doing. The next step in meditation is to bring my awareness to fill the whole room. As Asharah instructed in her workshop, you need to do the same thing in your dance space: fill out completely... and, yes, that includes the audience... the ENTIRE audience... and beyond...

And I shall work on all that!

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