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  1. #1
    Member Imeera's Avatar
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    Default What should I do to increase my BD skill?

    Hi everyone! I am trying to come up with a daily regime to further my dancing and am wondering what I can do to help me get better at BD. The problem is is that I am not beginner level anymore but I am in that transition where I go from learning moves and repeating them to learn them to putting them together and actually..well dancing! But how do I do that? Simply practice to music? I have been listening to songs and trying to come up with combinations to parts of the song while learning new moves and trying to incorporate them but it doesn't seem to be working. Everything I try, or when I try to improvise, it looks terrible to me. I know its not that simple but I can't help feeling a bit frustrated and that there is something I am missing. I started to watch Egyptian dancers to get more ideas on combinations but I feel I am not high level enough to follow them properly.

    I am Egyptian Style and am mostly DvD taught (not very well either; one of Sadies DvDs first, Autumn Wards second and am working on Ranya's Baladi now; a complete mix I know!) with lessons in Egyptian style once a week off and on depending where I am. The teacher has an Spanish "accent" from earlier training in Samba, and they were mixed level classes and focused on beginner level more it seemed however I can not go to these lessons as they are where I am at Uni in Plymouth and I am in Norfolk at the moment! I feel like I am lacking in something in my study but I don't know what I am doing wrong, or not doing! Here I usually go over some moves from the Baladi DvD and dance trying out combinations like I said before but its very unstructured and I don't know what to do to make it more productive. I guess I need a teacher but there isn't one here. I want to practice for at least an hour or more, as I am on a placement year in Uni leaving in January next year I have looots of time to spare and want to use it to further my skills in BD but I don't know what to do in that time to further my skills. If you think I am missing any DvDs you might think help me I could probably get them, I am trying to find Raqia Hassan's DvDs but I can't find them anywhere! I can't try any online lessons because my internet is incredibly slow and it would not work at all.

    Any advice on what I can do when I practice daily to help me actually dance and dance well? Also any daily routine that you do or would recommend to help me advance in BD that would last at least an hour or more?

    I am sorry this is so looong! I hope it all makes sense

    THANK YOU!

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Keep working with the Ranya Renee dvd.

    Actually, it honestly sounds like you're right on the cusp of a breakthrough with your dancing, so keep plugging away at it. Ranya's dvd will definitely help you develop the specific skills you're wanting to develop, the only thing you need to do now is give it time & loads of practice.

    Keep going with it. You're doing better than you think!
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
    Skype classes a specialty.
    Email kyabrambellydance@gmail.com for more information.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Ranya is great (and the Taqsim DVD is also worth looking at). If you want a different approach Shareen el Safy is still selling her DVDs Shareen El Safy | Store. These are an acquired taste as she explains the movements - not only how to do them but also their background and some people prefer more action and less talk. However, there is a wealth of material there. (However, I suggest you modify the posture a little as the clenching a coin between your butt cheeks is not really required - the alignment is).

    As well as working with your DVDs keep an eye out for workshops and Festivals. The new material is useful - but it might offer a chance for a private lesson with someone whose style is more what you are looking for.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    This article on my web site offers some ideas on how to structure a belly dance study session at home: How to Structure a Belly Dance Study / Practice Session at Home

    And this one offers ideas on what to do when there's not a suitable local teacher to offer what you're looking for: Learning To Belly Dance: If No Local Teacher, Or The One That's There Doesn't Have The Knowledge You Seek

    I agree with Kashmir that Shareen el-Safy's videos may offer you some insights, and I also agree with her comments and Shareen's explanations. I think there's a lot of good material in the explanations, but they admittedly do disrupt the flow of learning the choreography being taught.

    Another thing you may want to consider at this point in time since you're no longer a beginner: select a video of a famous Egyptian dancer, whichever one you'd really like to study in depth, and study her performances. Try learning to mimic what she's doing, which will help you feel her style in your body. Notice how she uses her arms, how her choice of movements aligns to the music, how she interacts with the audience, etc. After you feel as though you understand a particular dancer's style quite well, then you can do the same thing with another dancer. After you've worked with a variety of different dancers, you'll start to merge ideas from each, and as a result you'll find you've crafted your own style that looks and feels Egyptian, but is uniquely your own.

    Another DVD instructor you may want to consider is Keti Sharif, particularly Jewel of Arabia, but her others are good too. Here's a link to my reviews of instructional videos alphabetized by teacher: Belly Dancing: Shira's Reviews of Instructional Videos, Alphabetical List

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