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  1. #11
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
    If you're just interested in getting more mobility in your hips you might start with a dvd.... some of the Forum members might be able to recommend one that has a heavy emphasis on the hips... this might spark an interest and you could then look around for an instructor... once started you could be hooked for life.... I know... it happened to me.... Jim
    Yea - especially since we guys generally need help in "breaking loose" our hips.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
    If you're just interested in getting more mobility in your hips you might start with a dvd.... some of the Forum members might be able to recommend one that has a heavy emphasis on the hips... this might spark an interest and you could then look around for an instructor... once started you could be hooked for life.... I know... it happened to me.... Jim
    They have DVDs on belly-dancing? Come to think of it..purchasing one sounds like a fantastic idea!

    Should I start a separate thread in another part of the forum inquiring about the DVD or would asking for any recommendations here be fine?

  3. #13
    Member Munniko's Avatar
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    Here would be fine, but make sure to check out the stickied thread with links to questions similar to this and general DVD reviews.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    Yea - especially since we guys generally need help in "breaking loose" our hips.
    So true.

    Before I even began-- I dance salsa- I noticed both me and all of the guys in my class (latino & caucasian) were absolutely terrified of moving our hips. So-- how it goes, is the majority of salsa class, besides partnerwork, exclusively focuses on feet. This effect just so happens to result in the rest of the body being neglected while dancing. I never really took notice of it until I looked in the mirror and realized that I need to learn to dance with the rest of my body also.

    I was recommended Afro-Cuban rumba classes, and while that most certainly gets me to using my upper-body and everything else-- much of the culture absolutely prohibits the males from using any sort of waist movement almost. It seems to be a cross-cultural thing where men have a huge fear of moving their waists. And it wasn't until I came across a West African dance class where I saw men doing it and doing it well!

    Of course, not all of them do it well, but in my pursuit of trying to figure out how the best ones move the way they do-- I learned that the ones with the best looking technique were "isolating"-- or whatever that means. So a quick google search of isolation and hips lead to multiple belly-dance references/tips/techniques. So, I figured.. why not. And that's how I wound up here. I am sick of being fearful and rigid in my hip area. Hopefully bellydancing can open me up more.

  5. #15
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles007 View Post
    I am sick of being fearful and rigid in my hip area. Hopefully bellydancing can open me up more.
    Just give it time and don't "overdo" it - I'm living proof that guys' hips can be loosened up. Males often have problems with chest movements too for much the same reason.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munniko View Post
    Here would be fine, but make sure to check out the stickied thread with links to questions similar to this and general DVD reviews.
    Okay, thanks!

    I went and made sure I checked out some of the other threads and this one is a great one with an awesome link from poster Aziyade:
    Mahsati Janan ~ Essential Raqs Sharqi ~ Classical Belly Dance

    This really breaks it all down and gives me a bit of a better understanding of the different things that really go into this dance!

    One question though... I couldn't help but notice that at the intermediate level it shows hip technique only being listed as 20-49... so about only 30 hip "moves". I would have thought it would have been almost like 300 different hip moves when looking at videos of advanced performers from Sadie or Tahia. I guess is it just them doing that "layering" thing where they put certain things over each other and make the movement look different than what they would look if performing the basics separately??

    Am I off-track here? Someone please correct me.

    Also... where would things like the belly flutter be at in this syllabus? Advanced level or something? I didn't see it in the beginner or intermediate so I was wondering why they left it out.

  7. #17
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Did you read this sticky http://bellydanceforums.net/instruct...onal-dvds.html there are links to threads with recommended instructional DVDs. Also you are better to begin with a beginner level, so you are sure you are getting the technique right, right from the start. The intermediate & beyond levels will assume you know how to do the moves so you may find beginning with the upper level DVDs frustrating.

    If you can find a teacher even attending for just a term or 2 to get the basics down, it will help you a great deal when learning from DVDs.
    ~Mosaic
    Last edited by Mosaic; 01-29-2013 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Forgot to add link:)
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  8. #18
    Member Munniko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
    Did you read this sticky there are links to threads with recommended instructional DVDs. Also you are better to begin with a beginner level, so you are sure you are getting the technique right, right from the start. The intermediate & beyond levels will assume you know how to do the moves so you may find beginning with the upper level DVDs frustrating.

    If you can find a teacher even attending for just a term or 2 to get the basics down, it will help you a great deal when learning from DVDs.
    ~Mosaic
    Gonna ditto getting an in person teacher for when you are first starting because as I slowly expand my DVD collection I'm finding that the DVDs that are targeted toward the "beginner" audience aren't actually for people with no experience, but more likely towards people who have been taking lessons with a teacher regularly for minimum a month.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles007 View Post
    Okay, thanks!

    I went and made sure I checked out some of the other threads and this one is a great one with an awesome link from poster Aziyade:
    Mahsati Janan ~ Essential Raqs Sharqi ~ Classical Belly Dance

    This really breaks it all down and gives me a bit of a better understanding of the different things that really go into this dance!

    One question though... I couldn't help but notice that at the intermediate level it shows hip technique only being listed as 20-49... so about only 30 hip "moves". I would have thought it would have been almost like 300 different hip moves when looking at videos of advanced performers from Sadie or Tahia. I guess is it just them doing that "layering" thing where they put certain things over each other and make the movement look different than what they would look if performing the basics separately??

    Am I off-track here? Someone please correct me.

    Also... where would things like the belly flutter be at in this syllabus? Advanced level or something? I didn't see it in the beginner or intermediate so I was wondering why they left it out.
    Belly flutter is more of an American and/or Turkish Oriental movement, not Raqs Sharqi, which is Egyptian style and the focus of the DVD you are referencing, so probably is not on that DVD.

    Hip movements in belly dance are based on circles, half-circles, figure eights, drops, lifts, twists and shimmies. Once you master all of those you use them to respond to the music. It's not so much about having a huge catalogue of different movements, but having a body that is trained to respond to the music. It's not as much about having many different movements as it is about having an emotional experience and responding to the music, especially in Egyptian style.

  10. #20
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    I'll third the live instructor recommendation, for the reasons stated. "Beginner" DVDs are so very rarely for beginners. What you CAN do, though, is learn the names of individual movements and look up tutorials on youtube. The feedback from a live instructor is invaluable, but those tutorials can give you a heads up on what to expect.

    Also, yes, you're thinking of layering! Most hip movements come down to making figure 8s, circles, or releasing and contracting different muscles. And shimmies. Most of the other moves are variations and combinations of those things, sometimes with other things layered over them. (At least, the ones I'e learned.) When I want to work on my hips and increasing flexibility in my lower torso and abs, I usually focus on 8s. Horizontal and vertical, and then adding a twist. It's a great way to hit and increase your entire range of motion.

    The first thing to focus on, though, and this becomes more apparent when you watch a new dancer who's only had DVDs vs. a new dancer who's had a live teacher: separating and isolating your upper body from your lower body. It all falls apart if you're moving your hips and you can't keep your upper body still. (You work on separate moves first, and then combine them, so it's crisp.) It looks like that translates into the African dance, as well.

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