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Mirrors Reflect Practice Belly Dance Movements

Updated on April 2, 2019
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed favors the art of belly dance. Dancing to your favorite music is beneficial to your mental, physical, and spiritual being.

Dance Studio Mirrors

Dancer leaving studio after classes or a practice session.
Dancer leaving studio after classes or a practice session. | Source

Professional Dance Studio Setup

Dance studios offer flooring, spacing, lighting, mirrors, and audio to help students to feel, see, and capture their movements with musical sounds.

After leaving the classroom and returning home the student is anxious to practice and realizes the dilemma of rehearsing without mirrors or music.

Students of belly dancing eventually find it necessary to have a mirror. In the beginning we use mirrors which we can find in the bathroom, bedroom, or with luck in the living room. Along with the lack of mirrors is space to move our arms and do traveling floor patterns.

Reflection of a Pose

A student studying a side profile as reflected from a wall mirror.
A student studying a side profile as reflected from a wall mirror. | Source

Beginning Mirror Solutions

On the first day of classes students feel very uncomfortable facing dance studio mirrors. Initially they see body flaws which make them feel uncomfortable. However, the mirrors take on new significance when students realize the significance of the dance movement visual feedback which is essential to their progress.

It will be a few weeks before a person knows if they will become a serious student of belly dancing or not. One of the teaching aids which students miss the most after they arrive at home is the mirror.

  1. Small mirrors on the walls do help with facial expressions.
  2. Medium-sized mirrors help with smaller shoulder and chest movements.
  3. Portable full-length mirrors help with seeing the entire body but little help for arm movements.

One mirror which I found most helpful was the removal of a dresser mirror leaned at an angle against a stable wall. This mirror allowed complete head to toe and arm widths to be seen. Traveling movements were difficult to see.

Next attempt is looking throughout the house or the garage for a space which can be used permanently. Many of the beginning mirror attempts will keep you moving furniture in order to have room to practice.

Your living quarters may have you moving furniture against a wall to open up floor space, permitting you to rehearse. Some students will purchase 12 x 12 square mirrors which can be mounted on the wall. These mirrors provide the reflection you need and will also add to the room décor when not in use.

Are you serious about your dance? You may consider adding a small dance studio to your house or converting a bedroom, attic, closet, office space, or basement into a studio space. Another popular solution is to convert a section of the garage as your private dancing arena.

Other Mirror Suggestions

Do you live in an apartment or condominium or a community which has mirrors in their spa, gym, community room, or exercise room? Perhaps a family member or a friend will allow you to use their space and mirrors.

If extra space is needed for veil work, consider practicing in the backyard, carport, or front lawn. Granted you will attract attention, but that’s okay. Maybe the onlookers can offer some suggestions. When I had to practice outdoors it never bothered me to know that I put a smile on a person’s face. It’s always nice to pass on some happiness.

Types of Mirrors

There are several mirror choices. For the home, mirror surfaces of glass, acrylics, and polyester (Mylar) are available. These types of mirror surfaces can be applied to the walls, installed in portable frames, or made mobile with rollers.

There is the choice of purchasing directly from mirror outlets that specialize in home gyms, fitness, or dance applications.

Other outlets include:

  • Studios which are going out of business.
  • Homes which are willing to give away large mirrors because owners do not know how to dispose them safely,
  • Businesses which are closing and will sell cheap. These sources advertise both online and off line.

The type of mirrors which are selected will depend on wall strength, frame types, and available space. Permanent installation, portable, and mirrors which fold and travel are available.

A rolling mirror is mounted on wheels which makes them easy to move around a room. They are less expensive when mounted on a wall as they are attached differently from traditional glass mirror. The rolling mirror may be adjusted to where you can see both front and back views of body positions.

These mirrors are available in both glass and non-glass (Mylar). Mylar is made from polyester film.

These may be mounted to a permanent wall or placed on wheels for mobility.

Mylar mirrors are unlike glass as they do not shatter. If safety is an issue you may wish to consider this product rather than traditional glass.

Mirror Leaning Against Wall Support

A student doing her best to practice with a propped mirror in her home.
A student doing her best to practice with a propped mirror in her home. | Source

Practice or Rehearsal Preparation

Some people relate practice to homework with a negative outlook. Belly dancing will require practice away from the classroom. A better word for practice would be rehearsal.

Rehearsals are critical for muscle memory to avoid errors during a live performance. It is to your benefit to look forward with enthusiasm and to enjoy rehearsing your dance steps.

9 Positive Environment Tips:

1. Designate uninterrupted time.

2. It becomes a good habit to schedule practice at the same time each day and for the same amount of time.

3. Have your music selection ready along with a list of moves which need to be practiced.

4. Allow time for freelance movements after practicing essentials.

5. Dance props and a glass of water should be nearby.

6. Quick and easy access to music

7. Wear leotards or practice costume depending on what is being rehearsed.

8. If possible, no phones and visitors; this is self-designated time.

9. Bright lights when practicing, dim lights when freelancing.

Sliding Closet Door Mirror

Sliding bedroom door mirror makes an excellent practice mirror.
Sliding bedroom door mirror makes an excellent practice mirror. | Source

Six Rehearsal Tips

Rehearsal Tips:

  1. A well lit room will keep your brain stimulated and energized to observe the accuracy or shortcomings of dance movements.
  2. Audio equipment needs to be quickly available to not get frustrated running distances to repeat certain phrases of music. It can be helpful to prepare a CD with looped or repeated music which you know will need to be rehearsed several times.
  3. Paper and pencil should be available to list problem areas, or concerns which need to be researched or questions which need to be asked during the next class session
  4. .Costume rehearsal is necessary to check for flaws to avoid embarrassing costume disasters during live performances
  5. Both personal and physical props need designated practice drills. All props are an extension of our head, hands, arms, and body and require 100% familiarity. During performance no prop should be mishandled, dropped, flying away from the stage area, or causing undue accidents for self or audience attendees.
  6. There is no cooling down session after rehearsal; it is wise and pleasant to dim the lights, play the music, and dance freestyle for pure enjoyment and relaxation. This is a pleasant reward for discipline, concentration, and muscle relaxation.

Coffee talk: Mirrors or No Mirrors?

Welcome to belly dancing.

Do you feel comfortable rehearsing in front of a mirror?

See results

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