Not only do we have Cabaret Arabia coming up on 1st February, but Bella Shimmy have now announced a hafla in March and Halima Sagira is holding one in May, lots of opportunity for a good shimmy! We will put details of these events on our news page soon.

The other reason that we are excited is that we spent a good deal of our practice session this week working on a new dance and its coming along nicely. We are using a piece of music by Oojami and an unusual take on a traditional prop to create a dance that we think the summer festival crowd will enjoy.

Choreography is hard work – we want our dances to be dances, not carefully counted exercises (4 to the right, 4 to the left, now do something different….), we want to let the music suggest the moves and go with that flow. That way we enjoy dancing, ejoyment and great music bring energy to the dance and make it fun to watch, too. Sometimes we look for a theme or idea for the dance, sometimes we just find a piece of music that makes us want to move, but it all has to be translated into a choreography, what moves to do and when. And it has to fit together in a good way. Some parts will almost write themselves and then there will be the parts where you are just stuck for ideas. It helps to be able to bring the work-in-progress to the troupe and get input from other people. Sometimes you have to try out sections of a dance with a group, you can’t try out formations by yourself!

At the end of all this it is very satisfying when a dance is complete and ready to go, especially when the rest of the group like it. Then it’s time to move from Inspiration to perspiration and practise, practise, practise!

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