Blog Archives

Tribal Makeup Tips

I have a few performances coming up and that has me thinking about stage makeup.

Some of my favorite makeup tips:

1. Always use a base or moisturizer before putting on your make-up. Make sure to put it on your eyes (carefully) before applying shadow or base. You will be amazed on how much better your makeup stays when you give it something to hold on to.

2.Have fun with eye liner. This is really for the tribal dancers. Invest in a good black eyeliner that you can use well and use often. I am not one to preach about kinds of eyeliner because ever dancer has their own favorate. If you haven’t found yours then go and experiment. I like to test a good eyeliner out on my hand first. If I can make a nice line on the back of my hand, I have a better chance at making one on my eyelid. This also gives you a chance to see how easy it is to remove the liner.

For some basics and ideas this article is great for eye liner.

3.Use great color. I like to invest in strong colors. A good mix of bright and deep colors is usually good for a smokey and exotic eye. You can use a little water on your eyelid first before you apply the shadow to make you color richer.

Check out some of these videos for some great ideas for eye makeup. I was inspired.

4. Take your time. The biggest mistake I see dancers make is when they rush their makeup. Doing makeup correctly is like painting a picture. It takes time! Do not rush it and always give yourself more time then you think you will need.

Have fun.

-Nara

Keep Working on Zills

2009 01 25_Zills_1615

2009 01 25_Zills_1615 (Photo credit: kathryn_goddard1)

Febuary is still the month to practce zills. We are almost through with February and I don’t feel that I have been practicing enough with my finger cymbals. I haven’t annoyed my neighbors enough… Here are some helpful suggestions and videos that are free online that may help you (and me) in that final push to the end of the month. Next month is choreography so get ready.

Thank you to Nika Feyrouz of DancingBelly.com for this great video on the basic zill patterns and how to practice them.

Also this video from www.saidializ.com is a good example of changing the zill patterns to work well with the music.

This is my last suggestion for those who have the time. This is Taming Your Zills: A Roadmap to Becoming Comfortable Dancing with Finger Cymbals. You can find the seven part series on youtube from http://www.tashkin-rhythms.com/aslahan . This is ideal for beginners and reviewing the basics. Perfect for the dancer who has no idea how to start adding zills to their dance.

Keep practicing and good luck. I would love to hear how things are going. Please leave a comment and keep dancing.

-Nara

Muscle Memory aka Layering

So one of the most difficult things about belly dance is layering. You need to do the grapevine, while doing snake arms and shimmy (don’t forget to smile). The key to good layering is the dreaded word “practice” and its true. You need to practice, practice, practice. You need to build up muscle memory.

What is muscle memory? When you learning to dance you are teaching your muscles what to do and where to go. Think about the snake arm. The snake arm is a basic belly dance move which is taught in all forms of belly dance. It is a wonderful example for me because it uses so much muscle memory. The basic snake arm is broken down into many parts and when a beginner dancer learns the move, they learn them all. Slowly they speed them up and put them together. The body learns where to move and put the muscles. Over time the student no longer needs to tell the muscles where to go. The muscles have practiced enough that without thinking the body can just put the arm in the right place. Instead of thinking of all the different places to put the arm instead the dancer thinks snake arm. The dancer has acquired the muscle memory for this step.

All dancers use muscle memory when learning steps. It helps to simplify the basic steps so the dancer can focus on learning more difficult techniques. Belly dancers use this ability in a special way when they layer. To layer well a dancer needs to acquire the muscle memory for all the steps separately before they are performed together. It is important that dancer has the full understanding of each step (snake arm, grapevine, shimmy …etc) and can perform them with out much thought. This way the dancer will have the mental space in their head to focus and putting all the steps together.

What should take home from this?
1. Practicing the individual steps (drills) is useful for layering.
2. Do not try to do too much at once or your brain can’t able to handle it and it will show on your body.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice.

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