Bellydance 5 Months In

So I am officially at that point when I can say I have reached my first plateau. It is always exciting when you learn something new and begin to try new techniques and discover you are capable. It is another thing entirely when you finally have enough exposure to begin to recognize the scope of this new skill set. This is that point in which frustration, disappointment, and ego show up at the party uninvited. This is also when you realize patience didn’t get a damned invite either.

I have been taking belly dance from Cybelle since November and this past weekend I had the privilege of taking a workshop from Asharah. Both of these instructors and superb performers practice the Suhaila format in their instruction. Cybelle has been teaching us at the beginner’s level where as the Asharah workshop was potentially too advanced for me at this point. I can shimmy, I can maya. However, don’t ask me to walk while I do either of these things! I also have a hard time understanding technical dance language. I have no regrets about the exposure to all of these new things, as I said; I need to invite patience to the party.

My latest chapter started yesterday when our zills arrived and we had a whole class devoted to blue fingertips and cacophony. One more skill in a set whose borders I have yet to define. I imagine this takes a lifetime to master.

All this said I went through a similar process while practicing Aikido. I am still surprised at how much dance and martial arts share in the learning process. I wish I had found another dojo that made me feel as welcome and happy as my first, but alas. I still utilize a lot of Aikido in my private practice when I am stretching and strengthening myself. My delving into Yoga has also been beneficial to my new discipline. There is something to be said for a multidisciplinary approach to a new art.

I am looking forward to seeing where this goes and that point in which my first performance no longer seems to be running off beyond the horizon.

5 thoughts on “Bellydance 5 Months In

  1. I just wanted to say that this discipline, while not directly involved in librarianship, is relevant to my progress as an art librarian.

  2. I think you are doing great, and i am proud of how well you hung in there during the Asharah workshop….it spanked us *all* pretty hard, even the well-seasoned dancers were feeling the burn! There is NO way i’d have done as well at the 5 month mark.

    Plateaus are rough, but you just push on and keep drilling til you’re are sick of it and before you know it you are into a whole new skill set. (It seems to happen organically but seems that it grows faster when we water it with tears, hahaha) You already have a great foundation and Cybelle is going to mold you into an amazing dancer…just hang in there!!!!

  3. Eric, I just heard patience got kick into the rose bushes by frustration and ego, once a plateau was brought out to the dining table (no play on words)…
    You have one up on alot of recognize where you need a bit of help, and that is what you will always get. Your gumption and sheer desire to exceed your dance expectations, MAKES me want you to really learn, to know it and to WORK IT!
    I adore Asharah and love to dance in the same room with her. Rejoice in the fact that she IS a kick in the pants..a dynamo..pushing you to your limit..but that is what our teachers have done to us, and it has made us love what we do SO much and has made her who she is today.
    Asharah can attest to the fact that Suhaila made some girls cry in her DC Level I Teaching Certification workshop, that we both attended…IT WAS BRUTAL!
    But her workshop was not for the beginner, it is a tight ship and one must know this going in. It’s not that you weren’t able to do what she taught, it is that you are not at that level yet! How fabulous to see what is ahead of you.
    You were merely given the gift of seeing into your future through Asharah….what she mastered takes years and lots of sweat and pain. To become disillusioned because you have yet to master “layering” (ie. walking and shimmying or workng your zills), is an expectation that is unfair, given you have trained like a beast for ONLY 5 months. But, to be good, the word “can’t”, is verboten..the power of that word can kill motivation, make you lose focus and beats up your growing self-esteem.
    Each time we “get it”, that is when it is time to move it up a notch. We always go back to drill it home, but moving forward and adding a little heat to the known is necessary…it’s your choice to rise to the challenge.
    Your plateau tells you that you are ready for the next challenge, Remember how we do it..slowly, and go back if you lose it. Practice and relax, it will flow into you.
    I will NOT let you get yourself down because you are a true professional Eric, you also have respect for the art, the teacher and your fellow student…that is all par of the well-rounded dancer.
    Revel, doll, because you WILL be ready when its time to debut…oh yes…debut…
    Hang in there….you are 5 months better than you were on day one.

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