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  1. #51
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    I think something we tend to forget is that none of our "moves" are really that difficult, technically. I mean we're not doing fouettes, or wings in tap dance -- the most complicated and difficult movements are really just fast versions of easy movements, or compound movements done together.

    The HARD part of our dance is putting those movements together into a visually pleasing whole: the transitions and weight changes, the musical expression -- that's the hard part.

    I have a couple of students who can execute each "move" brilliantly while standing there. But the minute I string a few moves together, they forget where their weight is, or they move like robots. Real skill in dance is making smooth and seamless transitions, having the muscle control to differentiate between sharp and smooth movements, and having a good sense of the music.

    For the above reason, I don't usually say "when you have learned and mastered x number of moves, you are intermediate level."

  2. #52
    Member Elfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    I think something we tend to forget is that none of our "moves" are really that difficult, technically. I mean we're not doing fouettes, or wings in tap dance -- the most complicated and difficult movements are really just fast versions of easy movements, or compound movements done together.

    The HARD part of our dance is putting those movements together into a visually pleasing whole: the transitions and weight changes, the musical expression -- that's the hard part.

    I have a couple of students who can execute each "move" brilliantly while standing there. But the minute I string a few moves together, they forget where their weight is, or they move like robots. Real skill in dance is making smooth and seamless transitions, having the muscle control to differentiate between sharp and smooth movements, and having a good sense of the music.

    For the above reason, I don't usually say "when you have learned and mastered x number of moves, you are intermediate level."
    That's what I learned when I moved from using belly dance moves as exercise to actually dancing. Transitioning was hard! For the longest time, I'd have little pauses between moves while I danced... I was trying to figure out how to go from, say, vertical figure 8s (hips) to a Turkish bump. I started making sure my hips stopped at neutral, and that made transitioning easier. I'm still not sure I transition "correctly" but I know that when I dance now there are only stops and pauses when I do them on purpose.

    That's one thing I wish I could find more online videos about. Transitions. I have never come across a video that talks about transitioning at any length.

    One thing I have never mastered (in my mind) is the 3/4 shimmy. I can do a 3/4 shimmy walk just fine, but doing a 3/4 shimmy standing looks terrible. No matter how crisp I move or how fluid, my 3/4 looks like I'm having isolated hip convulsions one side at a time.

    Something I have noticed about many online videos I've watched and worked with on ehow is some of the instructors saying to pick your feet up off the floor until you get the hang of the move. I think it's lazy. I know with walking or traveling moves, you have to, but for hip raises, you shouldn't have to pick your feet up off the floor. I don't particularly care for this instruction method... they teach you to pick your feet up on moves that your feet should stay planted on or on half toes, and it makes for a hard habit to break. Using your feet/leg muscles for moves that should be core/oblique/hip muscle oriented, to me, seems like cheating.

    So why do they use this instruction method? The movements don't even look right when you use your feet and leg muscles as the originator. Why would they use it?

  3. #53
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfie View Post
    Something I have noticed about many online videos I've watched and worked with on ehow is some of the instructors saying to pick your feet up off the floor until you get the hang of the move. I think it's lazy. I know with walking or traveling moves, you have to, but for hip raises, you shouldn't have to pick your feet up off the floor. I don't particularly care for this instruction method... they teach you to pick your feet up on moves that your feet should stay planted on or on half toes, and it makes for a hard habit to break. Using your feet/leg muscles for moves that should be core/oblique/hip muscle oriented, to me, seems like cheating.

    So why do they use this instruction method? The movements don't even look right when you use your feet and leg muscles as the originator. Why would they use it?
    Sometimes I use the 'pick your feet up off the floor' method because sometimes students have trouble figuring out the weight placement and the working hip. If your foot is up, you can't put weight on it. It's a learning tool only; after it's figured out, you do it normally. One student transferred from another BD school (both teachers at the school were intermediates at best but that's another story) and she had been trying to do her three-quarter shimmy with the weight on the wrong leg. She was extremely frustrated.

    You can also use that method to train yourself to move your hip without pushing from the floor. I don't advocate a push against the floor or pull from the waist only technique. I use one, the other, or both depending on what I want to do at the time.

  4. #54
    Member Elfie's Avatar
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    Well see, that makes sense Jane.

  5. #55
    Senior Member goddessyasaman's Avatar
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    hey Elfie there is a good Intruction DvD that helps with the shimmies, it's called "Every Shimmy in the book" she breakes down the 3/4 shimmy standing and travel, this way you can see it and in bits, I would try to say but my written word may not help.

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