Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm one of those people who always make ambitious New Years' resolutions, and never, ever keep them. I mean, I've been scheduled to lose fifteen pounds since maybe 1998, and it hasn't happened yet, has it? I keep going back, though -- whether it's something comforting about the routine, or just hope springing eternal, it just doesn't feel like a new year without a few well-intentioned promises to myself.

I imagine that I'm not alone in having experienced a little, um, fitness slippage over the holidays. My gym clothes are in the darkest back corner of the closet, I've been using my stack of Yoga Journals more to ogle Rodney Yee in bike shorts than to actually practice, and, well, my family and in-laws are big believers in the multiple-pie holiday. So my highest priority for dancing in the new year is to Get back in shape. Specifically, I'm setting new weight goals for the gym, and hoping to make good use of that "Fitness Pharoah" core training for bellydancers DVD I got for Christmas. I'm also resolving to make yoga a bigger part of my daily practice routine.

I live in a big city with a lively dance community, so it's easy to let opportunities pass by with a shrug and an "oh well, they'll be back next year." But hey, I don't know what will happen next year, so this year I'm resolving to Take workshops! I'm getting off to a good start with a five-day Rachel Brice master class in January (squee!), and I'm going to keep track of what's going on and make sure I take advantage of what's offered, insofar as I can actually afford it. The more great teachers you study with, the easier it is to develop your own style, right? And that's worth a lot more than the sparkly costumes I'd otherwise be spending on.

One long-term goal that I haven't met yet is to get a restaurant job. Parties, yes, nightclubs, yes, but I have yet to share in the quintessential American bellydancer experience, and honestly I can't wait to try it. I wouldn't mind getting more other jobs, too, of course, which is why I'm going to upgrade to a premium PartyPop membership. But to really make it as a pro, I know I still need to...

Strengthen my technique. Le sigh, this is the honest part. In the end, it comes down to non-stop drilling with hard-ass friends and teachers who will point out when I get sloppy. I know I need work on making my undulations more muscular and my isolations more precise. I'm not hoping to be Suhair Zaki (well, it would be nice...), but I would at least like to be able to hit those sharp beats like, say, Bozenka. And that will take lots of work. Hmmm. Maybe I should reward myself with sparkly costumes...


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