How to keep developing your dancing during lockdown

By Ishtar Dance on Monday, March, 23rd, 2020 in Dance Coaching, Dance Inspiration, Learning, Your Dance Body No Comments

With the international community going into lockdown to counteract the spread of the Corona virus it is more vital than ever to stick to a daily routine as well as enjoying daily exercise to keep yourself happy, motivated and not least sane. And there are many great ways that you can keep developing your dancing now that you will be spending more time at home.

Why is a movement routine vital?

It’s all about staying focussed and not letting a limited time scenario drain you of energy and therethrough also positivity. Staying positive is extremely important not only for your mental state but also physically. The number one stress hormone, Cortisol, can heighten infection levels in the body and therefor lower your immune system.

Also, the body looses muscles mass approximately three times quicker than it builds it, and sitting still for too long will increase the development of fat around the organs and the buildup of fat and cholesterol in your blood. So it’s vital to make use of any extra time you have to keep moving and not least also challenge yourself.

Daily exercise and not least being in nature, if you possibly can and aren’t in quarantine due to suspected symptoms, is essential. We are very lucky that Spring is here and there are plenty of sunshine forecast that will also help lift your spirits.

Having daily routines, such as getting up and getting dressed [even if you’re not planning to leave the house], making mealtimes special, still interacting with people online and of course dancing are all vital tools for your overall wellbeing.

Five tips to develop your dance at home

  1. Most bellydance teachers have now set up online classes – you can check out mine here – so they can keep their students dancing and not least interacting. One of mine students commented “this little moment in time really cheers me up” and I think that is a vital testament to the power of interactive online classes.
  2. Recorded dance tutorials are the next best thing, and I have a wide range on my YouTube channel here. JWAAD – the UK’s only externally verified bellydance course provide – also have a wide range on their YouTube channel [including some of mine created specifically for them, so do check them out]. But they also have additional free dance resources on their website here.
  3. Online private lessons are also a great way to develop your dancing, whether you want to work on technique, create a choreography or maybe get some mentoring advice on the business of bellydance. I have been teaching online for many years and have also taught fellow JWAAD teachers how to do this successfully. I really enjoy the fact I connect with students from all over the world and until the end of March I’m offering a £10 discount on all my online sessions. Read more here.
  4. Develop your understanding of the rich history and traditions that surround bellydancing and read online blogs and articles from well-established and qualified bellydance teachers. I have published blogs on various subjects such as: Sensational Samia Gamal, Why it’s important to know bellydance history, Guide to bellydance rhythms and Dance as stress therapy. I also have a YouTube playlist with some Golden Era gems. Websites like the Gilded Serpent, Shira and of course JWAAD also have a wide range of free resources well worth exploring.
  5. Listen to your bellydance music and start creating a routine or even a mini-choreography to songs you don’t normally use. Even just taking 5 minutes out to do this will get you moving and hopefully tune your ear to new music, whilst also challenging your brain to move to it. It’s great fun – I sometimes refer to this as ‘improv-roulette’. Put your playlist on random selection and see what happens. You may end up dancing longer than you think 🙂

Tree ways to move more at home

There are of course many more ways of dancing whilst at home but if it’s pure movement you’re after here are three techniques I often use:

  1. Practise a move whilst your kettle is boiling or you’re waiting for the toast to pop. I always do this whilst brushing my teeth – but warning – this can get messy!
  2. Shimmy whilst you watch – whether it’s your tv, your computer or phone. You can of course do any kind of movement, but do keep it simple so you don’t compromise the quality of your movement. Stretches are also great to do especially whilst watching the tv but never stretch cold, so may do a few runs up and down the stairs first…
  3. Exercise snacking – when you get up to make that cup of tea or get something from across the room then squeeze in a few exercises such as squats or star-jumps. If you don’t you may find a whole day has passed without you doing much, and this is a great way to get your blood circulating a bit more. If you have a child or a pet – then make any activity with them into some extra exercise. Whether you are one the floor or in the garden – seize the opportunity to get some extra physical activity in there and ideally some exercises that will challenge your core too. For example when my son wants to climb trees I always try to do some pull-ups too.

I hope you can take some of these ideas and suggestions away to make the most of the weeks that will come. Make the most of any extra me-time you may have if you’re not commuting or going to the pub/cinema/shops etc. With a bit of luck you may even develop a few new healthy habits that will last you a lifetime. We must always look for the silver-lining.

Do let me know by leaving a comment below how you are coping with the current situation and if you have any tips to share that you think may help others.

Happy dance development – no matter where you are…


Did you miss my last post? Read it here:

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