Monday, January 29, 2007

Dance Beliefs?

(Pic: Naima and Laleh, Artsfest '02)
I have been preparing for my next class on Wed. night and I’ve decided to work on improvisation. It should be a nice follow up to the “Stage Intro” class last week. Improv. is another one of those things that each dancer has to experience and hone on her own and not easy to work on in a classroom setting. I am using some ideas from to make a class template in order to “practice” improv. in class.
I am actually excited about teaching this week. Last week felt very comfortable. I was approached to teach something specific to my dance knowledge AND I was not confined within the boundaries of studio politics. I was able to prepare my notes how I saw fit for the class and I think that really freed me up to produce better results overall. The studio closing has also set my mind on a new path of thinking and redefining my own personal dance philosophy. I mean, what do I really want out of dance? I have always used loose terms like, “I am not a professional dancer. I dance for me. I just want to do my craft well and have fun,” etc. I figure, I can’t decide what I want from dance unless I have a clear idea about my “dance beliefs.” Sounds kind of funny to put it that way, but what do I believe dance represents and how does it apply to not just me but every dancer across all disciplines?
Whoa! Getting kind of heady here! Well, let’s see. I’ve always had a strong opinion about Art and pretty much all bellydancers say BD is an Art. And in my opinion, there really are no rules to Art unless you are studying a specific discipline or are refining your Art to fit a specific mold or style. The lines begin to blur when said Art becomes Business. Then suddenly there are rules and boundaries you must be willing to work with. This has been the struggle in BD since time began. How do you have a business (say dance studio), and still promote the Art while filling the needs of each dancer? (EACH dancer, every last one of them!) I know how. It came to me out of the blue one day. But I’m not going to tell, LOL! Because, I don’t think it would work unless I was able to implement all of my “dance beliefs” without question. And THAT would be my own folly, LOL!

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