Upcoming bellydance recital and is all that splashing really necessary?

bellydancer twirling

Watch as belly dancers bring colorful expression to the room!

There is a belly dance recital up in southern New Hampshire on October 3rd at 2pm.  It is a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research and tickets are $10 each.  If you’ll be in the area and are interested please consider dropping by to support us.  These events are always a blast for all the lovely women who dance and those watching.  We shimmy, we shake, we laugh, we have fun.

We’re working on so many amazing dance styles and choreographies. American Tribal, Veils, Zills, Tambourines, Swords, Doumbeks, Canes.  Music ranges from current pop hits like Shakira’s “Hips don’t lie” and range back to older , more traditional sounding pieces by the likes of George Abdo, Eddie “The Sheik” Kochak and more.

While I don’t get in the 2 hours of daily practice that some others get in, I’ve been working myself on a few fast pieces and getting my costumes ready.  I’m excited to show off what we’ve all learned in the last 6 months since the last recital.

On the swimming end of things, I’m consistently up to “R” laps each session.  While I’m still not a speed demon of any sort (17 laps in 45 minutes) I’m having fun and noticing a distinct improvement in the quality of my sleep and also my lung capacity for playing trumpet.  All good things.

My one mini-complaint about the swimming is more of just a baffled and slightly bemused reflection: does the splashing really help you swim any better?  There never fails to be someone who I usually dub “Splashy McGee” (the name is the same regardless of who it is) that takes it upon themselves to swim like they are trying to get the water droplets to reach the wooden beams at the ceiling.  I can never help but wonder: WHY? Isn’t the point to make the smallest such visible effect on the water?  Or is that just in diving??

As I turn my head away as they pass, trying to avoid the potential for water to get splashed up my nose, I just get more and more baffled.  Why so vigorous?  I understand wanting to be fast or swimming hard or what-have-you, but kicking right at the surface like making the biggest splash means “you win”?  What the heck is that about?  Any swimmers out there ready to enlighten me on the reasons for such serious splashing?  Is it really necessary?


11 thoughts on “Upcoming bellydance recital and is all that splashing really necessary?

  1. Any swimmers out there ready to enlighten me on the reasons for such serious splashing? Is it really necessary?

    I’m not a swimmer, exactly, but I am a mega-splasher when my kids are around, and I suspect that all non-beginner-splashing has a “Look at me! Look at me!” element to it.

    And perhaps a do-or-die element, too . . . I mean, if I were swimming laps just to get a daily requirement over with in the shortest time possible (instead of enjoying every motion), my form would go to hell, too . . . just sayin’.

    • There is perhaps a bit of the “get it over with” mentality with some of them. I do wonder if it is a rushing-to-swim thing. And again I could be wrong but it just seems that the big splashes are more work than smoother swimming so maybe counter-productive to a fast-finish? So maybe it is a bit flashy-showy and a bit of intentional over-doing it to get a better workout without adding weights? Doing it in a way that makes it harder? Like riding a bike up a hill in a higher gear or something? Hmm.

  2. whenever i swim laps i try to make sure my feet at least make some splash at the surface of the water, at least so i know they are not staying underwater. i feel like breaking the surface of the water with each kick forces me to be more focused on my form, that i’m stretching and using my muscles more.

    but i don’t swim at a public pool. just at my parents’ house. 🙂

  3. Fat swimmer chiming in here:
    Always enjoy your blog via Notes from the Fatosphere..

    I was the fat kid on the swim team for 6 years, and still put in a few miles a week in my 40’s…and still fat. Loved seeing folks organize chunky dunks, but my local gym is full of me and a bunch of cool retired fatties churning it up already!

    I shouldn’t say churning, because your guess was absolutely correct. Splashing is counterproductive in efficient swimming. You want your body to be as waterdynamic (as opposed to aerodynamic) as possible. Your feet should kick just below the surface, and not too fast unless you are sprinting. The recovery of your arm stroke should focus on re-entering with as little splash as possible. A lot of folks splash because they rotate too much when they are breathing…getting neck cramps and more. Proper amount to turn your head: one goggle should never leave the water, 1/3 of the upper one will still be under water. Do that, pace yourself, and you may find you can swim for a lot longer. I find that I get more happy mental effects from swimming when I am really sleek and streamlined. The feeling should be like flying, not grunting.

    That said, I sometimes train by focusing on a particular area, such as arms, legs, etc. Whenever you want to strengthen in the water, you build capacity by increasing resistance. Some ways to do this are to open your hands to bear claws, punch the water on your stroke, add flippers to your feet, etc. But usually, this is not what splashers are doing. I have a very buff 75 yr old friend who trains for the swim parts of his triathalons by beating up the water….seriously-he is punching it with an angry face! He is an agressive guy, but it is like he is forcing the water to submit. I tease him about it all the time.

    Glad you are enjoying the water! I love mystifying folks when they see a fatty regularly speeding along. ” Gee- YOU’RE a good swimmer!”…and I tell them how happy it makes me, not how thin.

    If you are interested in learning more about swimming, there is an excellent book out there by Marianne Brems called “The Fit Swimmer”….I happened to get it at a garage sale for 25 cents. It’s old and still in print. Explains strokes, helps you develop a routine, and has a nice tone. No skinny talk whatsoever.

    It’s hard sometimes to find swim partners that aren’t all competitive. For me it’s the silence and concentration ( as well as the cool floatiness) that makes swimming so engaging and such a stress buster. If ever you’re in California, I’ll treat you to a two woman chunky dunk!

    • Chutti, If I’m ever out that far west you’re on! Thanks for the book recommendation; I’m going to see if the library has a copy in the system somewhere because I’m at the point where I’d like to work out a few more new strokes! 🙂

    • chutti thanks so much for this. I am a swimmer too but self taught. I just watched what other people in the laps were doing and I learned so much but cant seem to get better thanks for the recommendation of the book it will be helpful.

      I love swimming it makes me feel SO good and proud of my body. The rythym the silence the challenges, its a competition with myself and I feel so good when I can swim further without stopping…

      My BF watching me swim for the first time said I reminded him of a beautiful streamlined seal. (kept him)

      A 0 sized vegan friend told me I looked like a bear (dumped her)


      swim on!

  4. Ooh, so glad to be of service!

    I love swimming, and there is hardly ever anyone who wants to talk about it. All the macho guys in my office want to talk sports, so the women do too. I was so happy when everyone knew what was going on with Michael Phelps so I could chime in.

    No one wants to be a swimming nerd, but that book is a treasure. She gets it. Anytime you can get to where your swim feels more like a glide, you are doin’ it rite. And that invite is open-we swim in all weather here!

  5. Yeah- splashing is cool as long as you’re enjoying yourself!

    Had to chime in with a bit more swimming nerd stuff. I have not participated in this group, but have a friend who learned to swim after 70 with them. Hubs learned to swim last year in his 40s and now wants to get scuba certified. So I guess the lessons weren’t a passive aggressive wifely present after all…yay!

    Anyway, the TI folks have really nice things to say about your mental state when swimming, and some of the videos there about group swimming are really inspiring for me. My fond desire is to do some glorious swimming in some warm tropical sea with friends. Could happen, right?
    Anyway-you might like seeing what these folks have to say:

    And being a streamlined seal is an awesome image! I’m barking for the pool already.

  6. Pingback: Dancing: so much fun was had « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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