Sunday, November 30, 2008

belly dance pet peeves / upcoming performance

I probably shouldn't be daring myself to join the group performance for Bellydance Jakarta's 3rd Annual Recital Ball, but Ms. Yaven so kindly asked me to perform and since I'm such an attention whore, I jumped at it.


My group, Beginner 2, will perform two numbers: veil and tabla. Now veil has never been (too much of) a problem to me. I could do veil just fine, I could do double veil just fine, my first solo dance includes veil, and right now, I'm even choreographing a solo seven-veil number. Hopefully it could be unveiled (ha! Love the pun!) very soon.

However, with veil, I'm still trying to improve my fingerhold and my limp wrists. Who would've thought that such a feminine dance would require straight wrists??

The second one is tabla. I love tabla as much as the next girl, but I do have problems with shimmying. It's ironic really, to call oneself "the boy who shimmies" and yet unable to do so. Two weeks ago, after being exposed to the tabla choreo, Ms. Yaven went to me and told me to improve my shimmy.

So I went home, totally freaked out, what with the recital being on December 13th and the tabla choreography requires many shimmies. I consulted (more like lurked on) websites such as and frantically browsed for instructional videos on YouTube. Choo Choo Shimmy is never a problem, although I need to work on my leg strength. However, it's the knee shimmy that's putting me down.

And not just a single knee shimmy, the darn choreography also requires layering. WAAA...

I remember when I was in Greece, Ms. Maria Aya also taught me to shimmy and I couldn't do it *burst out crying*. She told me two types of shimmies: the one with the knees and the other one with the glutes. Glutes worked easier than knees.

For a week, after being so frustrated with the shimmy, somewhere in, I read that it is always good to not shimmy and forget about shimmying, kind of unlearn the shimmy and refresh your knees for one or two days. And then, just shimmy slowly and build up the speed afterwards. And most importantly, practice, practice, practice.

So I took heed of that advice, rested my knees well, and started shimmying again. Until now, whenever I stand, I automatically start to shimmy. I can even layer my shimmies now and last Saturday, when we practiced the drum solo again, Ms. Yaven didn't say anything about my shimmy (I sure hope that's a good sign).

I think I'm back to loving my shimmy.

If you're available on December 13th and would like to come to my first performance with BellyDance Jakarta, please do. In the meantime, here's a video of one of the best shimmier, the infamous Ms. Fifi Abdou.

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