Are You Intimidated by the Full Routine?
Performing a full routine is an amazing experience.
A short show can be fun, but there’s just nothing like a full set.
A full routine gives you time.
Time to let go and relax.
Time to melt into the music.
Time to make a connection with the audience.
Time to just enjoy dancing.
But it’s a big job.
For one thing, that’s a long show. A 6-part routine typically lasts 20-30 minutes. (I hear 45 minutes was not unusual in the old days!) That’s a lot of time to fill.
And the format is very specific.
The full routine has been the standard for longer than many of us have been alive.
So an educated audience has very specific expectations.
That puts a lot of pressure on you
Under that pressure, you may draw a blank, and end up dancing the same way throughout the routine. This is fine for single song, but can’t support the whole routine.
Or you might over-dance it: throwing in every move you know and every prop in your arsenal, until the audience can’t recognize what you’re doing.
Either way, you lose the audience’s interest.
To keep the audience’s interest, you need to know what to expect in a routine, what’s appropriate, and how to keep it interesting. And you have to be able to use that knowledge in the moment.
That’s why I created my longest-running program…
Rock the Routine
Improvisation Strategy for Full-Routine Confidence
In this program, you’ll learn:
The Structure of the 6-Part Routine
If you want to perform a full routine, you must know how it’s organized. So you’ll learn exactly how the 6-part routine is structured, and what to expect in each section. If you’re dancing with a live band, that structure will help you predict what they’re going to play for you next. If you’re choosing your own music, you’ll know what kind of music to choose for each section, how to order it.
Traditional Aesthetics of Each Section
The 6-part routine is a traditional format, with traditional aesthetics and expectations. You’ll learn exactly what the audience is expecting in each section, so you can dance appropriately.
(Or so you can break from tradition by choice, not because you don’t know any better.)
“I will take time to feel the music and the moves much more now, savor my dance experiences.” - Kelly Buynitzky
Thank you so much for helping me really feel the music and the dance with the information and practice in Rock the Routine. I really think my dancing has improved because of the the focus on the dance and the music in this class.
Thank you so much!!! I will take time to feel the music and the moves much more now, savor my dance experiences.
Psychology of Each Section
As performers, our job is to take the audience on an emotional journey. You’ll learn how to use the unique psychology of each section to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
How to Improvise Each Section
And since you need to apply all that in the moment, you’ll learn several improvisation strategies for each section. This will keep you from drawing a blank, and make sure that your routine has enough variety to keep the audience interested.
How to Adapt the Full Routine For Shorter Sets
A full-length routine is an amazing experience, but a long show isn’t always an option. So we’ll also look into shorter variations of the full show that are suitable for parties, hafla sets, and other shorter shows.
In the process, you’ll discover:
- The routine roller coaster
- 18 must-know songs
- How to give the audience what they expect
- How to manipulate the audience (for their own enjoyment)
- 12 improvisation strategies
By the end of the course, you’ll know exactly what to expect in a full routine, what the audience expects of of you, and how to deliver it in the moment.
“It has given me a conceptual understanding of bellydance improvisation that eleven years of lessons never did.” - Pamela R, Brisbane, Australia
I had always thought of improvisation like a choreography that somehow came to a dancer fully formed in the moment. It seemed to be a gift that wasn’t given to me. That way of thinking completely changed while I was doing Rock the Routine: it has given me a conceptual understanding of bellydance improvisation that eleven years of lessons never did.
I began the course in a bit of a tizzy because the oddities of international copyright law prevent me from downloading music from Amazon. Finding alternative sources was a bit complicated because of different spellings and even different names for the same songs, but after a few days I had the music I needed.
To my surprise, the breakthrough I was seeking began on day three of Rock the Routine, when we were shown a simple but powerful structure to use for our finale. Not movements, just structure. Structure was one of the things missing from my understanding of improvisation.
I followed the course systematically and more or less on time until I got into the slow Chiftetelli. For years I have loved that music, but dancing to it it hadn’t come up in my classes. So I slowed down and spent time with it, and with the wonderful concepts Nadira was teaching. There was so much for me in that section. Nadira’s explanation of dimension made the invisible, visible to me. I had known there was something I didn’t “get”, yet now I can’t stop seeing it in all kinds of performances. Moreover, I can do it.
I know Nadira doesn’t mind that I spent extra time with my new-found love and didn’t finish the rest of Rock the Routine on time. She knows I will finish at my own pace.
This course has been the most powerful motivator I have ever had – because the results are so clear. Rock the Routine has provided me with a rich resource I can keep using, a framework for my ongoing practice. I intend to revisit it more than once.
The thing I liked most about Rock the Routine was the fact that the dancing could only come from me. There was no-one to follow, no set moves, only clear conceptual frameworks and of course music to respond to. This created a very powerful learning experience.
One unexpected bonus of the conceptual understanding I got from this course is that I have developed new ways of structuring my (digital) dance journal. My dance music library is now well structured too. Both of these are so much more useful to me now. Sharing the experiences of dancers from all over the world, some of whom are experienced performers and teachers, and some just like me, has also been wonderful.
But the thing that rocks the most is that I can now relax into improvisation, and that relaxation speaks volumes.
I unreservedly recommend Rock the Routine, because for me it was a transformative experience.
Pamela R, Brisbane, Australia
Student Tested, Nadira Approved
This program is based on a curriculum I created for my Level 2 students in Boston, who learned this over the course of a 15-week semester.
I was so impressed by the progress they made that I decided it was too good not to share. So I developed a version that would available to dancers anywhere in the world, and more affordable than a full semester of classes. (This cost my students $310.)
How it Works
Rock the Routine is a 7-week online course.
Each weekday, you’ll receive an email from me with that day’s assignment. Each day’s assignment should take 15-30 minutes to complete. The weekends are days off. You can use these to rest, review, or catch up if you fall behind.
But if that schedule doesn’t work for you, that’s no problem! You can take your rest days on any two days of the week you prefer. Just shift your assignments accordingly.
So each week will include:
Mondays: Learning (reading & listening)
Tuesdays: Improvisation strategies (dancing)
Wednesdays: Improvisation strategies (dancing)
Thursdays: Practice & integration (dancing)
Fridays: Reflection (writing)
Saturdays: Day off
Sundays: Day off
“The information is in bite size pieces rather than an information dump.” - Huraiva, Topeka
At first I hesitated to sign up for Rock the Routine because I didn’t think I would have the time to devote to the class. A half hour a day seemed like a lot of time when most of my days were already fairly packed. Finally I decided to go for it since about halfway through the class my own classes would end and I figured I’d be able to catch up at that point. I never did manage to catch up, but I have the information and can proceed at my own pace to finish out the course.
I really like the way the class is structured, starting at the end so you are more familiar with the parts to come as you are performing. I also like how the information is in bite size pieces rather than receiving an information dump you then have to sort through. I would recommend someone taking this course as a home study not read ahead, but do the assignments in order only proceeding to the next when the last one is done.
I would recommend Rock the Routine to anyone who is interested in learning about the traditional American Cabaret routine or to anyone who is interested in working on their solo improvisation skills. Even if you don’t think you will ever dance a whole routine, the different aspects discussed for the individual segments can be applied to an individual song that would fit into the routine.
Huraiva, Topeka, Kansas bellydancetopeka.com
To make sure that you get the most out of the program, I have some great bonuses for you.
We’ll have two group calls during the program, so you’ll have a chance to ask questions. If you can’t make it live, don’t worry: you can send in questions beforehand, and the calls will be recorded.
Private Facebook Group (premium package only)
You’ll also be invited to a private Facebook group for course members. This is a safe, confidential space where you can meet your fellow students, discuss your progress, ask for help, and post videos. If you’d like some extra support and accountability, you can also be paired with a practice partner. Participation in the group is entirely optional, but the community and support will help you learn.
The Full Routine Playbook (premium package only)
The main course is delivered in bite-size pieces, so you don’t get overwhelmed. But when the learning stage is over, you don’t want to have to wade through your email when you want to review. So I also want you to have The Full Routine Playbook, a 40-page guide to improvising the 6-part routine. You’ll receive this as a PDF download at the end of the course.
“She is thorough in her explanations without being “lecture-y” – more as though a friend is sharing her knowledge to encourage me as a dancer.” - Serena Dawn, Southern Maine
But the opportunity to take this workshop kept presenting itself. A local dance teacher mentioned Nadira in one of her weekly lessons, and I stumbled across the workshop information on Nadira’s website. Then the workshop was mentioned in a teacher’s newsletter. Chatter erupted in my local belly dance community about the program, and I decided that I just couldn’t pass it up.
It didn’t take long to understand why this program created so much hype. Nadira’s Rock the Routine was a fantastic investment in the future of my dance. In my short time in the program, I was presented with information about so many different facets of the traditional routine: its history, its structure, which movements were more suited to which parts of the performance, and a wealth of exercises meant to strengthen my understanding of the routine as a whole and as an accumulation of individual parts.
In addition, the resources page provided additional reading materials to supplement learning as well as a “set list” of songs that should be on every dancer’s iPod. This extra information made the difference between the class being just another massive undertaking or a worthwhile adventure into the unknown. I could immerse myself in new music, read about many different perspectives regarding the routine and really commit to the program without feeling totally overwhelmed by assignments that had to be taken care of.
Nadira’s teaching style is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in an online course. She is thorough in her explanations without being “lecture-y” – more as though a friend is sharing her knowledge to encourage me as a dancer. She injects humor into the daunting task of understanding the “traditional” routine, and breaks out the information into easy-to-manage chunks that can be tackled on a day-to-day basis. For instance, while covering the final section of the routine, one day of study was spent entirely on setting up for and executing the final flourish. This level of breakdown helped me take what I already knew of belly dance movements and turn them into a guideline for executing a solid routine. In that way, studying with Nadira was more of a guided discovery of my abilities instead of a bludgeoning about the head with a huge, overwhelming routine.
The structure of the course – studying from finale to introduction, in that order – was remarkably helpful to me. I have a tendency to have two separate moments of panic during a performance: Once about 45 seconds in, once the initial wave of nerves has worn off, and once about 45 seconds before the final flourish, when I’m just about to feel relieved that I’ve finished a successful piece. Beginning the program from the last piece of the routine helped me know that each successive segment would be more ingrained in my mind – For instance, I would have spent twice as much time studying section four as I did studying section two. This firmed up my understanding and my trust in myself to complete each section to the best of my ability and without worry for what would be coming next.
As I worked through the course, I most enjoyed the daily listening assignments. I was able to take Nadira’s suggestions for music and play them throughout my work day, developing my own personal inflections of the music before allowing myself freedom of movement. Then, once I got home and ready to dance, I could put on the same piece and confidently work through the movements without worrying about surprises. I could read the extra materials during my lunch break. I could do some of the simple stretches to get myself up and moving during the day. Unlike a typical dance class, I was able to set up a routine for myself that made dance an integral part of my day instead of an extra activity in the evening.
Although the first day was nerve wracking for me (What should I expect? Will we jump right in? What will her teaching style be? Will we connect?), I found that I really enjoyed the online format of this course. With each passing day I found myself more eagerly anticipating the next and the information it would bring. Even if I wasn’t able to get to the physical practice, I felt as though I was learning valuable information. The layout of the course also helped maintain a feeling of accomplishment – Even though I fell behind quite quickly (remember that vacation I mentioned?), I was still able to be a part of the class and jump back into the program immediately upon my return. The structure of the program is perfect for busy dancers who don’t make a living doing the dance that they love.
If I am to ever take this course again (which I might!), I think I would keep a daily journal to log my progress, my questions and my feelings about what was happening throughout the course. I think it would have been a useful resource for me to look back and address trouble areas, as well as celebrate progress as it happens. In addition, I highly recommend joining the “Premium” level solely for access to the Facebook group. Making that personal connection with other students in the course was a fantastic way to feel connected even when I wasn’t able to be actively working through the program. We were growing together as a group, and it was a wonderfully empowering feeling to “stand” side by side with professionals and beginners alike and know that we were on a journey together.
As a result of taking Nadira’s Rock the Routine course, I find myself standing a little taller as a dancer. I know that I am able to take what I have learned – from the sequence of movements to the strengthening exercises to the new music – and incorporate it into more than just routines I will dance in the future. I have new-found confidence that, if I can successfully make it through a traditional 6-part routine, I can do almost anything as a dancer. Bring on the challenges! I can take them.
Recommended highly for any level of dancer. Don’t psych yourself out – No one is too inexperienced to gain knowledge and empowerment from Nadira.
Serena Dawn, Southern Maine
When does it start?
The 2016 program will begin on Monday, July 11th, and end on Sunday, August 28th.
What’s the time commitment?
In Rock the Routine, you’ll be learning in small, manageable chunks. The assignments should take 15-30 minutes a day. (Allow a few extra minutes to warm up on dancing days.)
If you already have a daily practice routine, this should be a manageable addition. If not, a small time commitment like this is a great way to develop a practice habit.
When are the Q&A calls?
The calls will take place around three weeks and six weeks into the program. Those will be scheduled after the course begins, so I can take everyone’s time zones into account.
But if you can’t make it to the live calls, don’t worry! The calls will be recorded, and you can send in your questions ahead of time.
“One of the biggest benefits… is to keep the lesson’s elements small and give multiple scenarios in which to use them… explaining it one step at a time.” - Terayz, San Francisco Bay Area
First off, I’d like to Thank You for your generosity! I know your offering took a lot of work and planning, and I greatly appreciated that.
I thought it was a wonderful program!! Initially, I participated because, I’d hope you’d remind me what I have forgotten!! I’m a long time dancer 30+yrs..yowza and in the middle of formalizing my own pedagogy, finalizing my what will probably be my last curriculum and doing a lot of writing etc.
I think this is an awesome tool for beginners through advanced. For the beginning dancer, it is a look into dance history in the US, and how some of the 1-3rd (OK maybe 4th or 5th now)!!! generation dancers (American) have entertained the public. Whether it was for an American audience or an audience of certain ethnicity (in this case Turkish). While the beginner may never go beyond that stage, and that’s OK!, the individual elements of each section provide wonderful lessons for exploration on her own. I remember as a beginner dancer, these would have been so beneficial!
This would be a great tool for the intermediate dancer, who is looking to create a show, create her personality on stage with aspirations of a professional career.
As an instructor and advanced dancer (lifelong student)!!!! I felt this was a great tool for me personally in so many ways as a student and a teacher. As an instructor it was great to see many of my own processes of creativity put in another persons verbiage. (Sometimes it takes multiple repetitions of theme and concepts for a dancer to get it). Just like multiple repetitions etc.
It was also a joy to revisit my roots in dance, because of your musical choices. My dance career started off in this style (like many others) but only to taped music. Then in later years to live Arabic music, with totally different stylings!! So it was inspiring to indulge myself exploring the music of my past.
One of the biggest benefits and lessons for me (not sure if this was intended on your part or not), is to keep the lesson’s elements small and give multiple scenarios in which to use them….explaining it one step at a time. By explaining the concept literally along with the example, it will allow those who can’t decipher the concepts of movement while they are doing them, or take the time to process their dance outside of class (whatever the reason) easily grasp the intent of the lesson. By giving the examples and time to explore…forcing them (us, the dancer) to apply this to our/their own dance.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, Thank you for your generosity in offering it, and I would most definitely endorse this program!
Nadira, feel free to use this in its entirety, or in part or not at all! Just wanted to share.
Yours In Dance,
Terayz, San Francisco Bay Area, www.RaksTerayz.com
Do I need any special equipment?
Nope! All you need is an email account to receive the lessons, and a telephone to participate in the Q&A calls. The lessons are in writing, not on video, so you do not need to be able to play video in your dance space.
Do I have to do the homework every day?
You’re the boss of your own practice. If daily assignments don’t fit your schedule, you’re very welcome to save them up for days when you have more time. I’d suggest that you dance at least twice a week, though, so you don’t get overwhelmed. (Plus, it helps to give the ideas some time to percolate.)
I’m going on vacation during the class – will I fall behind?
Don’t worry about it! It’s 100% okay to take a break for vacations (or any other reason), then just pick up where you left off.
What levels is this appropriate for?
This program is suitable for low intermediate through professional-level dancers.
What styles is this appropriate for?
This course will be focusing on the 6-part routine, as used in American Cabaret and Turkish Oryantal. The improvisation strategies can be applied to Egyptian and Tribal styles, but those styles have different routine structures and audience expectations. Dancers in those styles are very welcome to take the course, but will need to adapt the material.
“I prefer tribal fusion style, so I was a bit hesitant about signing up to a course with traditional bellydance music. But since the elements of what makes a story interesting is the same... it worked out.” - Lone Wolf Kierkegaard
I really love that there is so many thought behind the program and it gives you tools to draw from, so you don’t (hopefully) end up doing the same thing in different tempo during the entire routine.
That it teaches from “behind” so you start with the end of the show and end up with the beginning, is a approach that I hope more teachers will take up. Also during teaching choreographies.
Because of my job I ended up during several days program on one day, but that worked fine anyway. That is great, so you don’t end up being stressed, instead of looking forward to the next email.
The suggestion of video of the dance was also good. I was a bit afraid to watch at first, but it was really valuable, also with stuff I was not aware of. Like that my right arm don’t move as fluid as the left (need to practice that). It also made it clear how obvious it is when you just go with the flow and when you are thinking too much about what to do next. The fluidity and seamless transition from one move to the next is lost.
Be prepared that there is a lot of work in the program. Not just dancing, but also thinking/analyzing =)
I took Rock the Routine in a previous year. Will I get any benefit out of doing it again?
Definitely! The material is the same, but you’ll be approaching it from a different perspective. With a year’s experience under your belt, you’ll get a deeper understanding of the material, and discover aspects you may have missed the first time.
I’ve never improvised before. Can I still take the course?
You don’t need to be good at improvisation to take this course, but you’ll get the most out of it if you have some previous experience. Any improv experience will do: in performance, in class, or practicing at home.
So if you have never attempted improv before, you can get started with my DVD, Improvisation Toolkit vol. 1: Movement Recall. If you complete the first half of the video (noodling and safety moves exercises), you’ll be in good shape to begin Rock the Routine. If you have time for extra practice, you can also work with the DVD alongside this course.
Alternatively, you can use this course to inform your choreography. We’re focusing on improv, but everything you learn here can also be applied to choreographing a full routine. So you absolutely can use this course to learn about the structure and content of the full routine, and work on improvising later.
What’s the difference between Rock the Routine and the Improvisation Toolkit DVD Series?
Both programs teach improvisation, but they approach the topic from very different angles.
The Improvisation Toolkit DVDs focus on specific skills, like accessing your movement vocabulary and structuring your dance in the moment. This is valuable because the skills apply to virtually every improvised performance, regardless of the style or music.
Rock the Routine focuses on context: helping you understand what’s expected in each section of a routine, and teaching you strategies for delivering that while you improvise. This is valuable because you’ll always know what’s appropriate, so you can stop worrying and just create.
“I did a small improv performance about halfway through, and I would not have had the courage to do so.” - Atisheh, Berlin, Germany
When I signed up, it seemed like a good way to make myself do some regular dancing. I’m in a very busy and exhausted moment in my life, but I also really want to get back to dancing, so I figured Rock the Routine would be a way of motivating myself. I had two things keeping me back: the first is that I’m very much an amateur dancer, and the second is that I knew finding time for it would be hard.
In the end, this was true. I did the exercises with enthusiasm at first, but the every day pace was just too much for me. It was too easy to fall behind by several days, and then I had really lost momentum. I plan to restart Rock the Routine, but to do it more slowly, once or twice a week.
Part of what slowed things down for me was also a good thing. As I was doing it, I realized how many other things I need to work on. I love working with DVDs, so elements in Rock the Routine brought up all other kinds of DVDs I might work with, whether a drum solo or veil DVD, or Nadira’s own improv programs. In that sense, Rock the Routine is a really nice little curriculum on its own. The next time around, I plan to do RtR more slowly, but using it as a structure to do other videos too.
That said, Rock the Routine *did* get me dancing. I did a small improv performance about halfway through, and I would not have had the courage to do so if I hadn’t been working at least a bit with Rock the Routine. This was a big deal for me. A big deal.
My favourite feature of Rock the Routine is that it comes in little tidbits. These are easy to learn and to remember. It might take multiple go-throughs of the program to learn most of them, but some of them have really stuck with me. One example is the rule of fours for drum solos. I’ve noticed that when a drum solo comes on my iPod now, I start counting out the fours, and the next thing my brain does is imagine how to dance to them. And if the fours aren’t there, I notice that too. But I’m already listening to the music in a different way, and that’s just from one little section of the program.
I also really like that it’s a thought-out curriculum. DVDs tend to have a lot of info on them, but it’s hard to know how much to take on, or how to structure one’s learning. Nadira Jamal does it for you in Rock the Routine. And I loved the Facebook group. I’m not sure how intentional of a component this was, but Nadira created a really neat, safe space for the discussion of dance, and that has also motivated me.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s a treasure trove of strategies for dealing with improv, or even for structuring a choreographed dance. But this is not a judgement yet on the full program, as I have to work with it all much more intensively to form an opinion. I do think it’s worth coming up with an individual time plan that works for you, and that can be followed realistically, even if that’s just once a week with lots of thinking and listening to music in between. I did Rock the Routine at a time in my life when I *didn’t* really have the time for it, but I’m looking forward to the PDF and to doing it all again.
Atisheh, Berlin, Germany, http://atisheh.blogspot.com/
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|7-week Email Course||
|Two Q&A Calls
|The Full Routine Playbook
|Private Facebook Group
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Still Not Sure?
Things come up. Life gets busy, emergencies appear, and priorities change. And I know from experience that your world tends to explode just when you’re doing something fun and exciting.
And that really sucks.
So while I hope that when August 28th comes, you’ll be ready to celebrate your progress with me, I know that some of you will need to drop out.
So I’m offering the “GAH! My World Is Exploding!” guarantee.
If you decide to drop out of the program for any reason – even if you love it but just can’t handle it right now – you can drop out by the 10th day (July 21st) and receive a full refund. Any lessons you’ve received up to that date will be yours to keep.
And when I say “for any reason”, I mean it.
If you decide the program sucks, or you can’t stand me personally, you can request a refund for that too.
(But I hope you will love the program and think I’m awesome.)
Of course, you don’t have to drop out.
The course was designed to be doable on your own, so there’s no need to keep up with the group. You’re welcome to stay enrolled in the class, and just save the lessons for when you have time to use them.
But if you’d rather just have your money back, I am 100% okay with that.
I hope to “see” you on the course!
p.s. If you still have any questions, or if you have trouble registering, don’t be shy – drop me a line!
p.p.s. But if you’re not sure, feel free to sign up anyway. There are absolutely no strings attached to the guarantee (besides the deadline), so you can always try it out, and request a refund if it’s not for you.