Who's Got the Beat?
Updated: Aug 16, 2020
"If you wanna be a belly dancer, first you gotta be a Go-Go girl."
No. That's not what I mean...although it's fun to say it that way.
What I'm talking about is the 1980's band, the Go-Go's. You know, the 5 punk girls—young women, really—who blasted the music scene and topped the Billboard album charts. Arguably, a major factor making the Go-Go's probably the most successful all-female rock group in history was that they were singing and playing what they knew. And what they knew was: they got the beat.
Are you getting to where I'm heading here? I'm convinced that the Go-Go's climbed the ladder to excellence in their music and performances because, among other factors, they understood that the music that they were playing was rhythmic. And they practiced it. And they played with it. And they lived it. It was the driving force—the pulse—of the band. When they sang, "We got the beat," they weren't just spouting that they could keep a steady tempo, they became the beat. And that brazen performance of authenticity, that pulse of the music was in their bones and let them deliver their art with overwhelming energy.
Did I mention that the beat of the music is important to belly dance? 😉 OK. OK. I won't go on and on about it. But just in case you haven't heard me say it a million times...that's the number 1 most important factor to becoming a great—actually, even just a good—belly dancer. Learn the beat. Practice finding the beat. Practice chanting the beat. Find the beat while you're driving in the car. Count the beat as you practice your dance.
Here's some homework: watch the video below and practice the exercises in it (and do the video tutorials linked above and shown below, too). Let me know if you're getting the beat! (And if you didn't read the blog on rhythm, find it here.)
P.S. Here's a link to the Go-Go's song.
©Jennifer Carpenter-Peak & Robert Peak, 2020