Updated: Jan 6, 2022
"Is a 5 minute workout really going to make any difference in our belly dancing? And if we love dancing so much, why do we skip out on practice?"
Why Are We Making Excuses for Not Practicing Our Beloved Belly Dance?
I think about the thrill of when I started belly dancing...it was just awesome! I couldn't wait for the late afternoon when I had an hour or so to myself to dance. The exhilaration of "getting" that new move—wow! But eventually the inevitable learning curve plateau happened and I found myself coming up with excuses for not donning that hip scarf...you know, the toilet needed scrubbing, or I really should be walking the dog...whaaaa? Really? It felt awful. I mean, I LOVE this dance. What was going on???
Have you felt this? Do you now?
Why, if we love belly dancing so much, do we procrastinate practicing?
It's crazy. Right? In my Jensuya-analytical way—actually it's my Jennifer-engineer brain at work—I've come up with some key excuses for not practicing. Does any of this sound like you?
After working all day, I'm tired, and I don't have the energy for an hour of practice.
The thrill of learning new moves has worn off.
As I've gotten older, body parts just hurt as I dance.
I'm tired of practicing to the same old music...boooring.
I want to be outside instead of indoors.
I don't want to think, and taking a walk just seems so much easier.
You are not alone, Sister or Brother. "We be in dis tagetha."
5 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life...or at Least Your Belly Dancing!
So now that I'm a geezer belly dancer with a couple of decades of dancing, I've actually gotten smarter. Ha ha. 😊 And certainly kinder to myself. And I've discovered that the wise words that I first heard from drummer Daveed Korup, "5 minutes a day" CAN actually change your life.
I thought it was hilarious when I first heard Daveed say that in a DVD drumming course Bob was taking with Mr. Korup. Daveed included in his course a pep talk on just squeezing in 5 minutes of drum practice before going to work and 5 minutes in the evening after dinner. I laughed because I thought, "How could you possibly get anywhere with only 5 minutes of practice?"
It's All About Consistency
And now I get it: Daveed was teaching the most important aspect of learning a new skill—STICKING WITH IT. In his apparent infinite wisdom, he began by getting his students in the HABIT of at least a tiny bit of practice a day.
That's why I started the Belly Dance Breaks videos on YouTube back in 2015 and then the 5 Minute Belly Dance Workout videos. These are for you—and me—when we are just feeling un-inspired to do a full practice. Try one...or several.
But wait! There's more! Remember those 6 excuses I listed above? Here are 6 of my corresponding solutions. (And keep reading because there're more below—remember, I have nine!)
Motivation Tips for Belly Dance Practice
Do some yoga. Then, if you are re-energized do 5 minutes of improvisational belly dancing to your favorite music.
Watch your favorite belly dancer on YouTube after dinner to get re-inspired.
Do a Dancer Abs workout.
Take a belly dance walk.
Find new music! And it doesn't have to be "belly dance" music.
Do beginner drills instead of pushing yourself too hard.
Do 5 minutes of a simple move like hip slides in the morning as you brush your teeth in front of the mirror.
Do 5 minutes of Snake Arms while sitting at your desk or computer.
When sitting in traffic, do head slides. (And you'll amuse others, too!)
Go easy on yourself, and join us for an at-home (or office lunch break) belly dance walking workout.
Honestly, I've got so many hours of anayzing and working out 5 minute practice solutions for you that I've reinforced these little exercises in myself. So thank you, because when I feel like my personal practice is flagging, I hear in my head what I would say to you if you needed a re-boot.
As I said, "We be in dis tagetha!" Love and hugs and RAQ it!
To see all of our ONLINE COURSES, click on the image or click here: school.jensuya.com.
© Jennifer Carpenter-Peak & Robert Peak 2020