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  1. #31
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicknack View Post
    Would you start an Egyptian style undulation by contracting the diaphragm and just letting it flow down? If that makes any sense at all.
    Raqia does a pelvic undulation she calls her "camel." When she taught this in Atlanta, it was more of a pelvic and low ab movement, but I'm CONVINCED that on either technique 1 or Technique 2 tape, when she's demonstrating a choreography with a student, she is (a couple of times at least) starting that pelvic "camel" from the muscles just under the diaphragm. You can see that part of her stomach moving.

    Someone else -- I think it was Artemis (!) taught a sort-of lower-body undulation, which is kind of like a belly roll that works its way into the pelvis, but think of your belly muscles pulling back to your spine rather than just rolling around in front. The emphasis is on the backward pull, as opposed to forward push of the pelvis.

    BTW -- does anyone remember this -- Shareen mentioned that pelvic camel thing can have the accent on the pull back, or the accent on the push forward. She said one was more folkloric and one was more "Oriental." Anybody know which was which? I had it in my notes that I though the pull back was more folkloric, but I have reason to doubt that particular set of notes.

    Thanks!

  2. #32
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    You are right Aziyade, Raqia's camel is a pelvic undulation. I asked her about the camle in one of her workshops few years ago and she does the pelvic undulation. Her undulation is more internal than external, what I mean is more in the stomach than the pelvis. I learned to do camel in a more exaggerated way!!! Egyptian camels are definitely different!!!

    Cheers
    Janaki

  3. #33
    Member Yasmina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Donya,
    That is also my take on what I have learned from Arabs and from Egyptian dancers and good American dancers who dance the style. This dance is sexy, flirty asnd it is indeed okay to use upper body movements. What in the world could possibly BE more sexy than some of the pelvic stuff belly dancers do??
    Another American myth I have heard is indeed about not touching the body. Egyptian dancers do it all the time, as some of the videos here show.When Dina brings her hand to her "stomach" it is not really the stomach, but sort of under the left breast, and often it is two hands that you will see the dancer use, one over the other, meaning that they are feeling something very deeply and it is "heartfelt". Another myth is something along the lines of "Don't touch your hands to your hair too much because it is considered too sexy". What do they think this dance is about, trying out for Catholic nun status??? Hair is considered sexy and that is precisely why many Egyptian dancers use theirs as part of the dance.
    Regards,
    A'isha
    Dear A'isha, just to confirm your wisdom

    My teacher is Egyptian and he has performed in Egypt for 20 years. Now he lives in Europe. Sticking to Egyptian style is his mission and the only way possible for him. In his choreographies:

    1. he always corrects us when we do shoulder shimmies instead of breast shimmies (by the way, he says shoulder shimmies are typical for several Moroccan dances)

    2. he frequently tells us to feel sexy and playful

    3. he involves movements touching the body aaaaall the time

    4. he frequently tells us (especially the ones with long hair) to touch our hands to our hair if we feel like it at certain points - he uses the "hair element" quite often

  4. #34
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmina View Post
    Dear A'isha, just to confirm your wisdom

    My teacher is Egyptian and he has performed in Egypt for 20 years. Now he lives in Europe. Sticking to Egyptian style is his mission and the only way possible for him. In his choreographies:

    1. he always corrects us when we do shoulder shimmies instead of breast shimmies (by the way, he says shoulder shimmies are typical for several Moroccan dances)

    2. he frequently tells us to feel sexy and playful

    3. he involves movements touching the body aaaaall the time

    4. he frequently tells us (especially the ones with long hair) to touch our hands to our hair if we feel like it at certain points - he uses the "hair element" quite often


    Dear Yasmina,
    I am glad that your teacher and I are on the same page. It is nice to have the validation, because there is, in the United States, this sort of attitude that the dance is NOt sexy, when clearly the message IS sexy!! No wonder our porr audeinces feel slightly schizoid after getting these congfusing mixed messages!!!
    Shoulder shimmies are also common in Gulf dance, Debke, and some Levantine and Middke Eastern dances as well.
    Gestures: At the workshops this week-end, Fifi said that the gestures she makes are "Hers", but that they really just either do something to describe the words of the song, or are stuff she just does for fun, basically. And for those of you who have made comments about Jodette's webiste and her saying she is the "first" and "only", Fifi proved fairly often that this is indeed an Arab cultural thing. She also is the "first" and "only" to do many things in dance. It does not mean literally that she is the first and only, but that she is known for doing the things that she does.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  5. #35
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donya View Post
    As for the upper body: Many dancers do the movements too high. The movement comes from the spine, exactly from the point where women has the hooks of the bra (or even inch lower). This way it will look more effortless, natural. And it will keep better posture.
    i was just wondering what you meant by this - do you mean that moves like chest lifts should be from that point or that undulations should start from that point and go downwards...i'm just curious because i was trained to do my chest pops from the diaphragm so that the back isn't involved at all.

  6. #36
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    I am with A'isha. Bellydance is a sexy dance. I don't understand why people go to lengths to sell the dance otherwise!!! I also would like to re-emphasise that all most all egyptian teachers I have studied with taught me chest/breast shimmy not shoulder shimmy. I remember one time when I was taking a private lessons from an egyptian teacher, her husband was there(he is her manager). I was struggling to do chest/breast shimmy beacuse when I was learning, I was taught to do ONLY (warned not to shake my breasts, and was told it is very rude) shoulder shimmy. He asked me if I was shy to do it. He said to me, " you are a beautiful women, it is the celebration move for women. Only women can do this. When men do it, it has not much meaning to it, relax and enjoy being women". Ever since I celebrate my womenhood all the time LOL.

    Touching once body when dancing: I was told by one of my teachers that a good bellydancer never touches her body. I never understood why it is taboo when the dance itselft is so sexy. I asked my egyptian teachers when I started studying with them, I was told it is American invetion and added lot of other stuff ( I can't mention it here).

    In conclusion, yes, I do chest/breast shimmies, I touch my body, when it is relevant to the dance!!! I am not afraid what anyone says. I know I am not doing anything lewd or obscene!! LOL

    Cheers
    Janaki

  7. #37
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    Originally Posted by Donya
    As for the upper body: Many dancers do the movements too high. The movement comes from the spine, exactly from the point where women has the hooks of the bra (or even inch lower). This way it will look more effortless, natural. And it will keep better posture.

    well a lady bd teacher at the studio calls this the hinge point. i think it depends on your flexibility that determines how natural your move comes off.

    i consider it the point that you circle around when doing chest circles. its the center line for chest lifts and drops. you go above it or below it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    i was just wondering what you meant by this - do you mean that moves like chest lifts should be from that point or that undulations should start from that point and go downwards...i'm just curious because i was trained to do my chest pops from the diaphragm so that the back isn't involved at all.

    i first learned chest lifts from the diaphragm as well, that moves your chest straight up as if to touch the bottom of your chin. with the muscles between shoulder blades, it arcs the chest slightly forward to front and up.

    i do both.

    and i dont recall the exact source but it was a book on yoga, so perhaps irrelevant to the conversation but anyway i read that hands over, but not touching the left breast in a triangular shape, means an expression of committed love. and the triangle over the abdomen and to the side, expresses something of a spiritual exchange and ability to give life. just an idea.

    the only taboo i have heard is no palms or soles of feet.

  8. #38
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janaki
    Bellydance is a sexy dance. I don't understand why people go to lengths to sell the dance otherwise!!!
    I prefer to call the dance "sensual" instead of "sexy" or sexual" because a lot of Western people immediately connect "sexy" or "sexual" with wearing as less clothes as possible or dancing purely to seduce men, etc. (at least that's the feeling I get) While I think the sensual nature of the dance should come from the beautiful movements, not from sleazy costumes/behaviour.

  9. #39
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Hi Moon,

    There is no doubt it is a sensual dance!!!! Many moves are very sexy too. I would also prefer that this dance is called sensual dance instead of sexy. But we must admit, it is very sexy. All th hip work, chest work is very sexy. Shimmies are sexy costume is sexy...list goes on. It is very difficult to argue the case otherwise.

    Sexy and sexual are two different things. Sexual definitely is sleazy. I understand what you mean. It is easy to get confused between sexy and sexual!!!

    Cheers
    Janaki

  10. #40
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Yes the dance can be sexy too indeed, because of the movements! Same as cha-cha or samba can look very sexy but no-one connects that with prostitution

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