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  1. #1
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    Default Beautiful, Graceful, Powerful Arms?

    How does one develop them? It seems to be the one thing I really need to work on...I do drills, I concentrate on keeping lifted and graceful and as soon as my attention wavers there go the arms.

    I have been drilling with veil a lot lately since it seemed to help the Egyptian dancers; I got a DVD by Katia that I am not very thrilled with so I don't use it much.

    Any particular suggestions?

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Mmmmm, I think you are giving up to fast Suhad. To develop proficiency in anything, it takes practice with intent. I think we all have problems initially with arms movements. You may not like Katia's video(which I think is a good one), but Fahtiem has one also. It may be you are concentrating so hard on your arms that you're not picking up on the signals your body is telling you. Do your arms feel tired,are you left with stiff upper back and shoulders? You just may need to exercise your arms and develop muscle strength and flexibility. I always like to think of my hands and arms "floating" as I raise or lower them, and think about them as moving from my center of gravity,connected to my body and not just appendages. Keep practicing , I think you will get it.
    Yasmine

  3. #3
    Senior Member miss_shimmy's Avatar
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    when i practise my arms,i like to pretend i am in water,so there is a little resistance there.this helps me alott.
    as yasmine says,its practise...practise...practise...


    best of luck

  4. #4
    Member Babylonia's Avatar
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    yes, practice, practice practice

    try lifting your arms with your back muscles instead of just your arms

    pretending you're in water is an excellent idea

  5. #5
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylonia View Post
    ...try lifting your arms with your back muscles instead of just your arms
    This is what my teacher tells us, and letting our arms float like Yasmine said. Back muscles are much stronger than arm muscles, so with practice your arms cease to be aching appendages that you need to concentrate on, and become a graceful flowing extension of your movements. That's the theory anyway - I do hideous arm things with the best of 'em.

  6. #6
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    I know this prolly won't help, but if not it's still a nice thought.

    I'd put on some really nice deserty music and pretend you're a snake slythering through a hot dry dusty desert. The sun's shining high in the sky, and you feel warm and dry. And then you pass the pryamids and sphinx and carry on down along the Nile.... etc. You get the idea.

    Get's you in a snakey mood. Try not to think too much about you'r arms, but move them freely like you are that snake.

  7. #7
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylonia View Post
    try lifting your arms with your back muscles instead of just your arms
    That is my problem...tonight in class I actually had to go over to my instructor and feel her arms to see exactly WHICH muscles she was engaging in order to actually understand what I was doing vs. what she was doing. The lightbulb [I]finally[I] went on....at least now I know what to practice!

    Five years after my first bellydance lesson this month and I finally understand the whole arms/posture connection!

    Oy. I'm so retarded sometimes.

    Thanks to you all for your suggestions, I'll also incorporate the visualizations into my practice. If I know my brain, I'll start dreaming about graceful arms and that's how it will get into my waking arms.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara View Post
    I know this prolly won't help, but if not it's still a nice thought.

    I'd put on some really nice deserty music and pretend you're a snake slythering through a hot dry dusty desert. The sun's shining high in the sky, and you feel warm and dry. And then you pass the pryamids and sphinx and carry on down along the Nile.... etc. You get the idea.

    Get's you in a snakey mood. Try not to think too much about you'r arms, but move them freely like you are that snake.
    That’s exactly what I was going to say!

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Arms

    Dear Suhad,
    For now, don't worry about doing fancy things with your arms and hands.
    Concentrate instead on pretending that you are holding a plum between your thumb and middle finger, and relax at the wrist so that your palm is facing the floor. (Your palm can occasionally face the wall, the celing, etc, but with your arms extended, should face the floor. turn your elbows so that they are behind you instead of hanging down, and keep them softly flexed, but not deeply bent. Relax the shoulders and let your arms be about breast high instead of even with the shoulders. From this basic stance, you should be able to move your arms anywhere with grace. Move as if you are savoring the feeling instead of rushing through it. I tell my students to prentend they are moving through jello. Consider too, using your arms as frames for movenets most of the time, so that they are not too busy to let the audience focus on the beauty of your body movements.
    I hope this helps.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  10. #10
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    While it's not so practical for framing and changing arm positions, here's a little prop that can initially help with maintaining the frame Aisha described. Take a length of cord/ribbon/soft rope. Hold each end with the middle finger and thumb. Hold the rope behind the body/across the back and extend your arms until you are at waist or breast level. Cut the cord so you have exactly that length. Then you can do your dance practice while keeping the cord stretched tight, paying attention to not letting the cord come forward or back but right across the back. Keeping soft arms but maintaining energy in them, relaxed shoulders etc. I think it can be a helpful exercise if a person has trouble with "chicken", "robbery victim" or droopy arms, or if you tend to let the arms migrate to far back or forward.

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