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  1. #11
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    Hello Ælfscine!

    I am very inspired by your strength and determination - that is wonderful! I just wanted to add that even if you need to hold off before learning to belly dance, there is so much musical and cultural knowledge that accompanies this art form that it would be a great time to start expanding your knowledge on these subjects.

    1. You could start learning about belly dance history and different folkloric styles from Morocco's book "YOU ASKED AUNT ROCKY: ANSWERS & ADVICE ABOUT RAQS SHARQI & RAQS SHAABI (Oriental & Folk Dance)".

    Available here: Welcome to Morocco's Meanderings

    Or here: You Asked Aunt Rocky: Answers & Advice About Raqs Sharqi and Raqs Shaabi by Morocco (C.Varga Dinicu) (Paperback) - Lulu

    2. Belly dancers need to be able to identify the different Arabic rhythms, musical instruments, finger cymbal patterns, and musical forms. A great resource to start learning might be George Dimitri Sawa's book and CD set, "Egyptian Music Appreciation & Practice for Bellydancers".

    Available here: George Dimitri Sawa Buy Music and Books

    Note: I do not have this set yet, but am planning on buying it for my birthday treat in January. If I could start over, this would be the first resource on music I would purchase.

    3. While you're at it, you might want to pick up some Saroyan zills (this is the favorite brand of many dancers).

    Available here:Saroyan Cymbals

    They also may be available through Amazon, through the seller name Saroyan Mastercrafts.

    This RaqsTV streaming video is also a great place to start learning how to play finger cymbals:

    Zill Drills with Zaina Zahesha | RaqsTV - Belly Dancing Classes Online

    These are just a few ideas for resources you might enjoy in addition to learning from the forums. By studying these, you will have a huge advantage when you begin dancing.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Ælfscine, although I haven't seen this DVD myself, it occurs to me that it might provide you with a place to start in learning some upper body belly dance movement:

    Amazon.com: Chair Aerobics for Everyone - Chair Bellydance: Ronit Amaya, Bruce and Andrea King, Andrea King and Ronit Amaya: Movies & TV

    This page on my web site was intended for people who were already learning to belly dance before their accident or injury, but perhaps it contains some ideas that you could use with your situation:

    When You Can't Belly Dance Due to Health Limitations

    Good luck with your recovery!

  3. #13
    Member Ælfscine's Avatar
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    Post Dancing alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by shiradotnet View Post
    Ælfscine, although I haven't seen this DVD myself, it occurs to me that it might provide you with a place to start in learning some upper body belly dance movement:

    Amazon.com: Chair Aerobics for Everyone - Chair Bellydance: Ronit Amaya, Bruce and Andrea King, Andrea King and Ronit Amaya: Movies & TV

    This page on my web site was intended for people who were already learning to belly dance before their accident or injury, but perhaps it contains some ideas that you could use with your situation:

    When You Can't Belly Dance Due to Health Limitations

    Good luck with your recovery!
    Hi Shiradotnet...

    Thank you very much for this information and directing me to your web site. I found a lot of good information there. Yes, keeping up your moral and having a positive attitude does help you a lot. There are so many people in the world who want to beat you down and crush your spirit and kill your hopes of being the best you can and to prosper because you are handicapped. I decided one day not to listen to them and not to believe what they say any longer and before long I was doing many things that even the "experts" said I couldn't do. So many are now jealous of me because of it -- I don't care any more. Let them be miserable, defeatist and never reach the potential life has to offer them. I intend to live and enjoy life.

    Last week my brother bought me two pairs of sagat. The tones don't match each other but I have been told by others here that that makes no difference. I am looking forward on learning how to play them -- and driving my dad and brother crazy as I practise <wicked grin> I can see where this could help in hands-eyes-ears coordination.

    I have been thinking of a stage name for myself. I thought I would use "Ælfscine" but I have found that too many people have difficulties with it and it would put me in a really bad mood if I have to hear my name being mangled everytime before I go on stage. For you who are wondering: it sounds exactly like "Elf Shine". In Anglo-Saxon times, Elves were considered beautiful and for a woman of the period to be described as ælfscine was a high compliment. I am thinking of using the name of one of my favourite characters in my fictions which is Ishandra. I don't see much going wrong here except if it gets shortened to "Isha" which would probably give anyone who speaks Arabic a good guffah.

    Anyway, I goofing off in class to get this written. Better get back to it.

    Later,

    Ælfscine

  4. #14
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    When you say "two pairs," do you mean one set? A set of sagat (or zills) includes 4 cymbals.

    I'm impatiently waiting for Christmas so I can open my new Saroyans! Best wishes to you on your dance journey!

  5. #15
    Member Ælfscine's Avatar
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    Roll  Eyes Am I being a ding-a-ling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    When you say "two pairs," do you mean one set? A set of sagat (or zills) includes 4 cymbals.

    I'm impatiently waiting for Christmas so I can open my new Saroyans! Best wishes to you on your dance journey!
    Hi...

    Ælfstangard bought me 4 cymbals so I guess I have one set. Forgive a noobie error here. I think he's also bought me a hip scarf for Christmas -- but hush! Don't let on that I might know. It's our secret. Ok? And do enjoy your new Saroyans on Christmas.

    Later,

    Ælfscine

  6. #16
    Member Ælfscine's Avatar
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    Default Your messages give me courage

    Hello Everyone...

    I like to come back here to reread all the messages you have left me. They have given me the courage to keep on even when I get frustrated.

    I have not had any luck finding an instructor. I have phoned around but it has been discouraging. Everyone seems interested enough until I explain that I'm paraplegic and then the conversation seems to just go dead. I was told by one that she was interested in teaching "those who can dance," others asked me if I were joking and one lady just breathed heavily into the phone a few times before she slammed it in my ear. I should have expected it. This is the type of ignorance I have to face nearly every day of my life. I'm not about to give up because of it but, still, it hurts to be treated this way.

    Now I more determined to learn. If I can't do it with an instructor I'll do it without. I'll get that DVD that Shiradotnet (I hear that she is a beautiful singer ) told me about and learn on my own if I must.

    I'm sorry for the downer post but right now I hurt, I just want to start bawling and I need to vent. I figured that here at least you would understand.

    Thank you all for hearing me out,

    Ælfscine

  7. #17
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ælfscine View Post
    Everyone seems interested enough until I explain that I'm paraplegic and then the conversation seems to just go dead. I was told by one that she was interested in teaching "those who can dance," others asked me if I were joking and one lady just breathed heavily into the phone a few times before she slammed it in my ear.
    It makes me sad to hear that people were rude to you! I suppose the heavy-breather may have thought you were a hoax call. But that doesn't excuse behaving rudely. I try to be pleasant even to people I think may be hoaxers because you just never know - sometimes such calls end up being legitimate.

    As for the one who said she only wants to teach "those who can dance", that's really a rude way to respond. I've had a number of students with disabilities over the years, and even though I know they will never be candidates to join a troupe and dance at haflas, they came to class because they believed they would get some kind of benefit from that, and as a teacher I feel responsible for offering what I can to them. I feel it's up to the student to decide whether she can participate enough to make it worthwhile for her. If she thinks she can gain some benefit from being there despite her disability, then I she is welcome in my classroom.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    There's a new DVD from Cheeky Girls coming out this summer that I'm waiting for with baited breath. Maybe it would be something you could use as well?



    Teachers like Shira are worth their weight in Gold. If you can't find one locally that is willing to work with you perhaps you can find someone who will do lessons with you via skype/internet?

  9. #19
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default I am sorry i missed the discussion so far

    Ælfscine, Alysha and Ariadne gave you very good advice.

    Most doctors have no special training and they are too lazy to study literature on bellydancing's influence on body health and recovery (i have found plenty and i am not a medical doctor, then a medical could probably have access to more and better sources if she wanted to).

    Moreover, most bellydance teachers do not really have ANY training about dealing with injuries, first to avoid injury while practicing for them and their students, and second, to be able to dance and teach with people who have some injury. The people you have talked with and replied in those impossible ways, are not only rude, they are ignorant - to the point that i i worry about their current students. If those teachers do not know that you can dance and how this can be done, they probably do not know to teach safe and recovery dancing to their students, putting them (and probable themselves) in great danger.

    Anyway, Ariadne raised the issue of skype lessons. That is a great idea and you will find teachers like this.

    And let me share a little story with you: my grand grand mother, who was also bellydancing the traditional style of my area, was, during the last years of her life suffering from osteoporosis, then she had many bone injuries at her legs and pelvis. She could walk only with mechanical support, but definitely she could not dance with all her body any more. She had lived a very tough life as a woman and as a refugee, wars, dictatorships, dangers, everything. However, she never missed to insist in two things: first, she never cut her hair short. She had long hair all over her life, styled as a pigtail around her head. Second, she kept dancing with her upper body, although she knew that she might not be able to dance with her full body again, as she was over 90 and full of bone injuries.

    After this, you would better follow your mother's advice [bless her!] and you never look at other people who are so buying into self-pity. At the end, it is your life! And i think that if my grand grand mother was so persistent in dancing (actually with no hope of getting better) none of us are entitled to give up.

    With my best wishes from Crete,
    W.
    Last edited by walladah; 05-03-2013 at 03:25 PM.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone - listen to your own body. If your body tells you to do only upper body dancing, then listen. But if you think your lower body can do some dancing, like testing bath water for temperature, step in a little at a time. And you are never, ever too old to start dancing. Take care of yourself.

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