Certain dances and rhythms evoke different responses from my brain and body. So oftentimes when I practice, I will pick songs I've never or rarely listened to and force myself to get creative and see what happens. When I practice, I typically do some drills, practice some choreographies, then spend time with improvisation, randomly selecting songs I'm unfamiliar with to push my boundaries.
Listening to something different than I would usually select prepares me for live music. You never know what can happen with live music. They can shorten or lengthen a song for instance, or play it at a different tempo. It trains you to be more flexible and intuitive with the rhythms and melodies, as well as the changes and transitions. It also assists if your music comes up missing or you're called upon for dance roulette and you have to dance to the unknown. Dance roulettes are becoming more popular these days.
Making yourself dance to different music heightens your senses as you have to listen more closely, explore the feeling and emotions of the song and visualize what the music is telling your body to do. Perhaps you tend to choose faster songs like I do, and slower songs make me slow down and make my brain get creative about how to respond to it.
It may also make some new creative juices get flowing, such as with the change in pace or style that enables you to think in some new directions or applications. Perhaps you'll get turned on to some new music that you come to really appreciate. Or maybe it will allow you to add some variety in your dance style(s).
Use available down-time (like on the subway, etc.) time to listen to different types of music. When's the last time you broke out some classic Egyptian or Lebanese music? Have you checked out what's hot lately on various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean online streaming sites? Consider supporting local bands that play and publish their own music. Dig out your old Eddie the Sheik albums and keep an ear out for world music with Middle Eastern instruments featured.
There are decades of great songs for Middle Eastern dance and other belly dance genres available and many medias of which to find them, such as online.. There is also music that is not Middle Eastern that can be apropos depending on the venue and event. Practicing and/or performing ME dance movements to any music can be productive, entertaining and enjoyable. Take the time to “mix it up” a little as you explore the connection between the music and dance!
In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo, Egyptian musical instrument specialist and piano tuner Khadr Dagher, 65, unseen, speaks about the musical instrument known as an oud at his shop, on Mohammed Ali street, a street modeled after Paris’ boulevards and home to musicians, belly-dancers and instrument makers, in downtown Cairo, Egypt. The shops making, repairing and selling musical instruments that once packed the street are disappearing, along with their window displays of lute-like, stringed ouds, qanouns and tablas -- a drum made equally for the rapid-fire hand beats of belly-dance tunes or for the languid rhythms of a love ballad by Umm Kalthoum, the most famed singer of classical Arabic music. | Photo: Nasser Nasser | Link | Egyptian Music, Instruments, Music, Lute, Umm Kalthoum, Cairo, Drum,