Thursday, June 27, 2013

Preparation, Anticipation, And Not Being Perfect

In a little over two weeks, this mama bellydancer will be flying across the country to study with an amazing, and dare I say icon, of tribal bellydance, Rachel Brice. I've been in preparation mode for a few months, focusing on different areas to bring myself up another level, as well as just have the endurance to dance for five to six hours a day.

Have I succeeded? Yes and no.

The honest truth is a double edged sword. I have brought my technique to a new level, though not quite where I really desire to be, and have focused more on practice. Creatively, I've worked on a few pieces choreographed for my troupe which I've loved immensely.

But, in reality, I can't put as much time in as I'd truly like. I have a family, and the past few years have changed my love affair with bellydance. Gratefully, I believe that relationship has grown with me. Accepting that I can't be perfect and practice for two hours every single day has been hard. But once I did, a beautiful thing happened.

I became a better dancer, teacher, and felt joy in my practice. The planning of my time has allowed me to become focused and even spontaneous. Sounds strange, but true. Spreading out the components that put together my "practice" throughout my day lessens the pressure on myself. Bellydance happens now in my kitchen, while cooking or even *gasp*cleaning. Yoga flows don't have to be half an hour long. A morning practice of ten to fifteen minutes starts my day (as long as a certain cutie pie isn't up before me), and then at least one more session either at nap time, evening practice, or before bed. Yoga, for me is just as important as drilling.

For Eight Elements (the intensive I'll be flying across the country soon for!!), there's pre-work. Reading material and a bit of Serpentine review. The Yoga For Wellness by Gary Kraftsow has actually enhanced my yoga practice, and that "aha" moment carried over to my Serpentine (a very wonderful tribal bellydance practice companion that is on the top of my pile) time, as well. (In fact, I was so giddy over this, I had to tell the first person I saw right after. My husband is such a pumpkin for listening. Even if I bribed him with ice cream!)

And now, I look at every aspect a little closer to make sure it will enhance my practice, especially planning. Which, for me, includes scheduling, learning, teaching, and even creating costume pieces.

Hopefully, as the trip draws closer, this feeling will stay with me.

Or I can just have a breakdown once we land. (After the plane ride. No need to unnecessarily burden others with my tribal bellydance problems!)

The biggest learning so far? It is okay to be not perfect. No need to beat yourself up over what you can't do when you can focus on what you can do. Which may just be more than you think.

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