Taking Technique I

After finishing three bellydance choreography classes, I knew it was time to really get down to technique. The choreography classes do go over the moves used in each dance, but it’s kind of a “here’s what it looks like, just follow as best you can” presentation. It’s been hard to really see what each move involves and to isolate and perfect it.

Technique I is the class I needed. Sure, it means I have to make a mad dash to get there once I finish teaching — I get out of teaching at 6:45 p.m. and Technique I starts at 7:30 p.m. fifteen miles away through Atlanta evening traffic. Luckily, unless there’s a disastrous accident blocking the Top-End Perimeter, I can just make it, do a quick clothing-change, and be ready to SWEAT.

You wouldn’t think that just pulling in and releasing specific abdominal muscles for 45 minutes would be much of a workout. Ha! First, you have to FIND the specific abdominal muscles you’re trying to isolate. Unfortunately, most of my excess weight is in my abdomen, and those muscles are trying to stay hidden behind it so they won’t have to work. At least Sabeeya has some tricks up her sleeve to help you find them.

Then you have to tighten specific ones, and only those ones. I can suck in the lowest ab muscles by themselves, but when I try to suck in the pair right underneath “the girls,” everything else in the region wants to suck in also. You’re supposed to do this, though, without clenching up EVERYTHING, especially without clenching up your butt like you have been constipated for a week.

The whole name of the game is isolation — move what you want to move and don’t move anything else (though it can come along for the ride). If you can’t do that you can’t layer moves atop moves, you can’t move your top half one way and your bottom half another way. After fifty years of slacking, those muscles of mine are having to learn a whole new way of working, and they aren’t that happy about it. But damnit, I’m going to dance at least sort of passably so they better GET happy about it.

3 comments

  1. There are 5 foot positions in ballet. Are there 5 ab positions in belly? (LOL)Sounds wonderful! Maybe I'll find a local class when we get settled!

  2. There are 5 foot positions in ballet. Are there 5 ab positions in belly? (LOL)Sounds wonderful! Maybe I'll find a local class when we get settled!

  3. I tell you, bellydance is some kick-ass exercise.

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