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  1. #1
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    Default Hip Lift or leg straighten?

    Hi,
    Most of you know that I have been taking bellydance for just a little bit. I had a dvd that explained hip lift as lifting your hip, not your leg. However, I was asking my teacher about it and she said to straighten your bent leg to lift your hip. I am a little confused, so really what is the best way to do a hip lift?

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Default Hip Lift

    Hi Starr,We've got to stop meeting like this Even as a beginner your realize that there is something not quite right about straightening the standing leg.Good.If you tried it that way, you would probably feel a lot of tension in your lower back because your pelvis is no longer level. ALL of my teachers taught this version of a hiplift:
    The the leg atttached to the hip is usually bent with the foot on ball either in front of or next to the standing leg.The standing leg provides balance as the foot is placed flat on the floor.The standing leg should also have a slight bend to it in order for your hips to be level.Your chest should be lifted and lower back lengthened. Now use your side(oblique) muscle and to raise your hip up towards your armpit. The move should be smooth and tension free. Bring the hip back to neutral position.Make sure you are not lifting the working leg either,as your hip lifts you will feel passive movement on both legs but neither should be working hard enough to lift the hip.
    If you are facing a diagonal position,you would not be able to see the standing leg(and neither would your audience). Practice and let me know how it works out for you.
    Yasmine

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Hip lift etc.

    Dear Starrbursts,
    Since verything is all connected, of course your leg will bend and straighten a bit from the knee, if you are standing in the posture described perfectly by Yasmine. Try to keep the rasied heel still as well. Let all energy go into moving what YOU want to move as opposed to what is moving of its own volition!
    I refer to that movement as "Basic Egyptian", and when I teach it, I tell people to think about the joint where the leg and body meet. This is what is actually working to create the movement and is referred to as the "trochanter" by nurses who studied with me at one time. This joint is where you should concentrate your efforts and allow the leg to move as it must for lifting and dropping this part of the body. Concentrating there creates that earthy look that you see on Egyptian dancers when you stand in the posture described by Yasmine. I have a DVD out in which I teach 10 fundamental belly dance movements, including Basic Egyptian. The DVD discusses different [ostures for different movements, because although the Basic posture is pretty common for some movements, the belly dancer's posture is a pretty dynamic thing, changing to meet her movement needs. The DVD opens with a short performance and then disucsses posture, and goes in depth on the 10 basics. For more info go to my website Raqs Azar and look under Video. I keot the set and the video itself pretty bare bones on purpose so that the student can concentrate on movement instead of dazzle.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
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    Default

    Yasmine,
    I'll practice the hiplifts how you described for a couple days and see how it goes. My teacher is pretty good but she doesn't really emphasize where your hips or pelvis should be. All she says is to keep your shoulders back, chest up, and back long. So, it's really good to be part of this forum to ask questions which my teacher hadn't really defined deeply enough for me to understand.

    Aisha,
    I'll check out your dvd. I think I need help with my posture in dancing because sometimes my back hurts like no other. I also noticed that my oblique, back muscles are a lot more tender because when I was working the other day, I was raking some leaves, and I felt pain in my right oblique muscle. It hurt FOREVER. I also noticed that sometimes the pain comes and goes so I assume it is from wrong posture...am I correct? Thanks!

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Hips, etc.

    Dear Starrbursts,
    You might check to make sure you don't have a kidney infection or something also, because unless your posture is WAY off, you should not be suffering so much pain.
    Unless I really see how you are standing, it is really difficult for me to make a comment on your posture. I wish I could be more helpful here, but I am not sure what to say without some "physical evidence".
    REgards,
    A'isha

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Default

    Ditto.
    Yasmine

  7. #7
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    Hmmmm....Okay. I don't think I have a kidney infection....When I dance I try to keep my tail bone down my stomach a little tucked, bnt knees, a long back, shoulders back, chest a little up. However, I think my posture changes when I actually start dancing.

  8. #8
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    Your back might hurt if a muscle is cramping up. Is the pain on the side of your lower back? I had this once and it was very annoying! Massage and a break from dancing will make it much better.

  9. #9
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    Default

    yeah thats pretty much the feeling

  10. #10
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    Maybe you just need a short break from dancing, so your muscles can relax. I hope it feels better soon!

    Madeline

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