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  1. #1
    Member gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Which is better?

    I have been taking lessons for about a year now, and plan to continue for another 40 or so
    After class this week, I had this thought; while a foundation (proper execution of movements, positions) is necessary, which is truly the better way to learn to bellydance, by learning move by move, what I'll call 'technique', or by dancing?
    If you have ever had your instructor turn on music and just start moving, using simple dance moves for the students to follow, did you find it more inspiring than when doing technical stuff? I felt lighter on my feet, more in the flow that way, whereas the mechanized step by step portion of class was of course more difficult, resulting in a ridgid movement.
    I do want to learn properly, so I'm happy to have a good instructor, but as a level 2 student I do so little actual dancing.
    I guess I would just like to hear what others think of utilizing the dance to the music method during early level classes.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    I am going to be boring perhaps, and say that a good mix of the two is best.
    Only doing step by step breakdown og movement is not going to make you understand the flow in the dancing. I often have problems with understanding a combination until the music is on and I get to see the bigger picture.

    Only dancing freely, improvising or following the teacher, will make you feel the music and flow but might not make you execute the movements correctly. There is a fine line between making distinct movements together so they make a dance (but not just put together on a string, if you know what I mean) and just making ooey gooey torso moves that looks like a big mess

    IMO we need both.

  3. #3
    Member Taslin's Avatar
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    I'd say both as well. Last week at the end of class after drills and individual moves were taught an instructor had us make a circle and "just dance" pull each other in , dance with each other, and then solo freestyle in the middle, and etc. i realized i had been focusing too much on drilling and not flowing with the music being creative and thinking about what and why we do where. I know to do this-but had not really been enough and i was totally flabbergasted when it was my turn to "just dance". I was like what moves did we do today? trying to choreograph off the cuff, it was hard to let go and just dance, which is a huge part of dancing,lol.

    I think that it is important to drill technique so that it will be "in" your body automatic for when you are just flowing/dancing. A good combo is my goal for the future. Its going to be harder than i thought it was but, to get more balanced is my goal.

    I think when i get home after class im going to start putting on some music and just dancing trying to keep in mind anything we drilled in class, and just dance to the music for a significant period of time. Im always wanting "more" after class anyhow,lol.

  4. #4
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    I'm new to belly dance (just finished my first session), and tend to be very analytical about things I'm not familiar with. I don't feel comfortable "just following along" when I don't know how to make my body move the way the instructor is moving. My least favorite part of class was the warm-up, when the teacher demonstrated simple moves and just asked us to try and follow along. I was too busy concentrating on what she was doing and trying to keep up to really listen to the music and just "loosen up." For me, learning to do a few moves and then stringing them together works well. We learned a simple 1.5 minute drum solo and I really enjoyed the process because I knew what moves we would be making, how to make them (or at least the basics of how) and when we would be making them. Since I knew what would be happening next in the solo, I actually started to listen to the music and learned the musical cues so by the end I was able to transition most of the moves based on the music and not just counting steps.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    I think you should be dancing a little by now. In fact, my first teacher used to teach us technique the first session, then in the second session she started taking us into a few small combos. After learning the combos, we would dance the combos across the room, then after dancing the combos across the room, she told us to put ourselves into it, show a little or a lot of attitude. By the time we got to level 2, at the end of class, five minutes before it ended, we just danced and did anything we wanted to on what we thought was right.

  6. #6
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    Both.

  7. #7
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    What everyone else has been saying here, pretty much.

    Follow the bouncing butt with no technique just leads to sloppy dancing and injury. All drills and no play makes for dull, stilted dancing. There needs to be a good mix of both to make a good dancer.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Do lots of drilling (what you call "move by move") but sometimes also turn on music and just dance.

    Every dancer needs both.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gisela View Post
    I am going to be boring perhaps, and say that a good mix of the two is best.
    Only doing step by step breakdown og movement is not going to make you understand the flow in the dancing. I often have problems with understanding a combination until the music is on and I get to see the bigger picture.

    Only dancing freely, improvising or following the teacher, will make you feel the music and flow but might not make you execute the movements correctly. There is a fine line between making distinct movements together so they make a dance (but not just put together on a string, if you know what I mean) and just making ooey gooey torso moves that looks like a big mess

    IMO we need both.
    I second what Gisela has said
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  10. #10
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Both.

    When you let it flow it is based on your underlying technique (and it tends to be a lower level). You drill so your underlying technique is clean - and varied. As a beginner you'll probably do much more drilling than improvisation - maybe 80-20.

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