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Thread: The Hip Lift

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post

    Draconis looks like a good dancer - I'd put him in the American/Turkish camp. To see some Egyptian style check out Lucy, Fifi, Dina etc.


    Okay - if this is your preferred style - then Egyptian is NOT what you are after. The physicality overrides the music to my eye - and it is way too much. In Egyptian it is about the music - and you don't spoonfeed your audience - they have to watch you. You have control but it isn't to gross out your audience - it is so you have a wider palette to choose from to express the music.

    Good luck.
    Okay. So it is looking like Turkish or Am Cabaret is what I am looking for. Is it important to right away find a Turkish instructor or would just starting off at the place I am currently at now be okay for just the raw basics, like how to stay in proper posture when executing a move or how to hip circle?

    I don't want to be doomed to looking like something i don't want to look like, but at the same time the beginning belly dance course looks really good for beginners. Plus it is twice a week!

    I cant seem to even FIND a turkish/am. cabaret bellydance instructor down here in South Florida.
    Last edited by achilles007; 06-24-2015 at 05:15 AM.

  2. #22
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I can relate to the feeling that this is not salsa! I distinctly remember being in one of my earliest beginner classes and realising that the salsa hip movement was not helping at all. Focusing on posture, and leaving salsa outside the studio, helped a lot. For salsa it was very much legs pushing hips about and no particular issues on where your pelvis needed to be, but for belly dance the neutral pelvis and flattened lower back is key to freeing up the hips IMO. Without it theres a tendency for the behind to stick out and then it is really hard to do hip movements, also it is probably bad for the back to try. And it doesn't look like belly dance.

    Another 2 cents - never worry about not having the strength or range of movement to start with. As long as the technique is right you can work up to big and strong ( and later to tiny and subtle and awesomely controlled and juicy!). Get the technique wrong and you are heading nowhere and learning bad habits that need unlearning later on.

    Another idea for getting the feel of hip lifts - stand in proper posture, in a doorway for alignment/ balance if it helps, feet flat on floor, then pull one leg up so the sole of the foot is still parallel to the floor but not touching it - as if that leg was too short to reach the ground and the leg is just dangling straight down. It looks weird but might help with finding the feeling of the movement, and also emphasises the difference between pushing the hip up with an actively working leg, and pulling it (leg doesn't need to do anything). The more strength and range you get, the higher you can pull the leg up.

    As for teachers of different styles - tricky, it depends what's out there. At beginner level I'd take a good teacher in a more generic style over a less good one in a more specific style every time, and avoid tribal beginners classes if I wanted a ME-facing style.

    ETA: what Roshanna said about musical interpretations differing is absolutely spot on. A tribal fusion take on an Egyptian piece of music can be pretty weird from an Egyptian style POV, even if it's not using vastly different movements and looks very cool, it's just... different.
    Last edited by Aniseteph; 06-24-2015 at 10:44 AM.

  3. #23
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles007 View Post
    Okay. So it is looking like Turkish or Am Cabaret is what I am looking for. Is it important to right away find a Turkish instructor or would just starting off at the place I am currently at now be okay for just the raw basics, like how to stay in proper posture when executing a move or how to hip circle?

    I don't want to be doomed to looking like something i don't want to look like, but at the same time the beginning belly dance course looks really good for beginners. Plus it is twice a week!

    I cant seem to even FIND a turkish/am. cabaret bellydance instructor down here in South Florida.
    Old style US belly dance is Turkish inspired (along with a number of other styles - just not Egyptian) - so no, you don't need to go looking for a Turkish teacher. Further, many teachers are not really aware of their style and influences - just us OCD types. And some AmCab teachers might call their classes "Egyptian" because they think it is classier or hate the term "AmCab" - also look for classes in "Orientale" or "oriental dance".

    A good beginner course should apply to any style of belly dance. It is more the weighting of what you spend time on - so as an Egyptian inspired teacher we do very, very little torso work - but we do do some; we do lots of isolated hip movement - where I suspect more torso driven teachers might give it less emphasis. The cavet would be a straight Tribal class - this could be teaching anything and is likely to short change you on musical interpretation. But most generic belly dance classes (from a decent teacher) would be fine for the first couple of years.

  4. #24
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    DANG IT DANG IT DANG IT, I DID IT AGAIN!!!! Can we PLEASE get rid of the stupid "Dislike" button? I hate it!!!

    EDIT: Oh, wait, PHEW! THAT was close! I guess my accidental hitting the Dislike button didn't register on my phone, so I made SURE to hit the Like button! PHEW!

    But yeah,still hating the Dislike button! >:/
    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 06-25-2015 at 05:23 AM.

  5. #25
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    I'm joining this thread a bit late, but I *THINK* the answer is "Suck the hip up with the obliques.". (???) Also, males generally are fairly stiff in the pelvic region and it may take time to loosen up, although the OP's Salsa experience may have started/accomplished this. (???).

    I know an excellent "old Skool" Turkish teacher in Melbourne, Fl.; but that's probably too far away!

  6. #26
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    What is this "dislike" button? Is it a mobile only thing?

  7. #27
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I guess. :/ It's too close to the Like button, and I could quite frankly live without it. :/

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    I can relate to the feeling that this is not salsa! I distinctly remember being in one of my earliest beginner classes and realising that the salsa hip movement was not helping at all. Focusing on posture, and leaving salsa outside the studio, helped a lot. For salsa it was very much legs pushing hips about and no particular issues on where your pelvis needed to be, but for belly dance the neutral pelvis and flattened lower back is key to freeing up the hips IMO. Without it theres a tendency for the behind to stick out and then it is really hard to do hip movements, also it is probably bad for the back to try. And it doesn't look like belly dance.

    Another 2 cents - never worry about not having the strength or range of movement to start with. As long as the technique is right you can work up to big and strong ( and later to tiny and subtle and awesomely controlled and juicy!). Get the technique wrong and you are heading nowhere and learning bad habits that need unlearning later on.

    Another idea for getting the feel of hip lifts - stand in proper posture, in a doorway for alignment/ balance if it helps, feet flat on floor, then pull one leg up so the sole of the foot is still parallel to the floor but not touching it - as if that leg was too short to reach the ground and the leg is just dangling straight down. It looks weird but might help with finding the feeling of the movement, and also emphasises the difference between pushing the hip up with an actively working leg, and pulling it (leg doesn't need to do anything). The more strength and range you get, the higher you can pull the leg up.

    As for teachers of different styles - tricky, it depends what's out there. At beginner level I'd take a good teacher in a more generic style over a less good one in a more specific style every time, and avoid tribal beginners classes if I wanted a ME-facing style.

    ETA: what Roshanna said about musical interpretations differing is absolutely spot on. A tribal fusion take on an Egyptian piece of music can be pretty weird from an Egyptian style POV, even if it's not using vastly different movements and looks very cool, it's just... different.
    Ah! Thank you for this!

    Everything you stated about Salsa is true. We push the hips with our legs with no care in the world as to which way the pelvic region goes or ends up.

    And your other key insight wherein the ''flattened back'' and neutral posture being the hardest to maintain when moving the hips is spot-on. The number one thing I noticed about myself when doing any hip movement was my propensity to automatically stick out my backside. It is so ingrained into me that this alone is going to be tough to fix.

    I tried your exercise in my doorframe the other day also. Excellent and made me reallly feel the sides of my core. Virtually no leg action at all pushing the hip out. Quite a workout too if I might add. After just three mere hip lifts, I could already feel my oblique muscle cramping up with fatigue.

    Is this how most of the hip moves should feel in regard to the muscle being worked? Right in the ab/oblique area?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Old style US belly dance is Turkish inspired (along with a number of other styles - just not Egyptian) - so no, you don't need to go looking for a Turkish teacher. Further, many teachers are not really aware of their style and influences - just us OCD types. And some AmCab teachers might call their classes "Egyptian" because they think it is classier or hate the term "AmCab" - also look for classes in "Orientale" or "oriental dance".

    A good beginner course should apply to any style of belly dance. It is more the weighting of what you spend time on - so as an Egyptian inspired teacher we do very, very little torso work - but we do do some; we do lots of isolated hip movement - where I suspect more torso driven teachers might give it less emphasis. The cavet would be a straight Tribal class - this could be teaching anything and is likely to short change you on musical interpretation. But most generic belly dance classes (from a decent teacher) would be fine for the first couple of years.
    Thank you so much! This is so reassuring!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    I'm joining this thread a bit late, but I *THINK* the answer is "Suck the hip up with the obliques.". (???) Also, males generally are fairly stiff in the pelvic region and it may take time to loosen up, although the OP's Salsa experience may have started/accomplished this. (???).

    I know an excellent "old Skool" Turkish teacher in Melbourne, Fl.; but that's probably too far away!
    Ah! Okay. Understood. So I at least should be feeling something in my obliques.

    Will try and work on that. At firtmy i felt absolutely nothing in my core-- in fact it was entirely loose an relaxed while doing the hip lift. Only my legs were causing the weight shift.

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