No Tricks…Just Quality
“The quality of movement is so much more important to me than a huge bag of tricks”, Marisa states.
All too often she’s seen people progress too quickly, which leads to sloppy dancing – mainly due to an unconditioned body or more likely lack of patience for the process of practice itself. This is why she chose to become SharQui certified. She says, “The format teaches students how to drill. Drilling forges new pathways in the brain.”
Her students are surprised over the sweat they get. She adores taking people into the world of practice and the arts. Many tell her it becomes an instant love affair and say, “I was shimmying while doing the dishes at home,” or, “I couldn’t wait for the next class.”
While she completely understands not every student is looking for the finer details or the level of technical perfection she’s after, the format of class sets the stage for students to see how possible it is to dance confidently and beautifully.
Her advice to instructors is to challenge yourself to practice your routines without music and slowly. This will test your understanding and technique more than being able to run your routines quicker and quicker. “I don’t deny the body has somatic memory. It’s a beautiful thing when our body responds because of stored muscle memory, but the body won’t store memory if movement happens too quickly without being able to stay in sensation. Slow down, take your time, and sense your entire body all the way through each and every movement”, advises Marisa.
Marisa feels that bellydance is a sensuous dance and sensuality comes from feeling the body. “Be able to feel things like: my weight is on my right side, my obliques are engaged, I am on the ball of my foot, I am looking over my shoulder”, she continues. She feels all of these sensations are teaching your body the routine once your mind did the work to write your combinations out.
And most of all, Marisa feels, never stop growing. Step into other classes, styles, change it up. All of your experience comes with you when you step in front of a class. She remembers the very first few classes she ever taught before SharQui. It was brutal. She didn’t know her left foot from her right and had no connectivity. There were so many missing pieces and wondered what she was doing. She can’t believe how many years later it is, and that she’s still doing it, and now work is finding her more often than her having to look for it. She absolutely loves what she does.