Updated: Jan 4
If you tend to overdo your goals (main goals with subsets and amendments and additions), may I suggest five simple, fun belly dance goals for 2022 that won't add to your anxiety.
1. Try New Classes
Most instructors will encourage you to try workshops and classes with other teachers.
I second that suggestion! You'll discover new formats, new concepts, and new styles.
Once you're solid with belly dance technique, you may want to taste other genres and world dance styles as well as yoga, pilates, and weight training for strength and stamina.
If you live near South Carolina, here are a few suggestions for classes:
Greenville, SC: Niad Dance Studio
Columbia, SC: Alegria Belly Dance
Charleston, SC: Dancing Beena
2. Experience New Props
One of the joys of belly dance is the plethora of props from veils to fans
swords and in between.
You'll fall in love with one or two and make those your life's study.
I purchase scimitars from Kult of Athena. You need to make sure they're balanced for belly dance!
Wings are another favorite. The above video is of one of my favorite dance companies performing with wings.
3. Dance Daily (ish)
In an ideal world we would dance daily for an hour. If you have the time for that, do it!
But if you have competing demands, aim for consistency. Even if daily is your choice, give yourself grace. Missing a day doesn't reflect on your character.
Trust me, I don't dance through cramps unless I have a class to teach, and I rest when I'm sick!
4. Express YOURself!
Focusing on how your instructor looks and behaves during class and performance is natural and desirable for a beginner.
As you deepen your technique, it's time for you to let your personality and body type shine!
Are you tall and long-limbed? Don't shrink--expand and take up space!
Do you love to perform and interact with the audience? Don't hold that back! Let it show on your face and in your eyes.
Are you introspective and thoughtful? Allow yourself and the audience to feel the music and be drawn into a new world.
A purpose of art is self-expression. Belly dance is no different. While you want to interpret the music, you're interpreting it through your uniqueness.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
Because dance is so focused on the physical, it's easy to focus critically on the physical. Body image issues show up when you compare yourself to your neighbor (or even an imaginary dancer in solo practice).
Self-confidence takes a hit when you're struggling with a new move or attempting to learn a choreography.
Stage fright might keep you from performing.
All of these things can be conduits of self-loathing if you aren't kind to yourself.
You are trying something new and amazing! You're improving your health through movement, engaging in an art form created by millenia of history and culture, and being willing to stretch your mind and emotions in different ways.
Remind yourself of these facts, love the body that you're in, and enjoy the growth no matter how small it seems to you.
The journey is beautiful...and so are you.