I know, I know… you felt like you were just hitting stride and now session is done.

There’s now a big, long, lonely break from classes and September seems so very, very far away.

The weather is gorgeous– I know you’ll soon be sipping a cold drink or digging in your garden (like me) and enjoying the summer sunshine.

Be a smart cookie and use the time to your benefit.

Fix your gear– check those finger cymbal elastics, hand wash your veil, repair your coin scarf, wash your dance bag, tape your cane, sort through your files.   Take some time to take care of The Stuff of dance — things you depend on but never seem to have time to do during session.

Read your information handouts or links–  go back and re-read items passed out in class or referred to.   Re-watch those choreo videos,  YouTube clips, or website links.   It’s a great time to fill in the blanks of your learning or refresh your understanding with new energy and new eyes.

Practice the basics–  never too much practice on the basic movements.   Work them slow, super slow, and quick.   Try adding some texture or one of the basic changes– speed, quantity, assymetry, elevation, presentation, texture (light and airy versus gooey and yummy)–keep playing with introducing a change of a single kind of movement.  This is the groundwork for good improvisational dance.

Watch a dvd–  Whether it’s a show you were in or at, an instructional video, or otherwise, it’s a great time to pursue a line of study that you have been meaning to do.   Evaluate your dancing and make some improvements.    Study how different dancers begin a baladi.   Pick up some new cane moves.   Try a choreo you’ve never done before or haven’t tried for a while.

Take a class while your travel–  Many dancers in other cities will be happy to give a private lesson or open their class to you if you are in town for a day or 2.    Even if the dancer isn’t a major name, you can still learn something and meet new dancers.

Rest and repair yourself– Bellydance can be just as hard on the body as any other kind of dance.   Take care of that ache in your hip, that sore foot, that twingy lower back.   Get that massage you have been meaning to get.   Go see a therapist for that sciatica.  Stretch, strengthen, ice, rub, roll, elevate, heat–do what you have to do to get your body rejuvenated for September.

Try another kind of dance– Summer is the typical rest for most dance teachers and schools.   But many offer trial classes, workshops, or host fun events during the summer.   Go try something new.   We can easily get in a rut and take for granted our dancing bodies.   A new genre or style can be a fun challenge to your body and brain.