Let me start by saying that I am not advocating to ditch the mirror. Even a smaller cheapo mirror can save you hours in corrections later but we don’t all have access to the fantasy home studio of our dreams and the reality is that sometimes a mirror is just not an option. One of the amazing things about belly dancers is that we make whatever we have work. Personally I have had to go long stretches without mirror access and even my current primary practice space does not have mirrors. Or even a mirror, though I would like it to. I thought I would share some tips and ideas that you can try if you find yourself in a similar situation:
There are quite a few ways you can improvise a mirror or make do for those times where you don’t have a full body mirror:
When you can’t use anything:
There are times when even the above ideas aren’t going to work or aren’t available. This is not always a bad thing. When you perform there is no mirror and if you only practice with a mirror you can become very dependent on it and be thrown for a loop when you perform.
The lack of a mirror has forced me to become more self-aware and conscious of what my body is doing by feel. When you do have a mirror start paying attention to how it feels to execute a movement correctly and try to recreate that feeling without the mirror. Check in with your body. This increased connectivity will strengthen your control and power in your movements and performance.
2. Feeling the Feely Feels – To me dance is expression and you have to open yourself up. This can be hard. Using mirror free time to just dance and feel the music away from your inner critic can allow you to start tapping into your authentic dance self, the expression and enjoyment of the movement and going beyond framed 4x4. It is also a good time to practice improve, being present in the moment or even just being silly. So don’t be afraid to feel the feely feels and don’t judge yourself too harshly. You can even close your eyes to help you relax, I still do.While it is super helpful to have a mirror it is not the end all be all of dance practice. Some practice is still better than no practice. Did you find this list helpful? Do you have your own mirrorless tricks? I would love to hear them so make sure to share them in the comments below. For more tips and tricks for practicing belly dance make sure to follow me on Facebook!
Tips, Tricks and Life of a Long Island Entertainer