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  1. #11
    Senior Member Gia al Qamar's Avatar
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    The ONLY 'inflexibility' you need concern yourself with is between your ears...not your hips and top!
    I tell my students that they've taken the first step on a long journey...and given themselves a most WONDERFUL gift in coming to class. The 2nd gift you need to give yourself is the gift of patience. NOTHING will thwart your success faster than the pressure you're putting on yourself already.
    Chillax. Breathe. Be inflexible, be uncoordinated, be a baby dancer...in a matter of weeks, you'll be AMAZED at the things your body can do!!!

  2. #12
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    Gia, you are absolutely right! I LOVE the "inflexibility between the ears", it's so true and just the kick I need.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gia al Qamar View Post
    The ONLY 'inflexibility' you need concern yourself with is between your ears...not your hips and top!
    Sooo true! Beautifully said, Gia!

  4. #14
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Nobody kicks like Gia.

    My oldest student was in her seventies. There is an absolutely delightful dancer in Cheyenne who started dancing in her sixties and is still raks-ing it as far as I know.
    I will be 56 next month and things don't work like they used to, but I make the best of what's left. Enjoy yourself, Maria.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #15
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Definitely you're too hard on yourself...

    I've been doing this for 10 years now, and I'm still learning things all the time. I was so darn stiff when I started that it wasn't even funny. I couldn't even do a rib cage slide without my hips going along for the ride. Shoulder shimmies? Fuhgetaboutit! The muscle on one side was non-existent!

    It took me FIVE YEARS to be able to do a decent standing shimmy...

    Hang in there, girl!

  6. #16
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    48 is nowhere NEAR an age I would consider an "older" dancer....I thought you were going to say you started after age 85 or something. And I think having trouble isolating at first is completely normal.

    One thing I did when I just couldn't do upper body isolations was to sit down and practice them...that way I couldn't go moving my hips. I did my regular practice, then sat down and did snake arms, shoulder shimmies, chest circles, etc.

  7. #17
    Senior Member goddessyasaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MariaAZ View Post
    I'm a really new newbie, only four classes into my belly dance class and I'm getting very frustrated. After reading through this forum to see if others are having the same problem, I think I discovered what the problem is; I'm incredibly inflexible AND unable to isolate my ribcage from my hips.

    If I do a shoulder shimmy, almost regardless of how slow it is, I can't keep my hips still. Same thing with rib cage slides (I don't know if that's the proper term). I tried doing them sitting down and although I know it's possible to do those moves without moving my hips, but the minute I stand up there they go. I look like I'm doing the twist. At least it's still a dance, just not the one I'm trying to do. I read on one thread about teaching beginners that this isn't uncommon in older students and it rather sounded like a daunting problem to overcome.

    And then there is doing more than one thing at a time, like arms and hips and moving. For some reason, my mind is set on the idea that this is going to be impossible.

    Although I'm taking class primarily for fun and fitness, I really DO want to be able to belly dance but I'm beginning to think I might not have the coordination to do this. I'd sure love to hear that there is some hope for me, and perhaps some tips on what I can do to improve flexibility and an ability to separate movement of hips, torso and shoulders.

    Please do not give up, You will get better, In takes time and some are faster then others, My mother started taking the Belly dance class I was teaching and I teach her at home she was very stiff at first a not very flexible, but as she kept at it she got better. so keep it up

    I can give you some pointers on the the shoulder shimmy that helped my students and the rib cage slide, let me know, I would be glade to send you an email on that

    Either way Dance on

  8. #18
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    I've found that sitting has really helped me. I concentrate on feeling the muscles (I believe they are the obliques) when I do the slide and try to repeat that when I'm standing. Seems to be working

  9. #19
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Well, i stopped on your phrase

    "have never been very physically adept"

    and then i read Gia's comment.

    You know, to the (inner or external) voice which says "you are not physically adept" (it usually goes with a "logical" explanations, like "you are too old, too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too long-legged, too long-armed, too dyslectic, too sitting lifestyle, too many childbirths, too socially high to use your body for anything else apart form standing still")

    we usually have three options:

    a) we reply "yes, yes, i know, i will try my best and it would be a pleasure just to try, i am not aspiring to any results and i know that i will never become the dancer i would like to be, but i am happy to enjoy the music and the jinggling coins"
    b) we reply "yes, yes, i know, but i will try to prove you wrong, prove you wrong, prove you wrong" (and spend our time having that voice as our judge that nevers is happy with our dance)
    c) we reply "i did not ask for your opinion on my physical adeptness, i asked whether i can register now at class, whether this coin belt looks nice on me, and whether this will be fun". In case we cannot waste so much time answering nicely, we can reply something like "@$%#^% you" and anything that might be against this forum's policy.

    welcome to oriental dance planet!

  10. #20
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    Being not very graceful most of my life hasn't actually been anything that has caused me much grief. I don't identify myself as being that way, it's just a tiny aspect of my life that I know I CAN do something about.

    Although I walk a lot, it's been years since I've taken part in anything that could be considered physical fitness. As a kid, I prefered spending time delving into books in the library to anything the PE teacher could come up with, and I have to day that attitude is still with me. I've tried the gym thing and aerobics class stuff but it all seemed more like WORK and not FUN.

    Then I discovered belly dancing (my first exposure was actually several years ago but it took me this long to finally give it a go.) Being that I work from home and most of my human contact is via telephone and Internet, I was looking for something with a social element (the classes) but something I could pursue on my own. Belly dance seems to fit the bill, with the added plus that it's GREAT exercise. Even when I'm practicing the few moves I'm familiar with, it doesn't feel like I'm doing something that is improving my fitness (and confidence) level.

    Early on I realized that belly dancing is something I want to develop some proficiency in. This is new for me because none of the physical fitness-type activities I've tried ever left me feeling that way.

    And that is why I'm so happy to have found such a supportive group of people!

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