15 Tips For Belly Dance Students

1- Work on your posture. It doesn't matter how good your shimmies are or how well you can perform that amazing dance routine you choreographed if your posture is out of line everything will be. (1)

2-Think About Your FeetJust because your told belly dancers traditionally dance bare foot doesn't mean it will necessary be beneficial for you. Assess your feet, Are they a little on the flat side? Do your feet and ankles feel weak? Do you struggle with your shimmies? Does your body feel out of line? Maybe you need to strengthen your feet and ankles or get some dance or medically fitted pair of shoes with a heel or a cushioned innersole placed at the heel inside your shoes. Maybe what you have been taught is technically incorrect or you may have been over practising and need a rest? Think about what is going on an observe yourself and what you are taught or better still make an appointment to see a physio therapist to get to the root of your problem.(2)

3- ObserveWatch as many performances as possible whether in person or on YouTube or video. Find out what style you like and which belly dancers inspire you. Observe the small and intricate movement of dancers and see how this makes their performance extra special.

4- No Need To Ditch The Mystery but... Make Sure Your Taught Factual HistoryIf your teacher has only taught you mystery or mythology based on her preferred religion and no real factual history there's something wrong there. The history of belly dance is important for all dancers to learn. You should have learned history before you start Performing semi professional (paid). There's nothing wrong with adding mythology or mystery into dance routines that have been Choreographed and it's great to learn mythology or ideas but the fact still remains that all is not based on historical or archaeological fact. It will save you a lot of time if you are taught the difference from the beginning.

5-Get To Know Styles
At the very least a teacher should be teaching you how to differentiate between belly dancing styles and music. You wouldn't want to be dancing to a Turkish song at a Greek Restaurant. Or performing at an Egyptian wedding with Greek music and Turkish floor work. You'll know the reason why if your teacher knows herself.

6- Practice Makes Perfect
It's not just a myth there is actual fact to this little quote.The body has muscle memory so the more you execute and repeat a move the more your body remembers it automatically.
7 - Hydrate
Always always always drink plenty of water throughout class. Take regular sips. Ward off dehydration.

8 - Eat Sleep Belly dance Repeat!
When working on a choreography listen to the music repetitively so your brain remembers it.

9- Workout
Add other forms of dance and exercisers to your daily routine.This helps with performance, Stamina, Strength and flexibility

10- Protein Is The Way Forward
Protein helps your body heal quickly after exercisers. Did you know that the aching feeling we get the next day after a workout is actually torn muscles. We need protein to help us heal and avoid muscle wastage. When the muscle heals properly it grows leading to a more tones body.After your belly dance class or exercise eat some protein like nuts dairy lean meats beans or drink a whey protein shake.  When taking a protein supplement it is advisable Women avoid creatine when not trying to body build.. Men and women take creatine when trying to mass build and put weight on the body usually for body building.(10)

11 - Culture
Make an effort to learn more about the dance forms history and culture. Get involved with the local Arabic community by attending events. If you go on holiday to the Middle East North Africa and even parts of the Mediterranean take the opportunity to get out of the hotel and learn more.

12- Learn From Lots Of Different Teachers
Go to as many classes as you can to learn. The more you learn the more skills you will develop. 

13 - Think Yourself a Good Dancer
Watch your language and what you say and think about yourself. Every class I teach I hear students put themselves down because they feel insecure or vulnerable. It's okay to feel like that but remember most students are thinking the same as you. Start to grow your confidence today!

14 - Don't Let Others Dictate Your Dance Confidence 
Don't look to others to affirm your progress or success. Unfortunately not everyone has your best interests at heart.  

15- Encourage Your Teacher With Ideas
If you are serious about learning more approach your teacher and ask about alternative workshops. Ask if he/she would considener putting a troupe together or some kind of performance opportunity like a hafla or show. How will she know if you don't ask or give feedback?

(1) Gehman, P. (2012). a dancer in good standing: checking your posture. [Blog] a dancer in good standing: checking your posture. Available At: http://princessraqs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/dancer-in-good-standing-checking-your.html
(2) Shane, A. (n.d) healthy feet make the best dancing feet don't ignore the dace floor. [Blog] healthy feet make the best dancing feet don't ignore foot pain on the dance floor. Available At https://www.foothealthfacts.org/article/healthy-feet-make-the-best-dancing-feet
(10) Forsyth, C. (2010). should women take creatine? [Blog] should women take creatine?. Available At https://www.girlsgonestrong.com/blog/nutrition/supplements/creatine-women/