Why do we Drill movements?
Drilling techniques as a bellydancer is the key to strong, isolated, and controlled movements. By repping the moves we want to master we are making connections in our brains, utilising muscle memory, and generally making it easier for our bodies to understand what it is exactly that we want it to do.
Good Drilling is where we allot a certain amount of time for each movement, repeat it with good focus and concentration, and strive to create those connections with the movement. When you are drilling in your own personal practice, this can sometimes lead to frustration, boredom, and procrastination. Trust me, I know! There are so many things you would rather be doing - like boogying around to your next choreography piece, or sewing a fabulous new costume you want to wear. But trust me, if you want your dance to be tip-top and as slick as possible, you want to have at least 15 mins a day, just rocking out your drills!
My Top 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Drill Session...5. Find some music you love - This has always been a crucial thing for me in my practice sessions. If you find time just flies when you drill hip drops to ABBA's Dancing Queen, use it! If you use music that gets you going, and makes you happy, this makes drilling so much more pleasureable! (And gives you an excuse to have a sing along whilst your working!)
4. Pick 5 key moves that you want to work on - Don't feel you have to drill every move. Watch videos of yourself dancing and pick out 5 moves that you feel would benefit from a good going over. Make that your practice for the week. Then, pick another 5 moves! This stops your practice from becoming stale, and keeps things fresh and moving. It's so easy to get stuck in a rut, so mix it up!
3. If anything starts to feel sore, Take a break! - This is an important one as I can only too readily tell you, that if you are drilling to excess and pushing yourself too hard, you are in for an injury. If during your drills you find you come into any serious aches or pains - especially in the knees, please stop, and have a break. Drilling through injuries or pain will only lead to more serious damage.
2. Embrace the feeling of Frustration - If a move is not coming naturally, if you get to a point in your drill where you want to throw your hip scarf on the floor and have a cry, DON'T! Pick yourself up, and try again. That feeling of frustration, of almost getting it but not quite reaching it, is good. It's your body and brain showing that you are learning and making new connections. Remember, you never would have learned to walk if you'd just given up when your first fell down!
1. Slow and steady, wins the race - When it comes to drilling, be the tortoise, not the hare. In order to create a productive drill session and to really see results, it is better to do small practices but regularly, rather than once a week drill marathons. You will build up strength better, your brain will have time to digest everything you've been trying to acheive, and I guarentee, a move that you found difficult in your drills yesterday, will feel that bit easier today.
I hope this helps you create your own drill sessions within your practice. If you have any of your own tips or ideas to help create a fun and exciting practice, please do comment them below, I'd love to hear what you use at home to improve your dancing!
Final Note for the Day:Remember those basic dance moves you learnt when you were just starting out? Don't forget those in your practice - they deserve just as much love and attention as the flashy moves. Figure 8's, Hip Drops, Hip Hits etc are your flour, caster sugar, butter and eggs. You can add all the chocolate sprinkles you want, but if you forget one of the key ingredients, the whole thing goes to pot!
If you want to use this post in your e-zine, blog or newsletter, please go ahead! But make sure that you credit Louise Brooks - www.louisebellydancer.co.uk