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Thread: Figure 8

  1. #11
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    When I teach I initially use the twist, slide, twist, slide, twist, etc method. That is with a long back, twist hip forward then slide it forward transfering your weight and with the weighted leg twist at amximum reach until you reverse the twist and slide back to the other leg.

    This gets the shape locked into your head BUT - it isn't the way you actually do it long term. The aim is a more ab driven move which is gooier and kinder on your knees. Possibly the instructor on your video is doing the grown up version which takes most people months to get. Even if you have the right shape at this stage it may not look like the video.

    Practice, practice, practice. Watch that you keep your hips in neutral and get a twist front and back on both sides. Eventually it will come.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Possibly the instructor on your video is doing the grown up version which takes most people months to get. Even if you have the right shape at this stage it may not look like the video.
    See, this is my excuse for why I need every new instructional dvd that comes out -- maybe that dvd will show a variation of a movement that I don't already know, or that instructor will have a way of doing it that looks closer to how I do it.

    LadyLoba -- there are many different ways to accomplish the figure 8, and as a result there are many different "looks" that the same movement can have. Probably right now your issue is a limited range of motion in the hips. You can increase that range of motion (ROM) by practicing small stretches every day.

    Get a hip belt or fold down the top of your pants so you can see a horizontal line going across your hips. Now point your tailbone down, pull your bellybutton in to your spine and slightly up, and slowly slide your hips to the right. STOP when you see that line in your hips tipping up or down. You want to stop while your hips are still nice and level. That point is the right-most limit of your ROM. Do the same to the left. To increase the ROM (and make the hip movements in general much bigger) you simply do 50 slides (slowly) a day for a few weeks.

    IT WORKS, seriously! Slide the hips to the limit of the ROM, and then just a hair past it. You should feel this on the sides of your waistline after a few reps. Do it slowly and do it everyday and you're practically guaranteed a better-looking movement. But you have to keep the hips level. If you tip them up or down, you won't be working the same muscles.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Here's something to check on yourself: As you're practicing your figure 8's, pay attention to your glutes (butt cheeks, bum, ass, Po-Po) - they need to be absolutely relaxed. Your attempt to draw an "8" will come out badly if your glutes are tense.

    Also, it might help to take a look at Arabella's article, "Exploring Figure 8's", which appears on my web site at How to Belly Dance

  4. #14
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    What if you tried practicing them to your absolute favorite dance music, even if it's not bd music.

    I suggest this 'cause I have been doing figure 8's easily for years (I just started bd) and I didn't start doing them on purpose- I was so into the music I was dancing to, that it just kind of happened.

    This might sound like a silly suggestion, but it could help

  5. #15
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    ALL of these suggestions are very good! Thanks guys! I will try all of this...range of motion exercises included...I need more exercises...after a year of sometimes not even moving at all...and I mean sometimes not off of my bed for entire days....I'm probably in bad shape flexibility and muscle wise.

    For a while I was all "relieved" because I went down a size in pants...but that was just because my waist got a little smaller...it had nothing to do with my strength, flexibility, or other indicators of health....there are many people who are bigger in clothing size who are much healthier...and I could have gone two more sizes smaller and still been stiff.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Oh yes! I have had a bad year due to depression and stuff and those days where I am just buried in bed or on the couch makes me insanely stiff. Especially down the sides of the torso. Just ease into it and don't press too hard. Make sure you warm up good and stretch afterwards. Don't get mad at yourself if you can't do the moves really big at once. Think of the amazing improvement of working on a bellydance dvd compared to staying in bed all day.

  7. #17
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Here's something to check on yourself: As you're practicing your figure 8's, pay attention to your glutes (butt cheeks, bum, ass, Po-Po) - they need to be absolutely relaxed. Your attempt to draw an "8" will come out badly if your glutes are tense.
    I tell my students that tight a$$es can't dance.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  8. #18
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I tell my students that tight a$$es can't dance.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I tell my students that tight a$$es can't dance.

  10. #20
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    That's true!!!! I WAS tightening my butt muscles....I followed everyone's advice on here...and I can do a Figure 8 now! Maybe not a great one...but...practice...practice...practice.

    It wouldn't be worth doing if everybody could just jump up and do it instantly

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