Join Iana and a community of dancers from around the world in this 7-day journey to reconnect with our dance body, mind and soul.
It has been a difficult year for the dance community and the world. Many of us lost our spark to dance, and we have been searching for some inspiration to move and shimmy again. But any change begins from within, in our heart and in our mind.
This Spring we decided to redesign the Iana Dance Club with new features and reimagine belly dance training online and celebrate our love for dance with you.
Every day for a week we'll share free fun dance drills, ideas, and assignments designed to inspire and boost your belly dance training. This fresh start is open to everyone and you will find daily suggestions bellow. It's time to begin again. To fall in love again.
Let's give ourselves the gift of a fresh start.
Day 1: Look Within
We are here. We live in this moment. We start now. It’s ok that your shimmy isn’t big enough. You’ll work and make it better. It’s ok that you still lose balance on turns. You’ll work and make them better. It’s ok that you are still not an international touring teacher. You’ll work and make it happen. Remember, we all begin in our starting points. And that’s ok. Forgive your imperfections.
Close your eyes, smile to your heart. Say to your inner artist that you love, support and cherish her. Forgive past mistakes, failures or shortcomings. Allow yourself the freedom of a fresh start to enter your mind and body, and ask yourself: ‘’What does success in dance mean to me?’’ Not to your teacher, friend or parent. But to YOU. So often we get discouraged simply because we follow someone’s else path, not ours. Or we get stuck to our old dreams that may not inspire us anymore. But we are stubborn and keep chasing them just because we once decided that that’s what we wanted.
Allow yourself a fresh start. Where would you like to forward your dance journey from now on? What appeals to you the most right now? You don’t need to have answers to all questions, or know exactly how you are gonna do it. Just close your eyes, and ask yourself this question: What would I like to do?
To support this first step, I’d like to share an extra tool to help you connect with your body, and find groundedness in your thoughts and feet. Here is a free 20-min dance meditation. Follow it, and afterwards take some time to put your thoughts on paper. And I hope you’ll share them with us!
Looking forward to reading your Instagram posts about YOUR dance dreams and aspirations. Mention 'Day 1 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub' and tag @iana_dance to be featured on my stories. Let's give ourselves the gift of a fresh start.
Day 2: PLAY AROUND
What’s your relationship with inspiration? Are you trying to squeeze it out of yourself every time you decide to practice? Do you expect it to come at a specific time, and tell you a specific idea?.. Or do you allow it to flow easily and freely, and hit you whenever it hits?
Since inspiration is flow, then let’s create time and space for this flow to occur.
Think when you can simply plug your headsets with a playlist during your day. Maybe while you are cooking? Or cleaning, doing dishes, working on costumes? Not for expectations of performing. Not for expectations of choreographing in your mind. But simply for the sake of listening to the music.
Let your mind and body relax, and I bet at some point you’ll catch yourself swinging your hips. That’s the moment we want: simple, pure, free-flow joy of the music. No worries about perfect technique, or variety of movements. Just a reminder that you do enjoy dancing around. Isn’t that cool?
Put on a belly dance playlist next time you do a daily mundane task. And if inspiration hits you, share it with us. Record a video and tag me @iana_dance. Don’t forget to mention ‘Day 2 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub‘. Looking forward to seeing/hearing about your moments of dance/music magic.
Day 3: FEEL LIKE A QUEEN
It’s very difficult to feel inspired if you don’t like what you see in the mirror. Especially when we practice at home: our tendency is to put on whatever is comfy and available closeby. Very often we may not even like those clothes, but who cares: nobody sees us. At least that’s what we think.
Yes, nobody sees us, except ourselves! And you are your most frequent audience member, so why not to take care of her!
It’s time to review your closet! Get rid of any training outfit that is damaged, looks old, or simply doesn’t inspire you. The same applies to any clothes that don’t fit you anymore. I know many of us got some extra kilos during the last year… Ok, maybe you don’t want to throw away your favourite leggings, hoping to fit back in them in the future. But remember, wearing something uncomfortable will only distract, annoy and take inspiration away.
Review your closet and select training outfits that make you feel like a queen right now. Use only those sets for your practice, and maybe order a couple new ones.
And of course, don’t forget to share with us your favourite training outfit. Snap a selfie, or maybe even a dance video and tag @iana_dance to be featured on my Instagram stories. Don’t forget to mention ‘Day 3 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub ‘.
Looking forward to seeing your beautiful smiles, my dear dance queens!
Day 4: REFLECT BACK
So often we get caught in chasing our next goals, criticizing ourselves for imperfect shimmies or stiff arms… But we forget how much we have already achieved!!!
Find your very first dance videos or photos, and acknowledge three things that you are proud of achieving. You’ve come a long way. Let’s celebrate it!
And of course, don’t forget to share memories of you baby dancer with us. Tag @iana_dance to be featured on Iana's Instagram stories, and mention ‘Day 4 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub ‘.
Looking forward to seeing your first dance steps.
Day 5: CREATE YOUR RITUAL
We all have busy lives, and often get overwhelmed with our daily to-do tasks. It may seam almost impossible to fit dance into our schedule. At least that’s what we think…
Or another excuse: no space to practice at home. Yes, indeed not all of us have the luxury to dedicate a separate room for our home studio. But I’m here to prove that you don’t need it. Any corner can be transformed into your sacred dance temple.
You can fit training into your daily routine even if you have only 5 minutes and 1 square meter to practice on (and everyone does have these). Start small, but keep it consistent by transforming it into a dance ritual.
For instance, how about dedicating a few minute in the morning, right after you brush your teeth, to work on your shimmies? You don’t even need to leave the washroom to do it! What a beautiful way to wake your body up while improving your dance technique.
You can choose any other technique element instead of shimmies that you need to work on. You know your weak spots better than anyone else, but as an example of a short but effective daily practice, I offer you a 4-min hips shimmy routine that was part of our previous intensive at the Iana Dance Club, and proved to make a change in dance technique.
Don’t forget to share/show which dance ritual you’ve decided to start for yourself. Tag @iana_dance to be featured on my stories, and mention ‘Day 4 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub’.
Day 6: GET OUT OF YOUR WAY
There are two voices in your head all the time: of your higher, and of your lower selves. One voice tells you to dare, to move forward, to dream, and to reach your goals. Another voice tells you that you can’t, that this is silly, that you shouldn’t even bother...
Never forget that those are just voices, but it’s YOUR choice which one to listen to. Today let’s choose to listen to a voice that tells us to dare:
dare to dance to that song
dare to start a new choreo
dare to record a video for Instagram
dare to book a photo shoot
dare to start a new dance project…
whatever your dare is.
Yes, fears, worries, insecurities will come back, but there is no way to overcome them without allowing yourself to dare.
Do you have a song that you were postponing dancing to because you felt that your dance skills are not enough to portray all nuances of the melody? Today dare to dance to it. Don’t let your inner fears talk you out of it. Or maybe sit down, and put a draft of your future dance project. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s just a draft. But get out of your way, and finally do the first step.
And of course, don’t forget to share your fears and ‘dares’ with us. Tag @iana_dance to be featured on my stories, and mention ‘Day 6 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub ’ .
Day 7: INVEST TIME IN YOUR DANCE
Imagine if you had the habit of consistent dance practice, if practicing on your own wasn’t a struggle anymore, if those excuses of no time, limited space, tiredness, would magically disappeared. How would you feel? How would it influence your dance level?
Ok, you can’t afford 2-3 hours of daily practice. That’s ok. Start with 20 minutes, for instance… Hm, but is 20 minutes really enough? Isn’t it too short? What’s the point of doing it at all if it doesn’t lead anywhere?
Let’s see. 20 minutes, let’s say, three times per week is already a full hour. If you need to work on your shimmies, would you really prefer to work 1 hour nonstop? That would actually be challenging even for experienced dancers.
In contrast, 20 minutes feels very achievable, not that scary, and more importantly, way more useful!!! Yes, yes, you’ve read it right! What matters most in dance practice is consistency, NOT duration.
Now, if you keep your 20-min practice consistent, it’s at least 4 hours of practice per month (20 x 3 times per week x 4 weeks in a month), which will add up to at least 48 hours in a year dedicated to dance improvement. Bingo!
Now imagine you take the same 20 minutes and incorporate them into your daily practice! It doesn’t feel overwhelming for your daily schedule, but you can calculate yourself how many hours of practice you’ll get in a year.
And to prove even further that in 20 minutes you can do a very productive practice, I share a dance tutorial focused of isolation skills: it already includes a basic warm up, drilling of a bunch of fancy movements, a small combo, and improvisation moments. And everything is accompanied by live drumming from Pedro Bonatto.
And after you do the drill, don’t forget to record your own dancing incorporating what you’ve learned in the tutorial. Tag @iana_dance on your videos to be featured on my stories, and mention ‘Day 7 of the Fresh Start with #ianadanceclub ’ .
It's time for a fresh start! :)