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  1. #11
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EsmereldaDancer1987 View Post
    I haven't been to any classes because there aren't any in my area and i want to have my own style, i follow Sadie's dvds mainly as i like her technique. I didn't think the music was very tribal fusion, i just liked the drum beat on it and i like mystical music, I listen and dance to all different kinds of belly dance music. I love all styles of belly dance, and want to learn every style so that i can incorporate them together and have my own unique style.

    I was concentrating in the mirror hence why i didn't show much emotion lol I have a very expressive face naturally so if i was out performing i would be showing more emotion and expression on my face connecting with the audience.
    I'm sorry to hear you can't find classes! However, I'd definitely encourage you, like the others here, to look a bit harder--there's always something. And you absolutely need need need to take years of classes before you can be a solo performer. Trust me, it will be amazing and fun, and well worth the effort. It's just important to understand that this is like any other dance (jazz, hip hop, ballet)--one must be instructed in person by professional for many years before one can really qualify to do this sort of thing. Learning by dvds is useful, but there's nothing like learning in person.

    Going for a unique style is also understandable, but that is something you approach AFTER you learn from teachers, not before. If you don't pay attention to teachers now because you just want your own style, you are probably learning inappropriate technique, as well as missing important cultural and musical information.

    I am not a professional, but from 4 years of study and obsessive research in my opinion you are not ready. (Nor am I )

    Don't give up, though! If you are really passionate about oriental dance, hunt down those classes!

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EsmereldaDancer1987 View Post
    I haven't been to any classes because there aren't any in my area and i want to have my own style, i follow Sadie's dvds mainly as i like her technique. I didn't think the music was very tribal fusion, i just liked the drum beat on it and i like mystical music, I listen and dance to all different kinds of belly dance music. I love all styles of belly dance, and want to learn every style so that i can incorporate them together and have my own unique style.
    You might be able to learn belly dance from DVDs as a hobbist (although it is not possible for most people) but you would need a wide range of good DVDs - not a single teacher. However, public performance is a whole new level and needs other skills.

    After 22 years I think I have a couple of styles down pat - "all styles" is pretty difficult even if you have time, money and talent. Not feasible for most people. It is a bit like learning to paint. First you study the "standard" or "accepted" way - then you develop your style. If you leap straight into "your own unique style" without studying what belly dance actually is what you will end up doing may be interesting dance but it is unlikely to be belly dance.

    Quote Originally Posted by EsmereldaDancer1987 View Post
    I was concentrating in the mirror hence why i didn't show much emotion lol I have a very expressive face naturally so if i was out performing i would be showing more emotion and expression on my face connecting with the audience.
    No - even when practicing you must have on your performance face. If you cannot do that you have a long way to go before going public to anyone - let alone a paying client.

  3. #13
    Member MizzNaaa's Avatar
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    I know the criticism in this thread might sound a bit harsh, after all in your head right now you feel like "YAY PERFORMANCE!". That is good, it's good that you're so motivated and excited about this, that's the spirit you need before you start learning so you can stay motivated until you reach an ability level that would enable you to perform.

    I don't think we've talked in the forum before, so in a nutshell, I'm (I think?) the forum's resident Egyptian newb. I like to believe, because baladi has been part of my growing up, I have a good eye as to what would constitute as 'good' bellydancing? And I've watched your video.

    Your moves are not varied, your arms are uhm..for lack of better word a bit stiff. You concentrated too much on what you would call piston drops? Hip rolls, vertical figure eights and not much else. Your moves feel like they're barely attached together, basically there is no fluidity in your transitions...

    The music choice, and I'm sorry to say this, is quite a poor one. This music would probably annoy me if I was sitting in a restaurant, I'm guessing the lack of variation in the music could be the reason why your moves are limited, I'm not sure though.

    On the bright side, you do have it in you, you seem to have some good understanding of certain aspects of the dance, you just - and again I'm sorry to be so blunt- look and dance like a beginner.

    While your abilities are still budding like this, I don't think you should perform, because not only are you possibly giving an image about bellydance to people who've never been exposed to it before, but you also could really disappoint yourself if your performance doesn't spark the approval you seek.

    Now this again my seem like quite harsh, but the reality is, I'm a middle-easterner, and if I was in a restaurant and you were performing there, I'd roll my eyes and be like...pfft, go learn to dance baladi woman! Because we are judgmental a-holes sometimes when it comes to our dance, which I think is warranted; it is our dance after all.

    So the bottom line is, don't be discouraged, you really do have it in you and the fact that you learned this on your own with DVDs is great, but if you really want to be a pro, go take it to the next level, find classes whether online or offline, and further your studies and practice, then try to get a position in an amateur troupe with a teacher, then study some more then start going pro.

    One last tip, Sadie's style is good and everything and learning some of her moves is great but you'll do yourself a world of good to look up other dvds, and most of all watch authentic performances from Egyptian dancers like Dina, Randa Kamel, and older people like Fifi Abdo, Sohair Zaki and old Egyptian clips from movies with performances for golden era dancers, watch dancers from Turkey and even westerners who're older in the field, research and learn and practice on middle eastern music...etc. In a few years, with enough dedication, you'll probably be ace and will be ready to start performing.

    I hope you take no offence to my criticism, and good luck with your dancing.
    Last edited by MizzNaaa; 01-14-2013 at 07:11 PM.

  4. #14
    Member M'Lady Caija's Avatar
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    Ferrets <3 <3 <3

  5. #15
    Member Afrit's Avatar
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    No - you are not ready.

    Really bad music choice - very boring and trance like. Not really belly dance music which is part of the reason you come across as doing drills rather than dancing. (I think a really experienced person might be able to get it to work). Belly dance is not a series of isolation sets. Looks like exercise to music.

    You need also to work on your arms and performance skills. I would not watch you in a restaurant. Restaurant dancers need to be able to engage the audience. (Good isolations though)

    Also consider learning how to edit out the "starting the video camera" bit!

  6. #16
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    I've had a chance to watch the video now, and I agree that you are not yet ready to be performing for the general public. You've done well to learn the technique that you have done from DVDs, and I can tell you've worked hard, but your technique isn't of a professional level yet.

    I don't personally think your music choice was that bad (I can imagine it working for a dramatic stage piece), but it's not something I'd ever use in a restaurant set, as it is so repetetive.
    However, as others have said, your dancing didn't really reflect or interpret the music, and it looked more like a series of exercises. It was mostly static, with virtually no travelling, turning, or use of different shapes and angles. Your arms were mostly in one position all of the time. And you tended to do a single move repeated quite a lot, then move on to another move, rather than using more varied sequences and combinations. And this is not even touching on the whole subject of emotion and engagement, which are vital when performing for an audience...

    But all of this is quite normal for somebody who has been learning for maybe a year or so, especially without the variety and guidance that comes from having a teacher. You seem to have a good grasp of the basics for somebody of your level, but you need to widen your training to include transitioning fluidly between moves, combinations and weight shifts, travelling and turning, and a much wider range of arm shapes and patterns (Aziza's arms DVD is really good for this). I stick by my suggestion that the best way to do this is to attend regular classes in addition to your home study.

    I don't know how much you know about Middle Eastern music at the moment, but if you aspire to be a professional one day, you will also need to know Arabic and Turkish music very well indeed, to put together entertaining and appropriate sets for different audiences. There are also loads of other considerations. In any case, an excellent starting point is Shira's site - All About Belly Dancing - Shira.net. Read everything there, it's full of very useful stuff
    Some things you might find especially useful:
    Belly Dance: A Good Career Option?
    Belly Dancing: Doing Gigs

    Good luck in your dance journey - you've had loads of good advice here, and I'm sure you have the potential to one day be a wonderful dancer

  7. #17
    Junior Member EsmereldaDancer1987's Avatar
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    Afrit, you do realise this is just a simple youtube video, Iím hardly going to be making any professionally recorded studio quality dvdís of my dancing just yet so in the context itís presented in, learning how to edit out the camera starting bit is kind of redundant in my stage of development right nowÖmaybe once Iíve started performing live then it might be necessary to project a more professional image although if I was doing that I probably wouldnít post a video of me dancing in front of my ferret cage lol

    MizzNaaa, It must be a cultural thing but to me and my friends that baladi dancing just looks... I showed my friends some of those dancers you recommended and they all said the same thing. ďIt looks like a drunk woman trying her best not to fall overĒ. I hadnít heard of Baladi before you mentioned it but having googled it, it seems that Baladi is a distinctly unique artform in itís own right. I guess being brought up in different cultures you get conditioned to believe dancing has to be performed in a certain way or to a certain ideology but if I listened to some country folk music and I was a jazz fan I wouldnít criticise the folk music for not being jazzy enough. So yeah if I was dancing in a room full of middle easterners I might want to add some Egyptian folk style music into a set but dancing in small restaurants to middle class white people in the middle of Manchester, UK. Itís highly unlikely that those kinds of people are going to appreciate, understand or even recognise the vast variation in different belly dancing styles. So no I certainly wonít be discouraged by your comments, itís important to find and develop a style that resonates deeply with who you are at your core and if Baladi is what does it for you then each to their own, but itís certainly not a path Iíll be feeling compelled to walk down any time soon and you don't have to worry I most definitely wonít be allowing myself to be judged by any standards other than the ones I aspire too. But the rest of your comments I can take on board and carry on working on the aspects of dance I know I need to improve and get better at.

    constructive criticism is welcomed but what people tend to forget on forums is that unless people can back up their opinions with a video of them performing themselves to the standard they're being critical of then it's all just hot air with no substance, a good critique comes with a good counter example or demonstration from the critic in my opinion. Which is why I actually asked this same question to one of my mentors online and she answered with a much more intelligent and reasonable answer, she said Ďsee what the standard of dancing is in your area and if youíre better than what you see out their already then yes you are good enough to perform in those venues, you donít have to get it perfect right away, you just have to get it started, no amount of classes is going to prepare you for actually stepping onto the stage for the first time and feeling the attention of the audience inspiring that dance to flow through, that comes from you, your soul, your spirit and what you're ultimately capable of, we all have to take that first step sooner or later and from my experience, the sooner you do it, the betterí.

    So if anyones up to the challenge, post your youtube vids then we can really talk and get some constructive conversations flowing

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EsmereldaDancer1987 View Post
    MizzNaaa, It must be a cultural thing but to me and my friends that baladi dancing just looks... I showed my friends some of those dancers you recommended and they all said the same thing. ďIt looks like a drunk woman trying her best not to fall overĒ.
    What the ????

    Are you for real?


    I hadnít heard of Baladi before you mentioned it
    Good indicator you have no idea what you're doing number ONE.


    but having googled it, it seems that Baladi is a distinctly unique artform in itís own right.
    No, and any decent teacher will be able to explain this to you.


    So yeah if I was dancing in a room full of middle easterners I might want to add some Egyptian folk style music into a set but dancing in small restaurants to middle class white people in the middle of Manchester, UK.
    Yes because the whole point of going to a restaurant with a bellydancer is to be bored stiff by music (and dance) that has no relevance to what you're doing or the ambiance of the restaurant.


    Itís highly unlikely that those kinds of people are going to appreciate, understand or even recognise the vast variation in different belly dancing styles.
    Thinking your audience isn't as smart as they usually are ... good indicator you are NOT ready number two.


    [/quote]So no I certainly wonít be discouraged by your comments, itís important to find and develop a style that resonates deeply with who you are at your core and if Baladi is what does it for you then each to their own, but itís certainly not a path Iíll be feeling compelled to walk down any time soon [/quote]

    Yes, God forbid you actually have any basic understanding of what this dance is, at core, and why MizzNaa just refers to it as balady.


    and you don't have to worry I most definitely wonít be allowing myself to be judged by any standards other than the ones I aspire too.
    Translates into "I don't want to hear that I'm doing anything wrong" to me.

    constructive criticism is welcomed but what people tend to forget on forums is that unless people can back up their opinions with a video of them performing themselves to the standard they're being critical of then it's all just hot air with no substance,
    Now I know you're not for real. Go troll elsewhere.

    I always love it when people ask questions and then get pissed off when they don't like the answers.


    a good critique comes with a good counter example or demonstration from the critic in my opinion. Which is why I actually asked this same question to one of my mentors online
    Then why bother ask on a professional forum? If you already know the answer ...

    and she answered with a much more intelligent and reasonable answer, she said Ďsee what the standard of dancing is in your area and if youíre better than what you see out their already then yes you are good enough to perform in those venues,
    Oh good lord -- and I assume this woman presents herself as a "professional" with you know ethics and all that?

    We so need a sarcasm emoticon. And yes, I'll take the infraction, mods. I'm plain sick to death of this bulls--- attitude and lack of ANY kind of consideration towards our profession or any type of professional ethics.

    The audacity. Makes me literally want to throw something.


    So if anyones up to the challenge, post your youtube vids then we can really talk and get some constructive conversations flowing

    You've blown it on this forum. We have nothing to prove to you. I pity the other REAL dancers in your area.

  9. #19
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Es, baladi is the essence of bellydance. This is why it was brought up by the lovely lady whose culture created the dance form you wish to take public.

    Sadie has some lovely moves but she really isn't the best ambassador for bellydance. Considering everything you've said, it's probably for the best if you do track down a variety of different styles of bellydance classes and really discover whether or not bellydance is for you or not. If it's not, that's perfectly okay - the moves you've been honing will definitely translate to a wide variety of different dance styles. See, the thing with bellydance isn't the moves, it's the way that you dance. Having a distaste for good bellydancing is fine, but it does suggest that bellydance really isn't your cup of tea.
    Last edited by Darshiva; 01-16-2013 at 12:29 AM.
    Bellydance in Kyabram!
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  10. #20
    Junior Member EsmereldaDancer1987's Avatar
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    I didn't realise this belly dance forum would be so bitchy and judgemental! I asked for some advice not to be picked at, i dont even think i was as bad as you are all making me out to be considering ive basically taught myself how to dance. Im not going to give up on my passion for belly dancing as im so drawn to it. I did not expect these kind of comments. I actually thought the belly dance community would be more enlightened as it is supposed to be a spiritual dance created by the Ancient Egyptians. Now it seems as though the soul is being ripped out of it. Its the same with horse riding, you have to ride a certain way to make it look good, pull the horses head in so the horse looks prettier etc.

    Dancing is meant to be a celebration of a woman's body, all these little things that people pick at to make sure its perfect rips the soul out of it. The Ancient Egyptians didn't do all that they just danced and moved their bodies to the beat of the drum for rituals, celebrations and also preparing women for birth etc.

    I honestly thought the belly dance community would be a lot more nicer, Belly dance is my passion, dancing is my passion as ive loved it since i was a little girl and im going to keep at it every day and do it the way my intuition tells me, ill let that guide me from now on.

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