I just completed the 30³ Movement Challenge. I spent the month challenging myself to be disciplined in my practice, even if that meant going out dancing or taking a dance class I wasn't naturally predisposed toward. =) I went from being afraid that I'd poke my eye out every time I spun a fan, to something I thinkI'm going to really enjoy geeking out on ... at least for this year!
Last night was another 1.5 solid hours of AWESOME.
It began with me awesomely teaching more bellydance to an impressively awesome Kim, who is picking up everything I'm putting down. Fast. When I throw a new drill at her she laughs and says she's concentrating real hard...but to me it looks like she's got it down and is all ready bored. It's perfectly-paced; by the time I get bored (comparatively speaking of course) we move onto the next layer, and BAM - Kim and I are cross-touching with alternating hips all over the room. I can't wait to keep this up another three weeks...
because then we can start doing belly and chest work. For now it's been all hips all the time!
Then Kim kicked my ass (and arms and legs) with more stability ball conditioning stuff. I don't think I was as rowdy this week as I was the first week. I'm realizing one of the benefits of doing private lessons: my smart-ass comments don't have to interrupt an entire class full of people who might otherwise like to pretend they're enjoying themselves. I'm enjoying acknowledging how much EVERYTHING HURTS.
There is no way I'm going to stop this now.
Last night I drove allllllll the way across town to the Watershed for Tuesday Flow Jam, hosted by my Cloud City Circus-mates, Michelle Canada and Mouse (come see them perform at White Out next Saturday!). It was really difficult to talk myself into leaving the house at 9pm on a cold, rainy Tuesday night to drive all the way down there... but I'm glad I did. I played with fans, I made a new friend, I chatted with Torben who will be providing some screenprinting at Fusion: Words (YAY THANK YOU!), and I practiced throwing my fans some more!
Last night I learned that:
-I can totally toss a fan under my arm, have it spin in the air, and catch it.
-I totally need to be doing this over a carpet.
-These fans definitely do get scratched pretty badly on impact, but so far seem structurally sound.
-...So some of that wobbling with the old fans was me...
And now I'm going to publically publish this for posterity:
SLOW JAM FLOW JAM
Please tell me no one else is already doing this, because I need to make it happen. Sexy slow jams: trip hop, future bass, R&B.... yeah I could spin to that.
and just rehearsed some bellydance. =)
I am really, really enjoying the habit we're developing. I feel like I need to be practicing my fans right now. And some juggling; I should start working on my hand-eye yada yada.
...just some bellydance, and some fire fans, and some juggling. And this stability ball.
Yesterday the 26th, I awoke early enough, and with enough sleep, to go to ecstatic dance.
I had breakfast instead.
I finished breakfast with enough time for a short nap before the other ecstatic dance.
I napped, then didn't go.
Exhausted from two nights up late and lots of dancing around, I suppose, I skipped Dance Church altogether and ended up taking a long walk, just a bit of drilling with my fire fans in el temple de danserino, and then I went to SPIN JAM at the Lotus Seed, where Erika, Spades, Ken, and myself began choreographing our routine for Oregon Fire Conclave. I got to play with Erika's new LED fans (I can't wait to have some of these for myself), Erika got to play with my Wicked fire fans (she can't wait to get a pair for herself) and I even started to learn to juggle!
...of course, my standards of "juggling" have shifted from "throwing stuff and catching it rhythmically" to "throwing stuff and rhythmically squatting to pick it up". After 15 solid minutes of throwing and picking-up, I was able to insert some "catching" in, too. It probably only happened twice, but it took 15 minutes of determination. Then - I tried throwing a FAN and catching it. And it worked.
Then I came home and YouTubed some stability ball conditioning exercises! I could only stand 20 minutes, but ...
WHEN HAVE I EVER CHOSEN TO SPEND 20 MINUTES DOING THIS TO MYSELF?
Since I started geeking out on movement, determination, trying new things, and this muscle right here that I'm pretty sure I can see now that I couldn't before...
I suspect that the 25th day may...nay, I say it most definitely...will include much afroqben as well.
I arrived home from work last night to discover that my new FIRE FANS had arrived! My babies! They are home!
But before I could use them, last night's 30 occurred on the dance floor of a house party for which I had about -25 minutes to prepare myself. Jams were pumped by Pipedream and AfroQben, and it was good.
This morning I took the Samba class from DonnaMation that I'd talked Erika into attending last month - it was only fair - and though I stumbled over myself a bit, it was well worth being a bit behind. SO MUCH BOOTY SHAKING.
This afternoon I finished the studio. Fabric is hung, the floor is done, molding done, sealed, prob cabinet dragged in, swept, mopt, wept, it all finally happened.
I celebrated by figuring out how to use the webcam on my laptop. Welcome to 2002-quality footage, with 2025-quality fans (...and "hey I've been doing this a month!-quality fan spinning with no edits...be kind)
Tonight I shall venture out again to dance my bootay off at the Rose Bar with Fusion:Words DJs qBen and djMOM. Because that's how you roll when your STUDIO IS FINALLY DONE.
Half past midnight, just finished my 30. Starting to fall behind! Gah!
I'm quite proud to say I did it, though, and even conquered my goal: to finally try Datura Online now that I've got the interwebs at my fingertips. Plus, it was a goal I'd made as a justification for skipping Ashley's class on Tuesday (see: Tuesday's Blog entry).
As it turns out, I wasn't feeling particularly dancey-times right before bed, but they have a giant selection of levels, teachers, styles, types of instruction... so I did this conditioning series with Ashley which is remarkably like the one she uses to warm up class sometimes, and there is always a moment during those days when I think I can't do this and I stop and feel like I'm not quite good enough... until the end of the series, when I've done all but that one thing I couldn't do, and I know it was good for me; my muscles are burning and every once in a while it feels like pride more than just pain.
After the 20-minute conditioning I did a little balance flow yoga series and rehearsed a track (that I mixed myself mhmmmm) to round out the half-hour.
I'm really proud of myself, you guys. Thanks for the inspiration.
It feels good.
Full disclosure: I didn't do my 30 yesterday. I intended to - I even wrote out a drill curriculum and shared it with the ladies of BTR - but alas, I went out to karaoke at the Funhouse Lounge instead. It was easy enough to justify: I wasn't skipping my 30 to have fun, I was there to work.
I'd just picked up flyers for Covers & Blankets, the annual fundraiser for Janus Youth in which folks gather and sign up to sing cover songs, with a band or without, and donate money or blankets (and misc.) It's good-time family fun (until around 9 at which point the minors in the family go home and the songs get only slightly more obvious in their raunchiness. Or not.) This year I'm gonna sing a song with the band! Thus, it was very important that I go to karaoke to promote the event, and practice singing.
Also: I got up early this morning and did 25 minutes of fan spinning. What can I say? As I learned in therapy this morning, Catholic guilt dies really really hard.
Tonight: I shall try Datura Online for my first time! Wish me luck (and focus).
Last night I skipped dance class...
but I stood next to a fire and got all sooty and stuff!
I'm an indecisive Libra. I wanted to go to dance class, but also wanted to finally get the molding installed in the dance studio. I also wanted to light my fans on fire. There was no way I was going to get to do all three last night but I felt that it was important that I do ALL THE THINGS.
The molding - that's the only time this week that I could get my friend to come over and confirm that I cannot, in fact, install the molding with the tools I was told to buy at Home Depot. Remember that blog entry? Yup, another trip is due. This time I'll be returning a bunch of crap I didn't need in the first place to buy some goddamn glue. The bellydance costumer in me knew that all I needed was glue in the first place.
One of the reasons I even started this challenge was because it'd been too long since I'd participated in regular bellydance training, even just once a week. But in order to do both dance class and go spin fire with Tyler Spades (another Movement Challenger), I'd have to do the beginner class, and cut time short on the molding. RUSH RUSH RUSH RUSH give up.
...that's when I went to Spades', lit up my fans thrice, met some nice people, including Torben, who will be doing some screenprinting at Fusion: WORDS in March. The world of fire is a small, bright, and hot one.
Later I went home and did another 20 minutes of spinning to fill in my 30. I'm noticing a definite difference in my ability to spin - the confidence and muscle memory are building - and would like to thank Spades for acknowledging my improvement. It always means so much coming from a pro.
THESE ARE MINE. I'll be holding them in my HOT little hands as soon as the shipment arrives!!
Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr., for many things - not the least of which, the day off.
My service was to my mom, who joined me for coffee this morning. My dad, who joined me for coffee and a pedicure this afternoon. For dad's friends' conversation, for mom's interest in learning about my upcoming trip to Nicaragua. For Kim, who came over and learned some more bellydance and larnt me fitness with some big ol' balls. And a lot of service has gone to myself, and to Ross and Goodwill Bins for providing me with some much-needed moments of respite from being a sad sad panda.
Two weeks sans partner!
I did my 1.5 hrs bellydance::fitness instruction, and though I'm not as chipper as I could be, I feel damn fine in the nearly-any-day six-pack abs area.
the slightly less snarky one