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  1. #1
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    Default learning combinations

    I have started trying out my hand at learning combinations. my problem is certain moves just don't work well with my body. too "jazzy" for me. or awkward for my knees/thick thighs, etc. I'm not sure if I should still try to learn them, or just learn the combos thats more to my style or how I'd love to learn how to dance.

    I'm really torn between is it just hard for me or is it a ridiculous waste to learn something that I won't use?

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Learn it all. You never know what's going to be relevant in the future and few movements feel awkward once you learn how to do them properly. You are just now beginning to learn combinations and you needn't and shouldn't be eager to set your style in stone.

  3. #3
    Junior Member BeatriceC's Avatar
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    A combo is just a combo.

    I was teaching at a dance weekend, with a whole load of teachers of different dances, ballroom, salsa, jazz, bollywood... Some of us were taking part in a Line Dancing workshop, for fun, which is basically ALL combinations. We soon realised that the line dancing teacher was doing them line dancing style, the jazz teacher was doing them jazz style, the salsa teacher was doing them salsa style, and I was doing them bellydance style. So if it's "too jazzy", then maybe it's because you're doing it jazzy!

    I love learning and making step combinations. I think they're really useful as a way to give you confidence when improvising, or trying to put a choreography together. So as Shanazel said, learn it all now, and don't close any doors while you're still finding your own style in the dance.

  4. #4
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeatriceC View Post
    A combo is just a combo.

    I was teaching at a dance weekend, with a whole load of teachers of different dances, ballroom, salsa, jazz, bollywood... Some of us were taking part in a Line Dancing workshop, for fun, which is basically ALL combinations. We soon realised that the line dancing teacher was doing them line dancing style, the jazz teacher was doing them jazz style, the salsa teacher was doing them salsa style, and I was doing them bellydance style. So if it's "too jazzy", then maybe it's because you're doing it jazzy!

    I love learning and making step combinations. I think they're really useful as a way to give you confidence when improvising, or trying to put a choreography together. So as Shanazel said, learn it all now, and don't close any doors while you're still finding your own style in the dance.
    I actually altered the combo in a way that was more comfortable with my body, and it ended up being more moder egyptian. lol.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    First time I encountered Reda style I had a hissy fit that lasted two days. Finally realizing I had six days to go and had paid for the workshops, accommodation and an international airfare, I pulled my woolly head in and just treated it as "dance" class. I eventually got into the flow and it stood me in good stead for an influx of Reda styled belly dance workshops over the next 14 odd years. Sometimes pushing outside your comfort zone is worth it.

    That said, you have to be aware when to use any style you are learning. For instance Reda and beledi donít mix! (Unless you are looking at beledi extra-light aka Meleya Lef) Iíve started teaching some simple jazz influenced exercise classes and I have to be more vigilant now when improvising or choreographing belly dance pieces that the jazz doesnít leak through.

    Next up, I really dislike learning combinations for their own sake. They can be useful teaching tools but they divorce the movement from the music.

  6. #6
    Junior Member BeatriceC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Next up, I really dislike learning combinations for their own sake. They can be useful teaching tools but they divorce the movement from the music.
    Fair point. But part of the learning experience about *using* the combinations you've learned is being able to adapt the combination to make sure it *does* fit the music, maybe tinkering with the timing, or adding an extra step or a turn to make it work... A combination isn't set in stone, and you should be able to tweak it, to make sure it works with the music you're actually using.

  7. #7
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Next up, I really dislike learning combinations for their own sake. They can be useful teaching tools but they divorce the movement from the music.
    I am an improvisational dancer and don't spend time tweaking combos to fit in a particular choreography so I agree whole-heartedly with this. I do use combos as teaching tools and set tasks in forming combos for my dancers so they can learn to smoothly transition from one move to another. We also choreograph group dances as a group and understanding combinations helps with that.

  8. #8
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I am an improvisational dancer and don't spend time tweaking combos to fit in a particular choreography so I agree whole-heartedly with this. I do use combos as teaching tools and set tasks in forming combos for my dancers so they can learn to smoothly transition from one move to another. We also choreograph group dances as a group and understanding combinations helps with that.
    well yeah thats part of my struggle. should I go on ahead and learn these combos or spend my time learning what I REALLY want to learn, which is Egyptian styles of dancing. and egyptian style choreographies.

    and like I said before, there were a few combos that were more in line with the syles I like to learn. but anyways.

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