My mind has been on the drum song that I picked for my belly dance solo on Saturday. So much so that when I went for a quick walk the other day during lunch, I stopped off on the wrong floor. My office is on the 4th floor, and the library is a bit crazy (it was designed in the 60's, sigh) in that the main entrance is on the 2nd floor. I'm listening to Max (my friendly iPod) and I exit the stairwell. Something doesn't seem right.
First thought: "Wait, they moved the bound periodicals down to the main floor right in front of the entrance?!"
Because that just makes SO much more sense than me spacing out and not going down enough stairs.
ANYWAY, I'm improvising, so no choreography to memorize, but I still like to know my music really, really well before I perform to it. The hafla is nice in that it's very informal and I can pick whatever music I want. I don't have to worry about balancing out my set or conforming to length requirements. I wanted to choose a style just for the joy of dancing to it, so I chose my original love, a drum solo. I also thought about performing with my sword, because I love my sword and we get along well, plus it's a real crowd pleaser. But for pure dancing, I love drums, so that's what I'm doing.
I chose a song called "Shimmabulous" and unsurprisingly, it's going to involve a lot of shimmying. I think that I like to improvise so much because it allows the dancer to just interact with her music. The music "speaks" to you, and there is no pressure to remember a planned choreography. I *know* that I'm a better dancer when I improvise, I'm not nearly so stiff. So, this song is saying "SHIMMY, GIRLFRIEND!" to me a lot, but what I like about it is that it changes rhythms several times which makes the performance much more interesting. There are lots of quick percussive accents and dedicated shimmy sections, but also slower segments and dramatic pauses. I really like it.
There is one section to me that screams "choo choo!" which is actually a real dance step, and although it isn't complicated it can be hard to pull off. I'm struggling with my choo choos a bit and have been working on them a lot in the evenings after the kids go to bed. They're right before a "DRAMATIC PAUSE!" which I don't want to screw up, so the choo choos better cooperate if they know what's good for them.
So, overall I'm much less stressed than I used to be before a performance. Improvisation has done that for me, and for that I am very grateful. I'm looking forward to it and will post pictures on Monday. :)