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  1. #31
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles007 View Post
    BTW-- would is the belly roll also like a flutter variation that would mainly be found in American/Turkish styles?
    I know Kashmir said yes and she is a much more experienced dancer and teacher than me but I would still like to add something. For me(who loves the egyptian style) bellyroll is a very important move to learn. Not because I am going to stand front and center stage rolling my belly for five minutes, but because layered over other moves like camels and travelling steps, it can add a very juicy feeling to the move.
    immer glimmer

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gisela View Post
    I know Kashmir said yes and she is a much more experienced dancer and teacher than me but I would still like to add something. For me(who loves the egyptian style) bellyroll is a very important move to learn. Not because I am going to stand front and center stage rolling my belly for five minutes, but because layered over other moves like camels and travelling steps, it can add a very juicy feeling to the move.
    Some people speculate that the belly roll was invented by non-Egyptian dancers who saw the undulations and tried to copy them by moving just the abdominal muscles, without using the spine/pelvis. I don't know if that's true but it's an interesting concept.

    Nowadays Egyptians may not do belly rolls alone, as an isolation, but the belly pop, or "out", and the "in", or abdominal contraction, are certainly used frequently as accents.

    I teach my students belly roll, which they find difficult, by having them place one hand on the upper abdomen and one hand on the lower abdomen. Then push out with the upper and simultaneously pull in with the lower, then reverse, pulling in with the top and pushing out with the bottom. Having the hands on the muscles helps you to feel the movement even if it is so small that it's hard to see. Keep practicing isolating the top and bottom muscles like that until you can smooth it out into a roll that goes either from top to bottom or bottom to top. Most people find one or the other direction easiest. Men are often good at belly rolls because of the strong abdominal muscles they have.

    Flutters I teach by having the students place their fingertips on the diaphragm, right between and slightly below the breasts. Pant like a dog so you can feel that muscle working. Then work on doing that diaphragm movement without using the breath - you have to close off your throat so you aren't inhaling - while maintaining a pleasant expression on the face, lol, increasing the speed of the movement until it becomes a flutter.

  3. #33
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gisela View Post
    For me(who loves the egyptian style) bellyroll is a very important move to learn. Not because I am going to stand front and center stage rolling my belly for five minutes, but because layered over other moves like camels and travelling steps, it can add a very juicy feeling to the move.
    Yes, I didn't mean to imply Egyptian styles uses no ab work - but the work is in addition. When I think "belly roll" I think a continous rolling movement which is the focus of attention. Much of the Egyptian abdominal layering uses similar movements but is rarely a straight belly roll.

  4. #34
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunyah View Post
    Some people speculate that the belly roll was invented by non-Egyptian dancers who saw the undulations and tried to copy them by moving just the abdominal muscles, without using the spine/pelvis. I don't know if that's true but it's an interesting concept.

    Bellydance is a natural evolution of the normal movement of people from a certain culture(s). I think we can agree on that?

    Now, my 14 month old son can roll his belly like Delilah. I'm incredibly jealous. I have NO idea where he got the idea -- but he seems to think it's funny. (I suspect it was a response to us tickling him.)

    Watching a child with virtually no language acquisition do so natural a movement like this makes me think -- well of course! Some person at some point did it while he/she was dancing, and then a friend did it, and somewhere in another village somebody else did it, and somewhere along the line somebody thought "hey this is cool -- I'm gonna do it in my show" and there you have it.

    I don't think that movement gets "invented" in bellydance. (Western dance, yes. Ballet was invented.) I think movement just happens, and then somebody decides that this natural movement would look good HERE in the music, or it just kind of spontaneously happens and gets subdued or exaggerated by the person doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by achilles007 View Post
    Okay, and this is where the terminology such as hip circle or infinity loops come from?

    Ahhhhh... Makes so much sense to think in terms of shapes.

    Yes, I think so too. I mean you can "name" a step something (Dead Camel at the Pyramids) but that name really doesn't give you any clue as to the quality of the movement. But if I say hip circle or chest infinity loop, not only do you know the place the movement is happening, but also the shape. And you can take that one concept (hip circle) and create endless variation in texture and quality of the movement.



    Wonderful post.

    (Excuse my redundancy here of saying this, but it's alot of concepts I'm mentally unveiling that I've never really come across or thought about before.)

    Thanks and -- Hey, I'm working with an instructor now who is a total geek about this stuff and each week he's throwing these concepts at me, and after an hour I'm usually like "Wait -- my brain is full!" I mean this conceptual stuff is DEEP stuff, and don't think you'll understand it right away. I think the conceptual stuff is one of those things you have to revisit frequently, as your understanding of movement and music grows.


    One question though... I know you said that even though there are generalizations for certains styles but that individual variation is the desired goal.. are there definitely any big no-no's that shouldn't be done regarding their personal style.
    Okay, since belly dance is a cultural expression, it can be a little tricky at first to figure out the cultural identity markers, learn what quality of movement goes with what music, know how Arabs or Turks use movement to express the music -- but a good teacher will help you with all of that, and really it doesn't apply too much unless you're performing. I mean I'm not saying revel in your lack of knowledge - lol - but at first your goal will to be to get to know the movements and the music, and the relationship between the two. "What not to do" in performance varies according to style and audience.


    I know someone mentioned earlier that the back-forward pelvic-thrusting like in the clip I posted was definitely looked down upon. Is there anything else? I'm guessing anything "big" and "aggressive"?
    Not exactly -- but African dance (in my very limited experience) is much more "aggressive" especially the mens' dances, than bellydance. If African dance is a person staring at you, eye to eye, nose to nose, well belly dance is more like someone looking at you out of the corner of their eye, making eye contact, but in a really subtle and coy way. Maybe they have hair hanging in their eyes? lol.

    Big dramatic movements (like large hip circles with a drop down of the torso) certainly have their place in Egyptian dance. Strong doesn't have to track INYOURFACE!!!!! ya know? And basically while it's okay to wave your lady bits around during a shoulder shimmy, you certainly wouldn't rub them on a bald man's head. And while it's okay to move your masculine bits around, you don't really want to be thrusting them up in someone's face. It's something that the more you study the dance, the more you realize where the line is drawn between coy and overtly sexual.

    And of course there are always famous dancers who got famous for being incredibly raunchy, or crossing sex-role boundaries. But unless you're an Egyptian superstar already, I don't recommend you follow THAT route
    Last edited by Shanazel; 02-01-2013 at 02:29 AM. Reason: merge

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreaSTL View Post
    Hello! You've received some wonderful advice so far, so I just wanted to touch on the live teacher thing. You mentioned that you live in Miami, and you just happen to have a good (IMO) teacher there named Virginia. She is a protege of Yousry Sharif, an Egyptian who currently is based in New York. One thing you'll find as you look through clips is that dancers under the same umbrella of Egyptian Oriental don't all look the same. Some feel that she incorporates a lot of jazz moves, but I enjoy the energy she brings.
    Here's her web page Belly Dance by Virginia
    Oh... wow.... This is gold! Exactly wht I have been looking for! I have been looking high and low for a Raqs Sharqi instructor in the Miami area that teaches privates.

    Thank you so much!

    I can't believe I missed this thread yesterday! I meant to come back and check again, but I had to move out of my dorm.

    I don't think I can thank you enough for this! lol. Words just can't express enough!

  6. #36
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    If you are in Miami you should go and see the show by the amazing Beata and Horacio from Germany and their bellydance company. They are doing a big show tomorrow night at
    8pm
    Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center
    1770 Monroe St.,
    Hollywood, FL 33020
    Office:954.921.3439
    more info here: HOME
    immer glimmer

  7. #37
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreaSTL View Post
    Hello! You've received some wonderful advice so far, so I just wanted to touch on the live teacher thing. You mentioned that you live in Miami, and you just happen to have a good (IMO) teacher there named Virginia. She is a protege of Yousry Sharif, an Egyptian who currently is based in New York. One thing you'll find as you look through clips is that dancers under the same umbrella of Egyptian Oriental don't all look the same. Some feel that she incorporates a lot of jazz moves, but I enjoy the energy she brings.
    Here's her web page Belly Dance by Virginia
    Virginia is absolutely amazing. Her videos on youtube don't do her justice... you have to see her in person. She is one of the best American belly dancers out there. Her style is like a cross between Yousry Sharif and Amir Thaleb/Saida. Very technical, stylistically rich and with some of the most unique/interesting/complex traveling patterns I've seen. Her workshops were very challenging for me... if I lived in Miami I'd definitely study with her.

  8. #38
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Regards males and hips, personally I didn't have a problem breaking out the hips and I understand why that is now, as well, I dance feminine, but practice for the hips I do alphabets, that is scribing out the letters of the alphabet with hip movement in the horizontal and vertical plane, it certainly improves the range of movement. And the good thing about alphabets, one can do the horizontal plane discretely when one is bored waiting for the bus in the rain.

  9. #39
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    My favorite part of hip alphabets is dotting i's and crossing t's.

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