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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Default Lightbulb Moments

    Let's talk about those moments that had the power to change our belly dance experience forever:

    What were some of your favorite "lightbulb moments" throughout your journey with belly dance? How did the moment come about (Were you watching a video, practicing in front of the mirror, talking to a friend? Was it a correction from a teacher, mentor, or workshop instructor?)? How did it change you as a dancer? How does it continue to influence you?

    I got the idea for this thread from this quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    One of the best itty-bitty corrections I ever got was in my 4th workshop with Hadia (Yeah, I'm a fan) and I was thinking I was all hot diggity professional artist, and she points to me out of the crowd of about 100 and says "no, keep your knees closer together." That one simple correction made a HUGE difference in my line and in the presentation of a lot of hip work (working on the S curve and all). I STILL think of that correction when I'm practicing in the mirror. Without that, I maybe would have known something was kind of "off," but it might have taken me years to figure out what it was, if I ever did.
    Personally, I've had so many lightbulb moments I've lost count, but the one that came to mind as I was reading that statement was a private class I was taking with Kahina on hip techniques.

    I seemed to already know most of what she was teaching or to be picking it up fairly quickly. Meanwhile, she kept correcting my arm frames. During the entire class, 90% of the corrections I got were on arms, even though we weren't even working on arms (we were just using them to frame the body).

    That was my cue that I *really* should start working on arms... I knew they sucked and kept putting off working on them, but after that class I decided that was it. 1 and a half years later, I'm still working on arms. It's a constant, uphill battle, but at least I know what I want to accomplish with them, how to go about it, and what teachers and inspirations to seek.

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    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    My light-bulb moments weren't a technique epiphany, but I'll share anyway.

    The first time I ever saw someone dancing in Egyptian style. I thought to myself, "That doesn't look like what I'm learning in my belly dance class. I wonder why?" Such was life before the internet. Incidentally, it was A'isha Azar at Azar's restaurant.

    My second light-bulb moment was kind of a self revelation. I was thinking about my dancing and I asked myself, "What's Middle Eastern about this?" It was then that I decided I wanted to quit studying American Oriental, Pan Arabic and Tribal stuff and concentrate on native styles instead.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    My light-bulb moments weren't a technique epiphany, but I'll share anyway.

    The first time I ever saw someone dancing in Egyptian style. I thought to myself, "That doesn't look like what I'm learning in my belly dance class. I wonder why?" Such was life before the internet. Incidentally, it was A'isha Azar at Azar's restaurant.

    My second light-bulb moment was kind of a self revelation. I was thinking about my dancing and I asked myself, "What's Middle Eastern about this?" It was then that I decided I wanted to quit studying American Oriental, Pan Arabic and Tribal stuff and concentrate on native styles instead.
    Did you end up studying with A'isha? She seems like a wonderful teacher and resource!

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    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Yep. She lives far, but I've picked her brain on the phone for hours, gone to her workshops, read all her publications, and done a private intensive with her. She set me on the path I'm on today.

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    The first time I ever saw someone dancing in Egyptian style. I thought to myself, "That doesn't look like what I'm learning in my belly dance class. I wonder why?" Such was life before the internet. Incidentally, it was A'isha Azar at Azar's restaurant.
    Lol -- that was me too, only I had bought one of Morocco's videotapes of Sohair Zaki, and I couldn't figure out why what we were doing in class wasn't what she was doing (which I thought was just the height of awesomeness.)

    Another lightbulb moment for me was with Dina, realizing that what she was doing WASN'T a side hip lift, but rather a kind of internal contraction of the ovary (best description someone gave!) that pulled the hip up and kind of into the body. Later this was demonstrated brilliantly on Ranya Renee's baladi dvd, but at the time I was astonished that Dina would do an "improper" hip lift, and decided I loved it and would imitate it. lol.

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    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    For me the first lightbulb moment was when after extensive study of the different styles of dance it hit me that I really am not interested in performing Egyptian style dance at all. I can thank Ranya Renee for that. I was able to get a look at a copy of her Baladi instruction DVD when I was seriously thinking of buying it. She impressed me immensely but it convinced me that that was the opposite direction of where I personally wanted to go.

    The next was when I started looking for good examples of Turkish and Vintage Oriental dancers. I knew I was looking for something that was missing in a lot of the dancing I had seen and I noticed that their dancing was a lot simpler then the modern stuff. Then the light bulb went off, the modern style performances are technical rather then expressive! Now I'm not worrying about being able to layer every little thing. Instead I want to learn how to improve to the music in a way that is expressive rather then just imitating the notes; an emotional connection.

    I don't suppose anyone knows of an instructor that teaches Turkish/Vintage Oriental dance improve via the net?

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    When I finally was able to execute the Egyptian twist. I always loved that move!

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    I don't suppose anyone knows of an instructor that teaches Turkish/Vintage Oriental dance improve via the net?
    Ansuya That's what GypsyNet is about.

    I wouldn't say she's really "Turkish" style, but she can certainly dance in the Vintage Oriental style, and her emotive improvisation instruction is fantastic.

    Ansuya TEACHES a lot of different things -- including some more fusion-type stuff, and she dances just about whatever she feels like, but she's also a TERRIFIC instructor (even of styles and stylizations that you don't usually see her dance) and even being the Egypto-phile I am, I have really learned a lot from her that I do actually apply to my dancing.


    Just a thought

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    I don't suppose anyone knows of an instructor that teaches Turkish/Vintage Oriental dance improve via the net?
    Have you investigated Artemis? She is a master in the Rom/Turkish style and her zill work is amazing!

  10. #10
    Member MissVega's Avatar
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    Oh good topic.

    I have them all the time, but a major one was finally getting score sheets and videos back from Belly Dance Nationals (nov 2010) and BDUC (2011). I used the same song for the fusion category at both pf these competitions. Different costume, and the song had to be shortened for BDUC, but you get the jist.

    When I finally saw the nationals video i was actually really pleased with it. Other than the ending I couldn't have asked for it to have gone better. My Score was 82%. BDUC my score for the fusion was 96%. HOLY huge improvement right? Then I saw the video and didn't like it nearly as much as I did the performance from nationals. despite the noticable improvement in score, I didn't think it was better, nevermind improvement than the one from Nationals. Aside from the ending, which went better at BDUC.

    I realized I appreciate the feedback and find it very useful, but at the end I still stick with my gut feeling, despite the difference in score I would still say that the nationals performance was better and the BDUC one was meh. Moral of the story, listen to all feedback, but stay focused on what MY goals and likes are. I'm not going to change my mind that because of the scores the BDUC performance must have been better. I am sticking to my guns. lol

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