Today, in an attempt to begin my resolution (actually made after I finished this video), I worked again with Rachel Brice’s Bellydance Arms & Posture.
I did it, in short, because of pain. Shoulder pain. Upper back pain. Stiff neck. I have a great DVD for yoga-based shoulder work by Jill Miller, and it really is great, but I wanted a bit of dance too. Just in case you’re wondering how bad my shoulders are: there is enough loud cracking in my upper back every time I roll my shoulders that I know whether I’m keeping time with the music or not. (I know: you really needed to know that.)
|The rope pulling exercise|
On the one hand, I was stiff, my shoulders were weak, and I still see no point in the knee-hurting level changes she covers that have nothing to do with the rest of the workout. On the other hand, I was much more inspired by Bellydance Arms & Posture this time around. Although Brice doesn’t have you do a lot on posture per se, working so much on the shoulders just has that effect. The practice periods for moves like sidewinder are long enough to actually *get* it. And there’s a cute little combination at the end that, done enough times, is something you can adapt to other kinds of dance.
I also really appreciated the soothing, yoga-based warmup and cool down. The video is a cohesive unit, and if it’s not as comprehensive a source for arm work as dancers might want, it’s easy to commit to fifty minutes and just do it. And the neck stretches — Brice didn’t forget the neck stretches! Bless her.
After it was over, and to my surprise, I found myself just dancing. For some reason, loosening up the shoulder area (and live dance teachers are always telling me to keep my shoulders down) was strangely liberating for the rest of my body. Wonderful!