Where do you practice?

Belly Love

New member
Ok, so I don't have much space at all to practice (or privacy) and I was wondering, where can I find a large space to practice with mirrors? The dance school is closed when classes are not in session, so that is out.

I was thinking of getting a 24hr gym membership and practicing in the aerobics rooms in the off hours... would that be weird? Does anyone else do this?

Or does anyone have any other ideas? I'm ready to practice new moves and I need more room!
 

Nailah_Siti

New member
I use my office to practice. I installed two mirrored closet doors on one wall and four cheap long mirrors on another so that I can see myself from the side without having to change positions. I think the 24 hr gym membership is a GREAT idea! plus you won't have any distractions!
 

Imeera

New member
I practice in my living room (I have no mirror there though) or when I am back home from Uni I practice in the spare room which has really big wall closet with two massive mirrors :D I think your idea of the 24hr gym membership is perfect! It may be a bit costly, from what I know of them here in the UK to rent the room may cost a bit. I don't know what its like where you are. Though I would deffinatly do it if I could!
 

Ariella

New member
I practice a lot at home, but I don't have a the space for big props and fancy floorwork so I sometimes sneak into a dance studio at a local university late at night. I know lots of other dancers who do the gym membership thing. Considering how much it costs to rent a studio, the gym membership is a steal. A lot of gyms will give you discounts for your first couple of months, so you can just rotate between gyms to get a discount on studio use.
 

LilithNoor

New member
It might be worth checking to see if anyone would open up for you at the dance school if you arrived before your class? The place where I learn they tend to set up the room a good hour before the teacher arrives, so they don't mind me nipping in when i need some veil practice.

I think the gym option could be workable. You might also want to look into local rehearsal studios, or community halls (maybe they have a small office or something you can use even if the main room is full of girl scouts)

Also the warm weather is on its way- then you have the whole of the outdoors to play with!
 

Belly Love

New member
Thanks for the input ladies :)

I think I'm gonna go ahead and try the gym. I've been wanting to join one for working out anyway. I used to go to one late at night and there was hardly anyone there and I remember watching guys play basketball in the aerobics room (I think the room was multifunctional & had hoops.)

I'll have to make sure wherever I get my membership that the aerobics room has lots of mirrors, does not get locked after a certain hour and has no hoops that I may have to compete for room with!
 

MissVega

New member
When I was at uni I would either dance in my room, rent a studio space in the athletics center or show up early before the classes I taught at dance studios.

now that I am back home, the kitchen, since it is the biggest space in the house when I push the chairs and the tables out of the way. It also means frequent interruptions from people, cats and barking dogs:rolleyes:

But it is better than nothing:) I film myself when I practice so I don't mind if i have a mirror or not.

The kitchen at it's finest:/
YouTube - Habibi Nour El Ain Bellydance improv
 

Belly Love

New member
Uhm, so you like horses? :D

I wish I had an open space at home. I could do it in the kitchen but I will either have dogs chasing me around or I will have people distracting me or people I will be distracting. The video recording is a good idea though... but I may not be far enough along to bother, I think I need to see what I'm doing... oh wait! I forgot that there are old mirrors in the empty basement :shok: it might be cold down there, but it might work!
 

MissVega

New member
Heehhe crazy horse/cat woman here. I live on a farm, we have 9 horses, 10 cats and 4 dogs and I think 3 birds?? The birds are my brothers lol.

The distractions used to drive me nuts but now I just deal with them. better than not dancing at all:) Who knows, maybe you could incorporate your dog into the dancing hehehe. My cat occasionally joins in:D

This is from May 2008. WOW lol time flies!!! My cat allie joins in at about 52 seconds into the video!
YouTube - Oh Carolina - Dancing with my Cat!

I vote you dance with your dog and film it and then share it with us:D
 

Belly Love

New member
Ahahahahahaaaaa! I love how he just lays there like he just does that all the time when you dance... so cute :)

I would love to live on a farm... I'm waiting until I get married (hopefully my future hubby will want to live on a farm too.)

My dog is very... dainty (although he's a boy) but his buddies at the house are crazy- there would be lots of jumping.

No vids of me until I get better! Besides, I would be so embarassed I wouldn't be able to stop laughing... I do want to post a video in the not too distant future though so I can get some critiquing, I just have to build up the nerve :redface: Hopefully one day I will be as good as you (I wish you could teach me) 'cause you know you're one of my favs :dance:
 

goddessyasaman

New member
When I started I would practice in my living room, but now I have Dance studio in my house, it was my Den but when I bought the house I made it into My dance studio I put mirrors on all the walls and put a new floor in(it was carpet) It has a persian look to it I like a lot of room when I practice so
I understand, what about your bedroom?
 

Belly Love

New member
A studio in your house - so nice! I wish...

I do practice in my bedroom, but I have a massive bed that takes up a lot of space. I can practice the movements that can be done while standing still, but I can't do anything else. I tend to learn better by jumping around (not literally ;) ) vs. drilling one thing to perfection then moving on to the next. For instance, I will learn a move and then I want to add another layer to practice it further, but that layer may require moving around and I have no room to do that.

Anyway... it might be the unheated basement for now... anyone ever practice in a winter coat?!
 

Imeera

New member
Heehhe crazy horse/cat woman here. I live on a farm, we have 9 horses, 10 cats and 4 dogs and I think 3 birds?? The birds are my brothers lol.

The distractions used to drive me nuts but now I just deal with them. better than not dancing at all:) Who knows, maybe you could incorporate your dog into the dancing hehehe. My cat occasionally joins in:D

This is from May 2008. WOW lol time flies!!! My cat allie joins in at about 52 seconds into the video!
YouTube - Oh Carolina - Dancing with my Cat!

I vote you dance with your dog and film it and then share it with us:D
Thats one lovely lazy cat :D
 

goddessyasaman

New member
A studio in your house - so nice! I wish...

I do practice in my bedroom, but I have a massive bed that takes up a lot of space. I can practice the movements that can be done while standing still, but I can't do anything else. I tend to learn better by jumping around (not literally ;) ) vs. drilling one thing to perfection then moving on to the next. For instance, I will learn a move and then I want to add another layer to practice it further, but that layer may require moving around and I have no room to do that.

Anyway... it might be the unheated basement for now... anyone ever practice in a winter coat?!

is it a finished basement, or unfinished? if it's some what cold, after practicing for sometime your body will warm up, but maybe you can look into ways to warm it up like drapes on the walls or a large carpet to put down were you dance even heaters :) I even praticed outside before, but I lived on 4.5 acres of land now it's only 2.5. I had turned my livingroom into a studio before, but my mom did'nt mind, I bought like 7 mirrors put them on a wall in the room and a few other things, but my house has always had a Japanese setting the low tables with the throw pillows and the like so always had room to work with, even my bedroom is like that so i danced in there at one point. Oh I have danced in my Libary as well, It's mine so I had mirrors put in there to, it sounds kind of funny that I have mirrors in all my rooms :lol:
 

Yame

New member
One of the great things about belly dance, and the reason I was able to stick with it, is that it doesn't require a lot to be able to practice it.

It's not like, for example, a musical instrument, which you need to carry around and bother your neighbors with the noise. It's also not a dance style that requires extending the legs and taking up huge amounts of space, and it doesn't require a partner.

So, I've always been able to practice in less than ideal conditions. Drilling isolations can be done almost anywhere: in a small room, in a cramped bathroom, even in your car. Practicing arms will require a bit more space but not much. It's when you get to props, traveling, spinning, etc, that more space is required, and some things require more space than others.

For those things, you should look into using your living room or kitchen when no one is around, look into finding a gym that would allow you to use the space, coming into class early or staying late (if there is nothing else before and after) to practice, and depending on where you live and on the weather maybe even practicing outdoors. But just remember that if you can only find these options once in a while, it's not the end of the world, because you can always work on the basics in a small space.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
I practice in the living room. f I push all the furniture to the sides I get about 4 square metres. My boyfriend and I have a tiny two room apartment around (about 45 squaremetres) but I still have room to prance around from the kitchen and out in the living room. If I adjust the size of my steps I can do pretty much anything. Even cane practice works as you really have to learn to control the cane very fast :lol:
The only time I've had much trouble was practicing Isis wings for a competition. I rented some community hall-practice space a few times.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
It's actually good for you to practice in a small area- when you perform you won't always have a stage or an empty room. ;)

I practice using my sliding glass door or the glass in the door of my china cabinet as a reflective surface. Works pretty good. When I belonged to a gym, I used the aerobics room a lot. Three mirrored walls- it was heaven.

Heehhe crazy horse/cat woman here. I live on a farm, we have 9 horses, 10 cats and 4 dogs and I think 3 birds?? The birds are my brothers lol.
Three horses, eight cats, four dogs to my credit. :D We had four horses, but the little mustang went to my son and family. The black gelding is also bound for his place, to be replaced by a huge white gelding.
 

LadyLoba

New member
I practice between a tiny space in my bedroom and the guest bathroom in the house. The guest bathroom is good for me because it's the only room in the house (other than someone's private bathroom) that locks. If I need to go in there and strip down to my undwear in front of the mirror so I can see my movements in detail, I know I won't be walked in on.

Getting used to a small space is good when learning anything that will be performed. Your idea for the aerobics room is a good one...they're usually mirrored, and you can mentally set your space size yourself, see yourself from different distances, etc.

I understand on videos..I'm shy on that too. Of course I've refused all the pervy/misinformed requests from people I barely knew who asked my hobbies and then said something along the lines of "Oh can I see and then will you strip too?" (Who wouldn't tell those types both "no" and "get lost") But I've also refused to film myself and show perfectly respectful friends or people who offered a critique because I'm just plain too shy.
 

BigJim

New member
I practice in the basement... I went to the hardware store on bought self adhesive mirrored tiles and used those on the wall instead of big mirrors... they are 1 foot square and I went 5 high and 8 wide... 40 tiles in all. The seams where they join take alittle while to get use to but eventually you forget they are there. Carpet on the floor... TV set and DVD player in the corner... great spot to spend an hour a day...
 

Daimona

Moderator
I practice in my living room or borrow the mirrored aerobic room at the gym (accessibility to the aerobic room was the main reason for me to choose this gym in the first place). My performance group usually practice in a kinder garden or in a classrom, and book some hours at a local dance studio or community hall when we need mirrors to do the final touch of the choreographies.
 
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