Saturday, May 7, 2016

‘Practice Plan’ examples

These are a few tips for using your DVD collection most effectively, and examples of how you could plan your home/studio practice sessions using your DVDs and/or Online Classes over the course of a month (or several months), depending on how much time you have  each week :)

Get a printable (.pdf) version of this blog post here.

General Tips:
  • Think of what your ‘main focus’ will be for your practice month (or season) - then you can substitute those for the topics I use in the examples.
  • In this particular example I reckon with 3 practice sessions per week, of about 1-2 hours each. If you have more DVDs than I mention in the example, or less time, you can spread out the contents of each week over a couple of weeks instead, thus ‘stretching’ the Practice Plan a bit.
  • If you have more days where you can practice in a week than 3, but shorter time for sessions than 1-2 hours, you can tease apart the sessions from the example and split them up in shorter bouts.
  • Do make sure you do a warmup - practice - cooldown ‘sandwich’ each time your do a session - it will make your practice much more effective than trying to do as much ‘material ‘ as possible in one week/month.
  • You can mix the examples with other DVDs you own that cover similar topics (for instance other shimmy/arms DVDs, or certain props)

The Actual Practice Plan

Note: This practice structure is inspired by Monika Volkmar’s ‘Dance Stronger’ program, which I was lucky enough to be part of last year.
 It employs repeating blocks of material in a week while interleaving the contents 2 by 2, which maximises efficiency of practice.   

I highly recommend the DS program for anyone interested in learning to ‘move well’, getting to know their body a bit better, and becoming stronger in a safe way while practicing movement to boot! See for more info.

  • Week 1: Focus on 1 or 2 Topics/DVDs, with an emphasis on the first Topic/DVD
  • Week 2: Same Topics/DVDs as in week 1, with an emphasis on the second Topic/DVD
  • Week 3: Focus on 1 or 2 new Topics/DVDs, with an emphasis on the first Topic/DVD
  • Week 4: Same Topics/DVDs as in week 3, with an emphasis on the second Topic/DVD


Example 1: If you have all 4 ShimmySessionDVDs/Online Classes (4 videos, 1-1,25 hours each), and the full AllAbout Arms DVD/Online Class series (4 videos of 30-45 minutes in total) you could structure your ‘Practice Month’ like this, with each week having 3 separate 1,5-2 hour practice sessions:
  • Week 1: Arms1 +ShimmySession1; Arms2 + ShimmySession2; Arms1 + ShimmySession1
  • Week 2: Arms2 +ShimmySession2; Arms1 + ShimmySession1; Arms2 + ShimmySession2
  • Week 3: Arms3 +ShimmySession3; Arms4 + ShimmySession4; Arms3 + ShimmySession3
  • Week 4: Arms4 +ShimmySession4; Arms3 + ShimmySession3; Arms4 + ShimmySession4

(You can swap ShimmySession 4 with the 20-minute Shimmy Drill from the Shimmies with Khalida DVD optionally if you own it, and you can substitute any of the AllAboutArms classes with different Arms DVDs you own)

Example 2: If you have less time per session, would like to focus mostly on Arms yet still do some Shimmies, and/or if you’d like to sneak in a different DVD/Class/Prop here and there:
  • Week 1: Arms1 ; ShimmySession1; Arms2 (+ optional bonus DVD)
  • Week 2: Arms2; ShimmySession2; Arms1+2
  • Week 3: Arms3 ; ShimmySession3; Arms4 (+ optional bonus DVD)
  • Week 4: Arms4; ShimmySession4; Arms3+4
  • Week 1: Arms1 ; ShimmySession1; Arms1
  • Week 2: Arms2 (+ optional bonus DVD); ShimmySession2; Arms2
  • Week 3: Arms3; ShimmySession3; Arms3
  • Week 4: Arms4 (+ optional bonus DVD); ShimmySession4; Arms4

Example 3: If you have the Props DVDs/OnlineClasses, with contain 3 x 30 minutes of class (beginner - intermediate - advanced) for each prop, then focus on one prop per month (veil, fanveils, zills or isis wings) , and fill in the weeks of that month like so:
  • Week 1: Beginner prop class (30 min) - 1-3 times that week
  • Week 2: Intermediate prop class (30 min) - 1-3 times that week
  • Week 3: Advanced prop class (30 min) - 1-3 times that week
  • Week 4: All 3 prop classes (beginner - intermediate - advanced) - each class at least once that week

Example 4: If you have the BellydanceEssentials Online series (or some of the BDEssentialsOnline classes) you can use them as designed (one class per week) - either mixed in with your regular practice schedule/DVDs or on their own.
  • Week 1: BDE1 (without props part); optional other DVD/Online class; BDE1 complete
  • Week 2: BDE2 (without props part); optional other DVD/Online class; BDE2 complete
  • Week 3: BDE3 (without props part); optional other DVD/Online class; BDE3 complete
  • Week 4: BDE4 (without props part); optional other DVD/Online class; BDE4 complete
  • Etc.. (adding more weeks depending on which BDE videos of the 10-week series you own)

Variation notes:
  • If you have less time than 1,5 hour per session you can also just focus on one topic (eg Arms, Shimmies or Props) per month and then switch, using slightly shorter sessions each week than in example 1.
  • You can mix any of the topics (Arms with Props, Props with Shimmies, or Arms, Props and Shimmies together, BDEssentials, other DVDs you own), but it is most effective to pick and focus on max 1-2 topics per month.

Warmup-Cooldown tips:
  • If you have a foam roller at home you can use the warmup/cooldown bonus videos as a pre-warmup and post-cooldown respectively:
  • The ‘shimmies with Khalida’ DVD/download has 2 separate warmup and 2 cooldown sessions, a ‘moving’ and a ‘stretching’ one each, focusing mostly on the legs
  • The ‘Isis Wings with Khalida DVD’/Download focuses the warmups and cooldowns mostly on the upper body
  • Same goes for the ShimmySession series (mostly lower body focus) and All About Arms series (mostly upper body focus)
  • The ‘BDEssentialsOnline’ classes have a built-in short warmup and cooldown session per class video, and so do the Props videos.
  • Overtime you can mix and match the exercises that help you most to create your own warmup/cooldown routine(s)

Note: As you might have noticed, preparing your body for (and helping it recover from) practice and structuring practice sessions for optimal efficiency are topics that are very dear to me :) 

As I have mentioned before I will be recording a brand new DVD/Online Class mini series very soon (this summer) called ‘Dance Conditioning and Drills’, focusing on exercises that help increase effectiveness of your practice sessions, ways to structure your own movement preparations and warmups, and strategies for more mindfulness in movement, and then applying these to dance drills. 

I highly recommend this new DVD/Online class series if you are looking for ways to be more ‘present’ in your body in daily life as well. 

I will be posting more information on this in the blog at, in the KDanceOnline FB group and in my newsletter (signup form: soon.

That’s it, I think. If you have any questions, let me know :)

xx Khalida Bech

PS: I've added this blog post as a document to the KDanceOnline FB group for easier reference. Feel free to share!

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