Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 49
  1. #11
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    484
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I had similar concerns at one point (I'm really tall, long limbed, and quite thin - basically shaped like a giraffe). As I've kept dancing for longer, and also worked out which types of costumes work for me, and how to adjust/pad bras in a flattering way, I've stopped worrying. I have also found that small adjustments to posture make a *huge* difference to how my body looks (e.g. how defined my waist appears), and that as I've danced more and started cross training more, as well as improving my posture, I have started to look more solid and strong rather than just thin.

    I can also think of a couple of dancers in my local-ish community with pretty much the kind of body type you describe (though also a bit taller), who are *very* good, and popular performers

  2. #12
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,065
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Don't worry, I used to be very very skinny and do professional gigs, it didn't get in the way of getting gigs, but sometimes, like you, I would get abuse in the way that people would try to give me food or tell me to eat, which is very insulting, but it didn't happen all the time. Here is a picture when I was very skinny:

    http://bellydanceforums.net/album.ph...achmentid=8320

    In the meantime I have also been overweight and that caused different problems with belly dance for me, but again, not gig-wise (I just found it harder to move and do hip drops etc, but that was probably not visible to other people) I didn't worry too much about it.
    Being overweight rarely gave me any abuse (only the occasional question if I was pregant, but they genuinely thought I was), sadly it's accepted in society to be nasty to skinny people.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NE Mojave Desert
    Posts
    2,190
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    Now to the bones (T.T) I am not "bonny"" all over, but my arms and hands are, a LOT >< when I am practicing dance I always notice them and try extra hard to make them look softer, if you know what I mean, but elbows have really accentuated angles, and fingers refuse to look relaxed.
    There has been some really good posts so far so I just wanted to address this part.

    Years ago when I was first taking lessons I went to a workshop on arms. The teacher (who was amazing) had a very similar build to you. During the workshop she highlighted how to get a nice curve and softness to the movements and she mentioned that exact thing, that it is more difficult to get your arms to have that nice rounded look when you are thinner so those who are will have to work harder on it. She then went on to give the thinner dancers some tips while we all worked on our "lines".

    The point is that she really was amazing so yes, you will have to work harder to get that look, HOWEVER it is very much attainable.

  4. #14
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    7,065
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    No one mentioned Rachel Brice yet? Amazing dancer and movements look just as graceful on her as on other dancers.

    One thing I saw mentioned before that I thought was a good thing mentioned was that 'don't make the movements too big', I used to do that because I thought things were less visible because of my built and I actually injured myself with that! It's not necessary at all to do that.

    And there are also costume tricks you can do, thinner dancers look really good in bigger style skirts, check out the costume forum, there probably are some threads on it already

  5. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I am a fat dancer but I have long arms and very pointy elbows. My arms and hands are pretty good 80 percent of the time. Ballet helps IMMENSELY. The key thing, I think, is to own the space they take up and keep them long. Loooooong. There are tips and tricks to improve hands (thumbs under, fingers together a la Barbie is an instant hand slimmer, and you need to keep an eye on where your wrists are in relation to them) but I honestly think one of the most helpful things is getting to LIKE your hands. Embrace them, don't fight them, and they will relax.

    Just spend a lot of time in the mirror, working out what looks nicer on your particular arms - a lot of "official" bellydance arm positions do not flatter the long, thin, bony-elbowed arm so much, whereas more balletic arms do - and explore all the options!

  6. #16
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England, U.S.A. / Paris, France
    Posts
    545
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    this thought about being too skinny has been bugging me for long, and I'm afraid it might mess with my confidence. I haven't seen any dancers with a similar body structure to mine (I'll get to that in a moment) and I started to worry because of course I dream of becoming a performer someday and I want to be a good one, and not seeing anyone that reminded me of my own body structure made me think that maybe women that are "too skinny" are not successful in bellydance.
    Long story short: I understand completely what you mean, and quite honestly it's mind over matter. It's important to think about and come to terms with the feeling, but you have to get over that eventually---dance, after all, is simply about expressing yourself, whoever you may be. You can dance with any body shape, and any body shape is ok unless it's actually medically not ok. In which case, that's between you and a doctor or a nutritionist or something, and it's nobody else's business.

    Like I said, I know exactly exactly exactly what you mean. I've always been very thin, especially in my teen years when I started oriental dance. When I really started to watch famous dancers, I started to feel self-conscious. Even more so when I would attend workshops, where at certain points the teacher would say, "When you do this, this part of you should be shaking/wobbling" (And of course I was DESPERATELY searching for MY wobble.)

    Honestly, I think curviness/wobbliness is more encouraged in oriental dance than in other types of dance. However, that DOES NOT mean it's necessary. Remember that you are different. Embrace that, and above all, play to your strengths. Learn technique properly and correctly, regardless of how you feel about it, and then ADAPT your style to complement yourself. For example, I don't tend to do shoulder shimmies in a bedlah. It doesn't often complement my, errr, flatness, shall we say. I adapted my shoulder shimmies so that I was not trying, like I was before, to make a slightly saucy boob shimmy (which is not necessarily the goal anyway, but with fuller women it tends to happen as a consequence, which can be made to look elegant, flirty, funny, etc). Instead, I put more focus into making really cute shoulder accents, which suit me well. The technique is essentially the same, the focus is different. You can also play with your costume to flatter your shape better, just as you would wear certain clothes in everyday life that flatter you more too.

    Don't forget that there are many successful dancers who are skinny! There are also many dancers who became more curvy with age, but in their younger days were very thin, and still owned the stage!

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Chitown, USA
    Posts
    2,200
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Here we go again. People like bellydancers in all shapes and sizes, it just depends on what people want. Some like them curvy while others like them lean. If you are looking for "approval" or "acceptance" you will always be tormenting yourself about this.

    Do what you want and just do it because you love it, and as it is rude of people to criticize obese people, it is rude to criticize thin people.

  8. #18
    Member Selene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    71
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Thank you all for your replies!

    You all took your time to reply to my concerns, and you helped me see things differently. I read all of your replies around weeks ago, but I have been more busy than usual and was unable to sit down to reply to each one of you, 3 weekends ago I was a substitute teacher for a begginers bellydance class (very exciting and challenging), the weekend after that I was in 2 day workshop by Sadie (I think I will share my experience in another area of the forum), and last weekend I was working on a project for uni -.- during the week I dont have much time to sit and write in the forum but here I am now

    Here are my replies:

    Kartane - First, thank you for thinking that! I thought for long before posting about this, I wasn't sure how to express my concerns, nor how the responses will be, but I only got encouragement from you all. Second, thank you for the examples! Little by little I am trying to discover more dancers apart from the top famous ones. Actually, after the worlshops I attended 2 weeks ago,I went to the first Bellydance Festival in Puerto Rico and saw performing so many different dancers, all different in style and talent and of course in body type, I saw eveything in there and I was happy to see how their body types were irrelevant when it comes to their talents. Third, "arch arch poke chunk chunk"HAHAHAHHAH I totally know what you mean, and seriously they are super difficult, but after drilling for extended periods of time in the workshops(more than in my normal classes) , with my arms in different positions (to the point of feeling my muscles burning ) I've noticed some improvement, I was surprised the next time I went to dance class and in the mirror I saw arms that seemed more natural in the different positions. I think my body is already adapting to the moves and as you say, what is most amazing about this dance is that every body has to find its own way of expressing the dance, every body is unique, so every dancer will be too. My goal is that someday my dance is such a natural thing to my body as walking, as breathing
    Oh and the vids! super great, love the way Natalie moves, I'm not even paying attention by the fact she is thin, she has great control of her body ♥ like a good tribal fusion dancer, I've always admired that tremendous control they have, so strong and beautiful at the same time! and also very theatrical Jenny C Cohen in that performance, very expresive!


    Darshiva - Thank you! now I know that the body type is not as important as I thought, despite what I might have heard before, or what I've seen. And WOW that Ava Fleming video made me go to youtube to watch more, she is wonderful! and seriously, it is like you saw a picture of me or something because my body type


    and hers are very very very similar, and my arms look just like that! Now I can see that mine can learn to move beautifuly someday yay! and yes, I will own my body!
    In the workshop I mention avobe and in the festival I saw sooo many great dancers and few of them had my shape, but hey they were there hahaha now I know Im not alone, thanks

    Shanazel - YES! amazing, and I wish hahahah. Thanks I love diversity in everything and dance is no exception, and I believe it is such a pure form of expression that diversity should be present all the time, because everyone have an unique way of expressing themselves, who they are, what they feel. I've come across people like that already, in different areas, and it is not nice and sadly there are many people that think like that. But your advice is very good "The best advice I can give you is to hold your good manners in front of you like a shield, keep your head up, and let the remarks slide off like you are made of Teflon." I can apply it to almost everything

    Kashmir - hello What do you mean with "professinal bellydancer"? since you mention hiring, Im guessing you are refering to belly dancers that dance for a living out of the classroom (not teachers) so the one that are hired for restaurants, hotels, different kinds of shows and ativities, right? if that is the case then I understand completely what you are explaining.
    I enjoy the dance for what it is, I dance for myself, but I can't deny I picture myself dancing for other people in the future, not sure if I see myself getting paid for that, but I definetely have a desire to stand on stage and perform. Maybe even teaching in the future
    OH yes! I have seen men bellydancing amazingly, no doubts about that!
    Ahhhh the "the movements are too big" you have no idea how many time I've heard that in the past weeks, I admit that when I started going to dance class, seeing my image in the mirror and the others students, I couldn't help noticing how small my moves were compared to the other students, less thin than me. I would push myself to try harder (wish is not entirely bad) but I would do it for the wrong reasons. Now I focus on understanding the moves, on feeling the moves. Some moves start very small, but with practice I adquire flexibility and Im loving what my body is capable of. For example I know better now what are my strong or flexible parts and also what needs more work, but the more performances I watch, the more I learn about what you are saying, small moves are ok too, and the quality is not affected by how big I'll just work more on that. Thankfuly my teacher encourages me to practice a lot and just let the body flow, no matter how big or small the moves may seem,. She introduces many belly dance moves and different styles of music (also teaches of about understanding the music and translating the sounds into moves) and her style is egyptian so although she is not focusing on style yet, you can see the egyptian style in the way she teaches.

    And yes, practice practice practice for the hands and arms. I like your "stroking deep fur" image for the arms I visualize Im under water so I try to make soft moves with some resistance thanks for the advice about ballet arm positions exercises, I'll check them later

    <will continue in another reply>

  9. #19
    Member Selene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    71
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default reply part 2

    Duvet - Thanks for your reply No, I do not want to be a stereotype, I consider myself a very unique individual and I try not to see things, do things or expect things like the media or other people expect me to do it, just because that is the norm, and I want that individuality to be present in my dance, I feel it is one of my best qualities and I would feel like betraying myself if I acted like someone I am not. Of course I've considered the different types of costumes and which are the most flattering to my body type but I havent thought much about faking it, you know. When I dance I feel like I am showing the world who I am, and it feels so good and I definetely wont cover it with the commercial ideas of and "ideal belly dancer" I am glad Im not the only one that thinks that way. Ohhhh exactly if I ever encounter people like that during my dance journey, I will have nothing to do with them, cant deal with narrow minds. "Relax, be patient and practise.Close your eyes to how you think you look or how you think other people see you. Get the technique, listen to the music, connect to your body. " such simple yet great advice! oh and as you say, listening to the music is one of the best things one can do, really listening to it, feeling it. I will.

    Aniseteph - hi there! yeah, I can see that professional dance is a different thing, and well it is business so it will always have its things. Yes, practice is the key word. I admit I was lazy for the first months when I started classes, I would just tell myself I was too tired or that Ill do it later, but those were just excuses. Thankfully after every class I take notes of what I've learned and now I can practice all the things I didnt practice before. Also recently I got my first belly dance dvd which has helped me in terms of structuring my practice and organizing my time I'm working now on getting all the knowledge I can get, getting the moves and how they are done, their variations and such, Im learning to understand the music, the different rythms, the styles, and I even take time to learn about the history and much more. While Im doing all of that I am finding my strenghts and Im learning how my body works

    Safran - I do love dancing and Im enjoying it a lot. Yes, Im sure there will be things in the dance that will be perfect for my body "long limbs can really contribute to the way you "own" the stage. Being thin, you can wear some wonderfully outrageous costumes with 3d flowers and stuff." you know, I never saw it that way! instead I always thought of making my limbs look shorter, or simply not putting much emphasis on them, but why would I do that if that is not who I am? Oh and making costumes will be so fun! thank you

    Roshanna- Hello hihihihi a giraffe xD well, people say I resemble a palm tree XD anyway oh yes posture! what a big difference the little adjustments do! I know it has been a short time (less than a year) but I can already see improvement in my dance. I remember that for the first classes I was terrible with posture, I couldnt hold a good posture for long, and now it comes more naturally as soon as I am in the dance classroom I hope I can start looking solid and strong soon! Thanks for saying that I hope to become a great dancer too someday!

    Amulya - Hi Amulya I see in the picture that indeed you were very thin, pretty much like I am now, and you looked very beautiful (also in your other pictures you look amazing and your costumes are lovely!). With me it happened way too often :/ Some family members would say something about it everytime I'd see them, which made me very self concious, but now it happens much less thankfully Ahh Im glad none of it got in the way for you to do gigs, and you are right, it is very sad that society is like that, it shouldnt be right to be nasty to anyone just because of their physical appearance.
    Ohhhh Rachel Brice!!!! that woman is amazing! But I dont know how she looks in person but in videos she doesnt look thin or overweight, and also she looks solid (her body looks strong ina good way) I need some work XD Ahhhh yes, the big movements, Im trying to improve on that. Yesterday I went to class and we are working on a choreography for december (it will be my first time performing since I started taking classes aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh) and I already know that I never do the choreography "clean" in the first tries, but I try xD there were some moves that are difficult for me, in this case hip circles small and big, and actually yesterday I was trying not to make them too big because the first time I tried the small ones I remember having pain in my lower back for a while. My teacher told me that I was missing the posture once I started doing the circles, so I tried doing them smaller, and actually they look BETTER xD so I have to keep practicing. Ohh I love the big skirts, and the ones that have multiple layers ♥ so beautiful!

    Ariadne - I agree, I've received some great responses so far. Thanks for telling me about that, now I wish I was there to hear some of the tips for arms for thinner dancers. I have modified some moves already so they look softer, or for example when I have my arms extended to the sides I try to keep elbows facing back, and although it makes me feel my muscles way more, I am getting used to it and I have seen other dancers doing the same Now I am trying to figure out how to make them look soft whem I have them down in an arch with hands next to the hips, my elbows are always sticking out in that one -.- Anyway, thanks for your response, all I have to do is keep learning and practicing


    <not done>




  10. #20
    Member Selene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    71
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default final part

    Zumarrad - Hi! You are the second one to mention ballet arm positions, I will pay attention to those I am trying to love my hands, I really am (my arms behave better) but ahhhh it is very frustrating at times that one day they are looking good and the next day all I feel is tension in them, and the finger in between the little one and the middle one refuses to not shape in a weird way (sort of like skeleton fingers crossed with zombies) I'll have to continue working on them until they react hihihi Also the second one to mention "owning the space" Maybe I just want to hide them, but do you think it is interesting in belly dance to keep the limbs very long? I haven't seen much yet (ohh a great journey of watching more performances and youtube videos awaits me) but I would like to see how it looks in a performance, have seen some in tribal fusion, but not in more traditional styles.

    Sophia Maria - Thank you for your kind words I am blessed with a pretty much healthy body (I probably need to excersice a little more because I dont have much resistance but that si pretty much it) and I hope my family would understand that. I know I have to get over it and I cant let the thought mess with my performance as a dancer, I love the dance way too much to let that happen. For what you tell me you really knwo exactly what I mean >< "and of course I was DESPERATELY looking for MY wobble" oh I know the feeling, the other dancers in my class have such pretty feminine moves and I love their shimmies, they look beautiful and all the right places shaking. My shimmies are not bad actually, but I have to put such an effort to make them appear hahahah oh and those one leg shimmies drive me crazy! I've got the technique (or at least I knwo how it is supposed to be) and I can do it, but I look in the mirror and I barely see anything moving, the girls in the class tell me they see it, and my teacher only tells me to move more when I am actually being lazy, but I dont see my body moving more often than I wished T_T I agree with you about the acceptance of wobbliness/ curviness in oriental dance more than in other dances. Thanks I will, soon it will be a year of taking (officially) belly dance classes, and after all those classes, the days I practice and a workshop, I feel I have learned sooooo much, but I know I am just starting. Right now I am trying to find what makes me unique in my dance, I guess I should embrace precisely how my body is different from the stereotype and see what I can do beautifully or differently Ahh my style, when I find it I will definetely adapt what I know XD Actually, I like my shoulder accents too. Dancing Salsa and Bomba (afrocaribbean dance from Puerto Rico) I did a lot of things with my shoulders since arms were usually kept down, on hips or holding the partners hands, so shoulders were an important thing to compliment the rythms of the drums, so at least in that area I am confident I will keep what you said in mind, thank you!

    Greek Bonfire- Thanks for your reply exactly that is what I dont want, to look for approval or acceptance, I am dancing because I love it and well of course I look up to my teacher, but mostly because I admire her, and in that way I want her approval in the way Im learning, but other than that she encourages me to do "me" and to adapt steps in a way my body feels more comfortable and I feel more confident


    DONE!!!!!! Thanks for your patience and again, very sorry I couldnt reply earlier, I have been soo busy >< (even this, I started writing this on sunday, but had to stop to study for my exam, and yesterday to go to dance class and other stuff, but finally I am done


Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •