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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    When you become proficient enough in this dance to know different styles of belly dance and other Middle Eastern dances, when you are proficient enough that you can perform all the "moves" well and with different emphases, expression and intention, when you are proficient enough to understand your music and to be able to differentiate between different genres of Middle Eastern music, then you might have a style.

    This takes years of practice to achieve... years of watching other dancers live and on video, years of classes and practicing at home, years of listening to the music, etc. You can't expect to have a style when you're just starting something out. You need to have a strong enough technique and a strong enough awareness of your art to be able to develop a style. This is the case in any dance and art form, in my opinion.

    And I second everything Aziyade said, especially the part about finding a teacher. Unless you are exceptionally talented and/or have prior dance experience, you will not get very far with the resources you are using. Youtube has a lot of great footage from a lot of magnificent dancers that you can use for educational purposes and inspiration, but someone who is fairly new to this dance doesn't have enough of a foundation in it to be able to get that much out of performance videos.

    You need to learn the basics first, and very few youtube tutorials are worthwhile... those that are, are few and far between, and are way too short. Shimmy on Fit TV won't do it, either. It's a pretty show and it's nice for exposing people to belly dance... but honestly I don't think it's a good resource for someone who wants to really learn belly dance.

    I started learning how to belly dance on youtube but I quickly ran out of resources and had to start buying DVDs and then of course find a teacher. Learning belly dance in a classroom environment really isn't that scary. I hope you decide to give it more thought.

  2. #12
    Member RayaDancer's Avatar
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    i agree with what everyone is saying about "styles"... the deeper you involve yourself in the dance, you will probably end up leaning to one style or another. in the beginning anyway, i feel technique is most important regardless of style. i think its better to have a clean sharp technique even if it is "generic". You will find that proper technique foundations carries across in all styles of dance, and in the future if you do pick a style to focus on you will be grateful for all that technique training. with that being said...
    nothing can replace live training. DVDs are great as supplements but there is no replacement for live feedback. you may think youre doing something correctly at home, but without live feedback you may be doing it wrong... and you might even be doing things in such a way that can lead to injury. now these dvds arent free anyway; some cost $20 or more and maybe that $20 could buy you a class at your local dance center...even if you cant go to a class every week, maybe once or twice a month, but that is still better than nothing. and dont be intimidated; youre going to be in a class with people who are at the same level as you and have the same skills and capabilites as you do. believe me when i tell you that it would be worth every penny to get some live training.

  3. #13
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    Thanks. Now that I've improved since the creation of this thread, I'd say my style is much like Cassandra Fox's style. What's hers?

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    American Oriental.

  5. #15
    Member MissVega's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what I would technically define my style as, but American Oriental doesn't seem like the right all inclusive title. I'm curious as to how you decided on that.
    I haven't really had any American influence, inspiration or instructors. I'm not American and haven't lived there.

    When I was at Rakkasah this year Yame summed it up the best in saying "Your Egyptian is so Russian" lol. I have been heavily inspired by the Russian, Ukrainian and South American dancers (Kahina and Saida mainly). I

    Yame and I jokingly called it "Russyptian" since it is similar to the Russian take on Egyptian Belly dance. Although I think that is a pretty good fit.

    As far as dancer and audience feedback, I've been told by those who have seen the Eastern European dancers that my style is very similar. I've also had those of Middle eastern background ask if I studied in Egypt.

    I'm also pretty good at adapting to requests. I performed at an Iraqi wedding a couple of weekends ago and really wanted to do my best to represent some Iraqi dance and can only assume I was successful as several attendees asked if I also danced egyptian style as well.
    Last edited by MissVega; 11-24-2011 at 03:40 PM.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissVega View Post
    I'm not sure what I would technically define my style as, but American Oriental doesn't seem like the right all inclusive title. I'm curious as to how you decided on that.
    lol good question. Based on your costuming for the most part, that and your dance style is very eclectic which is usually found in AO. I like Yame and your description of "Russyptian" though since I have noticed your most recent work does have a strong "Russyptian" feel to it that wasn't there before. There is a reason I was tempted to just post "Cassandra Fox's style" in response. I suspect you are one of a kind.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    I know I say this all the time, but this is why I am always hesitant to attach a label to everything I see. Yes, sometimes it's as simple as "if it quacks..." but in this globalized world we live in, a lot of dancers are a product of exposure to multiple styles, so individual styles are best described in detail as opposed to labeled two or three words.

    I also think there are a lot more established styles out there than belly dancers officially recognize.

    For Cassandra I guess we settled with Russyptian, but that doesn't even begin to describe her when she starts fusing belly dance with Caribbean I think "Cassandra Fox's style" would have been the perfect response!

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