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Thread: Level changes

  1. #1
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    Default Level changes

    I've been dancing for almost 2 years and I'm doing my first solo, a drum solo. My teacher has been having me choreograph my own drum solo and it's working out very well. I'll be performing at my first hafla (a student hafla) on Friday. I do lots of level changes in my choreography because they sounded right for the piece. My teacher has seen me perform it along with fellow students and a friend who is also a dancer. They all seem to like it and I haven't really received any feedback on the level changes.

    1. Any advice on how to execute level changes more effectively?
    2. Is there a way I can do them that will not make me look like I am working ahead of my ability? My idea on this is just to not look like I'm about to fall over and to keep my body straight throughout the level change, not leaning forward or sticking my butt out.
    3. Can anyone post videos of bad/good level changes? If you aren't comfortable posting videos how about describing bad vs. good level changes you have witnessed?
    Last edited by elisemuse; 04-19-2010 at 05:03 PM.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Make sure your quads are strong. Maybe work on doing just squats with your back against the wall to check alignment.

    Also flexible calves are useful because it means you can go down further woth flat feet which is more stable.

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    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    I don't know much about your experience or belly dance style, but her are a few basic things:

    -Put one foot slightly in front of the other for better balance.
    -Keep your back straight, tailbone pointing to the ground, and your head up, unless you are making a conscious decision not to.
    -Engage the core muscles for support. Your body, especially core and legs, needs to be strong to do level changes well.
    -Knees stay aligned over toes.
    -Do something attractive with your arms.
    -Relax your face, so you aren't looking like you are straining.
    -Wear a costume that won't inhibit dramatic level changes.
    -Level changes should fit within the context of the music.
    -They don't have to be done with the entire body.
    -Make sure you are physically capable of doing some of the more challenging level changes like ATS laybacks, Turkish drop, or the Egyptian style sudden squat if you are going to do those. Do not attempt moves during performance that are above your current ability.
    -Watch the positioning of the body. Pointing your crotch at the audience, boobs falling out of your costume, and bent over with your butt sticking out at people are all not attractive. Check in a mirror, video tape, or ask someone to watch for those things.

    A bad example:
    YouTube - tribal fusion faire 2009

    A good Turkish example:
    Level changes start around 3:50
    YouTube - Tulay Karaca with live Turkish music,Turkish Belly Dancer
    videos=qVsCgits3F8

    Video clips of various dancers:
    not all are belly dance
    YouTube - Danse orientale Ansuya ŕ Amana Studio Paris

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    Thank you! The first Tribal fusion example was the worst I have ever seen. Yikes!

    The only level changes I'm doing are up and down ticks with a down maya and an up figure 8. I practiced the level changes in front of the mirror again last night and it didn't look like my butt was sticking out and my chest was nice and straight, but I'm going to ask my teacher tonight to be sure.

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    Member onela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    ?!?!??

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    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know OP did ask for a bad example. Figured this one had already been outed.

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    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    Yeah, I know OP did ask for a bad example. Figured this one had already been outed.
    Yes, we've seen her before---unfortunately.

  8. #8
    Member onela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    Yeah, I know OP did ask for a bad example. Figured this one had already been outed.
    That is BANANAS. Not good bananas either. Reading through the comments was nuts. The part that was frustrating for me wasn't only mis-catagorizing (I feel it was very dishonest of her to call what she was doing Tribal Fusion) but that whatever it was, she obviously was not well-rehearsed! If you're going to go way out there and do something highly unorthodox, you can at least do it well...

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    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onela View Post
    If you're going to go way out there and do something highly unorthodox, you can at least do it well...
    Very well said! I might cite you sometimes...
    --
    Daim.

  10. #10
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    Honestly, she looks like she's doing exercises. I'm at work, so I'm watching it without the sound. You can also see cameltoe. I just don't know what she was trying to do but it's not any kind of belly dance.

    I have to be careful, though. Sometimes gawking at someone who looks really bad can affect my own performance.
    Last edited by elisemuse; 04-21-2010 at 02:40 PM.

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