Those of you who are my students will know that I am in constant battle with flicking wrists - I hate them, on me, on you, on ANYONE! Flicking wrists have no place in bellydance! They turn an otherwise graceful and elegant dance into what appears to be a fight with an imaginary mosquito. To me, a dancer with flicking wrists (myself included!) looks like she is trying to get something off of her hand, and I spend the entire performance watching the wrist and waiting for it to stop flicking!
When I say flicking wrists, I don't mean the occasional dainty flip that coincides with a coy look and cute shimmy. I mean the constant "I don't even realize my wrist is doing this" rolling that creeps up on even the most seasoned pro.
The problem with the subconsious flick is that, even though you don't want to do it, you can't stop yourself, because you weren't aware you were doing it in the first place.
I first realized I was a flicker after last year's student showcase. I was watching the DVD and could NOT stop looking at my hands. Where did this come from?? Did I always do this?? What the heck was wrong with me?? Make it stop!!
After that, I started noticing the flick in my students as well. This got me worried - did they learn this from watching me, or is it a subconsious habit they picked up all on their own? I've spent this past year trying to help them break the habit, and trying to break it myself - or so I thought.
Last night, I was practicing my solo for the show, and I asked my fiance, Joe, to watch it. After I was done, Joe said "That was really great. But - didn't you say last year that you wanted to stop flicking your wrists?" Of course, I said. "Well, I did notice that you were flicking your wrists a lot just now."
What???? I was??? That can't be!! I abhor wrist flicking! I teach my students not to do it, I point it out when they are and encourage them to fix it! I am the anti-flick! I can't possibly still be flicking!! But, according to Joe, I was....
I just finished practing my solo for tonight (wait, it's 12:50 in the morning...what the heck am I still doing up and dancing?!). I tried doing the solo once through while consciously paying attention to my wrists and not flicking them. It felt like I had sticks strapped to my hands. My arms felt so weird and restrained, but, looking in the mirror, they looked the way I wanted them to look. The non-flicking wrists I had tried so hard to ingrain into my dance felt so foreign to me. Which led me to only one conclusion - I am still a wrist flicker. My subconsious completely takes over when I dance, and I happily flick away.
So - do I continue to fight what is natural to me? Or do I give in to the dreaded wrist flick? I think I have no choice but to keep fighting.