You join to a bellydance class more than excited. You’ve been watching some belly dance youtube tutorials and you loved them. Some time ago you fell in love with Shakira movements. You even started with your first steps in bellydance.
But now that you are getting into the dance vibe, it’s time to face the reality: you are becoming aware that learning how to dance is not as easy as it seems. And the million dollar question comes to your mind.
How long is going to take me to learn how to dance?
In this post I have the crazy aim to answer this very good question. I promise I will answer it in a bit but, firstly I’d need you to consider a few things:
- What does learning means for you?
- What is exactly what you want to learn? Because the answer “I’d like to learn some hip movements” than the answer: “I want to learn how to dance”
- What is the level you would like to reach? From knowing nothing to dedicate your life to dance, there are many steps you can take, and stay in the one your prefer.
- Are you ready to work as hard as it’s needed to get your goals?
If your thoughts are racing trying to answer this questions your are making me very happy. I like people who question everything.
Keep on reading, I have more fuel to this fire.
Dance learning is an active process
“Did you say active? I just go to class as if I had a deaf ear…”
Well, good luck in your journey, my friend. Because that’s not the best way.
Learning anything requires firstly your willing and secondly your enjoyment. If your don’t enjoy what you are doing you won’t keep on practising, and if one don’t practise one doesn’t learn. Easier said than done, right?
This is the reason why one of my favourite rules is: You can only learn how to dance by dancing.
Learning processes are not an upwards straight line. It’s not like you know each day a little bit more that the previous day and it all adds constantly. This might happen in theory, I agree, but in real life there are days in which you can’t do anything right event if you had a figure eight Masters degree.
And then there are other days when you fly like Jasmine in the flying carpet.
Learning how to dance is like learning how to write. I love this analogy. Dancing is a new language for many.
Dance is a language
Let me give you a short explanation about what I mean with this:
- You learn the abc: basic postures, steps, movements.
- You start creating syllables (coordination between different parts of your body)
- You build your first words and easy sentences (your firsts linked steps).
- You write a complete paragraph (a series of linked steps).
- You write one chapter: a choreography with it own sense.
- You write a book (some people won’t write a book in their whole life and it’s ok!).
And we could add something else: a lot of people knows how to write, but we all have a different writing style and our handwriting looks different.
We could go much deeper -like forever- on this similarity between dance and language, but I reckon you get the idea by now.
So let’s get to the next question…
Can I learn bellydance in one year?
Here I come with the absolute truth. I’m going to take the risk and give you an answer.
Learning bellydance will take you only:
- 2 hours: if you want to learn a couple of steps and movements and show off in the disco. If this is the case you are under the risk of getting hooked willing to learn a little bit more later.
- 1 month: if you’d like to learn a mini choreography.
- 1 year: to start understanding what the hell are you doing with your body if you see it as a whole.
- 3 years: to be amazed with the hidden capacities of your body.
- A whole life: if you are like me and dancing becomes part of your life. You need your daily dose of dance to be healthy.
I know I know, I’ve been defining the whole thing very vaguely and we all have different timings! But again, you get the idea.
So how come some people learn faster than others?
There are some things you need to bear in mind to answer this question. How long will it take for you?
The time learning how to bellydance you’ll take depends on:
- Your previous talents and capacities: It’s not the same a person with a natural math-like thinking than a gorgeous spatial perception. Of course you can always train yourself and develop capacities, but all the little things that you are good at are always a big help. If that natural talent happens to be movement in your case, then you’ll learn a bit faster than others.
- The time and frequency you dedicate to practise.
- Your will. Learning is an active process, and in order to learn you need to put your boy and soul on it.
- Your teacher. There is people that you get on easier that with other, people you like more and people you connect more. That’s a fact. Not to mention the knowledge and communication skills of your teacher.
We are lucky that bellydance is an easy dance form and not that demanding with your body in comparison with other dance forms, like ballet. You don’t need to raise a leg completely vertical at the same time you are on pointe with your other foot to be a good bellydancer.
Of course every dance form can be adapted to everybody. After all everything that matters is what you have to tell to the world. What’s your message to put out there?.
Or even better, what do you feel when you dance?
To sum up, and as you probably have gathered if you have read all the way here –thank you!, we can call dance to a wide range of things, and depending on what we understand by dance it will take longer or shorter to learn.
Is it possible to learn to bellydance at home?
Starting your dancing journey from home is absolutely possible. And as usual, it all depends on your goals.
If you are interested in learning how to bellydance and have just started, you’ll love my program Bellydance With the Moon: 29 Days to Start Bellydancing. Click here to have a look at all that it’s included in the program.
And now is your turn, how long did it take you to learn bellydance? Are you still on the process? How long do you think it will take you? I want to know and I’m waiting for your reply in the comments below!
A dancing hug,