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  1. #11
    Junior Member Isi's Avatar
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    I can't remember where I got this explanation but I use this in my classes.

    You want to think that your pelvis is like a plate full of pearls. If you tilt your pelvis forward (arching the back) all the pearls will fall, same if you tuck the pelvis. So you want to keep all the pearls in your plate by having your pelvis in a neutral position.

    I always show the students this example by putting my hands on the side of my hips (palms facing toward the floor). When my pelvis is tuck, my finger are slightly pointing up and when my pelvis is forward (arched back) my fingers are pointing down.

    But when your pelvis is in a neutral position your hands are straight, fingers pointing forward (like the plate holding the pearls).

    Hope that make sense...

  2. #12
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    100% with Afrit.

    Maybe some teachers have changed their terminology to focus on where your pelvis should be rather than saying "tuck" and having some people overdo it.

    I've heard from a few that argue that the pelvic tuck is not necessary and does not really help any at all.
    I wonder if this is from the POV of being used to a neutral pelvis position and feeling that you aren't really tucking anything. Whereas someone who naturally stands more duck-butted might find that neutral really does feel tucked under.

    However you teach it, IMHO you have to remind people to do something so they don't arch their backs, stick their behinds out and look like they are lap dancing.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afrit View Post
    • Shoulders relaxed and down
    • Chest lifted
    • Neutral pelvis (not "tucked)"
    • Soft knees
    • Body not leaning back or forward
    Thanks for the info ladies.

    Tucking my pelvis is not easy for me. For most of my adult years I've been arching my lower back ever so slightly (so my butt pops out and looks as perky as possible ) so even keeping a neutral pelvis can be uncomfortable for me sometimes. I find myself having to purposely relax that area- it's just habit for me to arch it. I noticed this because I haven't been able to do some of the moves I've been practicing with keeping my lower back arched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    However you teach it, IMHO you have to remind people to do something so they don't arch their backs, stick their behinds out and look like they are lap dancing.



    Belly dancer's in 60's movies are always super tucked!
    Last edited by Shanazel; 10-29-2010 at 03:23 AM. Reason: merge

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    News to me. I learned to tuck and I teach to tuck and have found that lack of a tuck leads to problems with a wide variety of movements.
    "Tuck" or neutral pelvis? When I think tuck I think of tight butt - but possibly loose abs. "Neutral pelvis" thinks of the alignment being right but the mechanism is undefined. Personally I go for neutral pelvis put there by the abs - not the glutes (sorry Shareen)

    Quote Originally Posted by Belly Love View Post
    Tucking my pelvis is not easy for me. For most of my adult years I've been arching my lower back ever so slightly (so my butt pops out and looks as perky as possible ) so even keeping a neutral pelvis can be uncomfortable for me sometimes. I find myself having to purposely relax that area- it's just habit for me to arch it. I noticed this because I haven't been able to do some of the moves I've been practicing with keeping my lower back arched.
    I have mild lordosis as well. The problem with us butt pokers is our lower abs are over-stretched and so are very weak. Unfortubately it is the abs you have to learn to recruit. And yes, if your lower back is over extended (strictly speaking a forward tilted pelvis and lordosis - an over arched back - are two different things. But most people have both) many moves are hard to do - and may be potentially damaging.

    Wrt to shoulders. It can vary a little too. My physio noticed that with my shoulder arrangement if I lift and drop down , I over do it. I have to lift the shoulder blades a little (but the shoulders stay down).
    Last edited by Shanazel; 10-29-2010 at 03:24 AM. Reason: merge

  5. #15
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Well, there's gently tucked, with a slight tightening of the abdomen and lower glutes, and there's seriously tight-assed. I don't advocate the latter, but I find when most of my students stand with their pelvis in its normal position (which I assume is relaxed) their butt is actually tilited back and up slightly. (Please ignore plural students and singular pelvis and butt. It's late.)

    Maybe some teachers have changed their terminology to focus on where your pelvis should be rather than saying "tuck" and having some people overdo it.
    Belly dance terminology is all over the place at best. You may well be right.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    The problem with us butt pokers is our lower abs are over-stretched and so are very weak. Unfortubately it is the abs you have to learn to recruit. And yes, if your lower back is over extended (strictly speaking a forward tilted pelvis and lordosis - an over arched back - are two different things. But most people have both) many moves are hard to do - and may be potentially damaging.
    "Butt pokers"

    I never thought about the abs... interesting. I'm not sure if I have an over arched back. I don't think so. I've always kinda popped my butt w/o letting my stomach getting pushed out- which really works the ab muscles btw .
    Now I just kind of stand that way w/o thinking about it. While it makes for a great backside in a form fitting dress or jeans, I have sometimes wondered if it could be physically harming. I equated it with wearing high heels though- I know they are bad for me, but that's not going to stop me from wearing them!

    Maybe bd will help me to "re-train" my pelvis to relax a little. I doubt I will ever tuck it though...

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belly Love View Post
    "Butt pokers"

    I never thought about the abs... interesting. I'm not sure if I have an over arched back. I don't think so. I've always kinda popped my butt w/o letting my stomach getting pushed out- which really works the ab muscles btw .
    Now I just kind of stand that way w/o thinking about it. While it makes for a great backside in a form fitting dress or jeans, I have sometimes wondered if it could be physically harming. I equated it with wearing high heels though- I know they are bad for me, but that's not going to stop me from wearing them!

    Maybe bd will help me to "re-train" my pelvis to relax a little. I doubt I will ever tuck it though...
    I am not an expert by any means, but I think if you are purposely arching your back most of the time, even if you are also engaging your ab muscles so that your belly isn't popping out, you are still shortening your lower back muscles and stretching (and perhaps weakening) your lower ab muscles, thus creating a muscle imbalance. Plus, you could be setting yourself up for back problems later in life.

    I was never one to purposely arch my back, but I do have some lordosis, which nowadays is hardly noticeable because belly dance (and, subsequently, ballet) really helped me with my posture.

    When I started belly dance, I learned that I could keep my spine at a more neutral posture by bending my knees ever-so-slightly (I am not an advocate of the deeply bent, squat-like position some vintage American dancers and tribal dancers use) and adjusting my pelvis. I guess you could call that a tuck, but that term has a different connotation for different people. I don't clench my glutes or engage my abs too much (that would affect my range of motion and looseness of my moves), but I do engage the abs a bit, depending on what I am doing at the moment.

    Belly dance alone helped me achieve a less arched posture when I learned that, but whenever I straightened my legs, the arch came back. In ballet I slowly developed enough ab strength to be able to keep my spine in better alignment *while* having straight legs. My butt still sticks out when I'm too focused on other things to be able to properly engage my abs, and stabilize my back, but I can do it! Of course, this isn't too applicable to belly dance since in belly dance I never have my legs that straight, and in belly dance I can never be engaging my abs as tightly, but I think it's good for my overall posture and daily life.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I find that I do movements involving my pelvis by leading with my abs - which doesa have the effect of pulling the butt under slightly but gives the moves extra focus and maximum gooiness.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    Like a couple of you, I also have a greater degree of lumbar lordosis than many so it looks nicer when I control this and think of lengthening my back and pulling my tailbone down. This is a subtle movement with, for me, a little of my lower abs engaged, my knees are soft, and lifting up and a tiny bit forward of my upper torso/chest. This is my personal way of achieving that gentle S that we want in our spines. Since I started dancing three years ago or so, my posture has improved out of sight - but I still have slightly tight hip flexors and need to keep working to stretch these and work my hamstrings and hip extensors so that I can get the kind of range of movement you need for things like a good downward 3/4 shimmy or haggala.
    The thing with posture is that we are all blessed with variants of the basic S shape, and it's all too easy for a teacher to describe what he or she needs to do to obtain a nice curve, but it may not address what you might need as an individual.
    For the very best advice on reaching a nice neutral pelvis position with that lovely S shape you could see a physiotherapist, who could show you how to get to that position and what muscle groups you might need to work or stretch to get it. The main thing to remember is that for most of us, we have a good all-purpose posture that works well for most things so don't try to change the basic shape you have, because you will be fighting a losing battle - and if you look at all the Egyptian dancers, and the classic dancers, they come in many shapes and sizes and are still great!

  10. #20
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I've never been diagnosed, but I suspect that I've had lordosis all my life, and I've never been happy with my "duck butt." Nor do I enjoy all the back pain that has steadily gotten worse over the years. I asked my nurse practitioner last spring if she thought I had lordosis, and she replied, "I don't know." She didn't go on to let me know how I could find out or who to go to, soooooooooooo, yeah. -_-

    Are there exercises that will help improve my posture? I'm terrified of also becoming hump-shouldered like my late maternal grandmother.

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