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  1. #11
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    There may be other reasons she doesn't want you in the other class (they may be quite a jump ahead of where you are now in other movements), but I don't see why the relevee should be a big issue. Since you can go up a little, I think she should just let you do what you can on your toes (go flat the rest of the time), and let you concentrate on everything else? Some of my classmates have to sit out movements that put stress on the knees, or modify them, and it's no big deal. I can do most of the actual dance moves, but I have to modify the conditioning because of my wrist and hip problems.

    Would your teacher be willing to let you try the advanced class, and announce to the class that you have ankle issues from an old injury, so you won't always be on relevee? Maybe she is afraid that other people will copy your movement, but if you are "out" about why you are modifying, that should help.

    You might also look into other teachers, or (a limited number of) privates geared to get you caught up with the next-level class.
    Thanks for your interest. Actuallly I have found another teacher. I was bored the first time around so I couldn't do beginners again with X. Only 2 out of 24 were given the whisper that they could go up, after 20 weeks of classes. She doesn't teach "too much" technique in the beginners as she believes that beginners only want to learn a dance to perform at the end. In her only other class, the "advanced" she announced that she wouldn't help any new members with technique in case it held back her troupe.

    Actually, I think the problem is that I couldn't learn the choreos, and being sent back to basics reminds me of having to stay in at school copying and recopying my handwriting until I lost the sense of what I was writing. The advance group only do choreos also. The thing with the relevee is a joke as we had never tried it in class so I had never said that it hurts!!

    I take intermediate classes with no problems with other teachers and have learnt a lot. I even do their choreos, as the quicker pace actually helps me concentrate. Admittedly my technique is a little patchy as I didn't get it from the teacher, but I hope to get a few privates to improve the bits where I had to teach myself (mainly upper body posture). The main problem is the other teachers are all tribal influenced, and I want to dance Egyptian. Also they all teach through choreography, which means the choosing a teacher is a trade off between dancer style, teaching style and style of routines that they teach to students. Eg teacher 3 is very helpful on aligning my posture, but her routines are fast and innovative to coin a phrase.

    X styles herself as an egyptian dancer. However, I find X's style to be too fairy like for me and I find her choreography very cerebral, and I was trying to pin down the difference, to help me work out my own style.

    I NOW think it has something to do with sensuality and expressing the music through your body and your body through the dance - Which is where I want to get to. This is why I have decided not to try to get into this class to learn more dancing by numbers. Later this year when teacher 2 returns from maternity, I will go to her to work on improv and look out for workshops on/with egyptians.
    Jen

  2. #12
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    Thanks for your interest. Actuallly I have found another teacher. I was bored the first time around so I couldn't do beginners again with X. Only 2 out of 24 were given the whisper that they could go up, after 20 weeks of classes.
    Only 8% of the students learned enough to go to the next class...but she doesn't want to concentrate on technique. Something is wrong with this picture....

    I have a hard time with choreographies, too, but I am getting better. Also, some choreographies "make sense" with the music, and within themselves, and are easy to learn...that is the kind of choreography she should be teaching her beginners!

    Good luck with your new primary teacher! "Egyptian" or not, if the old teacher wasn't delivering anything you could use, there's no need to take from her any longer. I think you made the right decision.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedoniaraqs View Post

    Working in releve takes proper training. I never got it and learned it the hard way. No belly dance teacher I have ever had has said anything about how to stand and move on releve and how to strengthen and train for it.
    For one year and a half, my ex teacher had us (beginners) dance only in releve... so, now that I have a new teacher, it feels weird to work flat footed most of the time, however I like it better, and since I had knee surgery a few years ago, I guess it is healthier for me to work this way.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I have to agree that using the term 'relevee' doesn't really work for me in this type of dance. Relevee is a french term, used in ballet, and refers to the movement to demi-pointe (on the balls of the foot) from flat. It can be performed with a spring/bounce (russian style), or smoothly (french style).
    So it's not the best word to use for working with the foot slightly raised. Demi-pointe refers to being high on the ball of the foot - and it's not seen as often in our style of dance. It's really important to do this so the weight is right across the foot, to avoid rolling over either inward or outward, which can be risky for injury.
    It's harder to maintain your balance in demi-pointe, and it shifts your weight as well, so you do need to develop strength to do it, and know that you're carrying your weight evenly across your foot.

    I think it's nice to use low demi-pointe at times in the dance, to add changes of height/altitude, and to help with some movements, especially turns. I don't know that I've seen many people do high demi-pointe.
    Last edited by adiemus; 02-20-2008 at 05:36 AM.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I try to remember to practise raising and lowering my feet or walking on tiptoe when I put the kettle on etc. I am rather wobbly and it may be that the broken ankle pain has stopped me from going too far too soon and injuring myself. The ankle never hurts now when walking normall (unless I've over done the toe thnig slightly) but it took 2 years to get to that stage, so I hope the tiptoes are actually beneficial for repair, although I don't know. I didn't have to have physio when the cast came off. The doc said you will need physio to do certain movements and I said you mean these and demonstrated that I could already do them. I walked on it for 2 weeks before I realised it was broken, which may be why as it was before I took up dancing.
    Jen.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Releve, does give a lifted appearance to the dance, in addition to creating level changes when necessary. It may be seen more among Egyptian dancers, because they often dance barefoot. If you notice dancers who wear heels, the option for releve is removed.
    I agree that beginners need to understand proper posture and weight placement before executing movements and travel on their toes. One doesn't need to reach for the ceiling rather just lift oneself to a position of comfort and stability.
    Yasmine

  7. #17
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    Well, it depend on the dancer. The Egyptian Lucy dances in what I would describe as a high demipointe, and so does Suhair some of the time.

    There are two questions here? What is "authentic", and what is good for your feet? Clearly, the Egyptian dancers vary in what they do with their feet, but certainly dancing all the way up on the toes falls within the parameters of what some of them do. In terms of what is good for your feet, that will vary from person to person and depend upon things like past injuries, strength, and foot/ankle characteristics.

    I have heard from several sources that, provided one has normal arches and sufficient calf strength to support the movement, that spending alot of time in a full demipoint is better for the foot than spending lots of time raising just slightly off the ball of the foot, the reason being that in full demipoint, the weight of the body is going straight down the ankle, metatarsals, ball, to floor, whereas if the foot is only slightly lifted the floor, the weight of the body is cantilevered across the arch from the ankle to the ball, stressing the arches more.

    here is an article about feet by Najia for the Gilded Serpent:
    Najia writes about your dancing feet for the Gilded Serpent

    I asked my podiatrist (who treated my metatarsal stress fracture) about this and he confirmed, yes, all other things being equal, it's better to be all the way up than halfway up on the toes providing the dancer has the leg strength. But without the strength either can be injurious.

    Sedonia

    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    I have to agree that using the term 'relevee' doesn't really work for me in this type of dance. Relevee is a french term, used in ballet, and refers to the movement to demi-pointe (on the balls of the foot) from flat. It can be performed with a spring/bounce (russian style), or smoothly (french style).
    So it's not the best word to use for working with the foot slightly raised. Demi-pointe refers to being high on the ball of the foot - and it's not seen as often in our style of dance. It's really important to do this so the weight is right across the foot, to avoid rolling over either inward or outward, which can be risky for injury.
    It's harder to maintain your balance in demi-pointe, and it shifts your weight as well, so you do need to develop strength to do it, and know that you're carrying your weight evenly across your foot.

    I think it's nice to use low demi-pointe at times in the dance, to add changes of height/altitude, and to help with some movements, especially turns. I don't know that I've seen many people do high demi-pointe.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dnnce etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by sedoniaraqs View Post
    Well, it depend on the dancer. The Egyptian Lucy dances in what I would describe as a high demipointe, and so does Suhair some of the time.

    There are two questions here? What is "authentic", and what is good for your feet? Clearly, the Egyptian dancers vary in what they do with their feet, but certainly dancing all the way up on the toes falls within the parameters of what some of them do. In terms of what is good for your feet, that will vary from person to person and depend upon things like past injuries, strength, and foot/ankle characteristics.

    I have heard from several sources that, provided one has normal arches and sufficient calf strength to support the movement, that spending alot of time in a full demipoint is better for the foot than spending lots of time raising just slightly off the ball of the foot, the reason being that in full demipoint, the weight of the body is going straight down the ankle, metatarsals, ball, to floor, whereas if the foot is only slightly lifted the floor, the weight of the body is cantilevered across the arch from the ankle to the ball, stressing the arches more.

    here is an article about feet by Najia for the Gilded Serpent:
    Najia writes about your dancing feet for the Gilded Serpent

    I asked my podiatrist (who treated my metatarsal stress fracture) about this and he confirmed, yes, all other things being equal, it's better to be all the way up than halfway up on the toes providing the dancer has the leg strength. But without the strength either can be injurious.

    Sedonia

    Dear Sedonia,
    I might be the belly dance poster child for what you say above. From long term moving on the balls of the feet, but not extended to tippy toe, I now have the kind of arthritis that comes from overuse of a joint, where my foot and my heel connect on the bottoms of my feet. I also have it in my right iliac joint. Both of these are related to overworking of the joints from belly dance. Unfortunately every job has its hazards.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #19
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    One of the things that made me toss Dolphina's belly dance book across the room was her contention that an American Cabaret dancer would never, ever dance on the balls of her feet. I did for many years and I like the way it looks and feels. I don't teach it in beginning classes, though I do some exercises that include it to get the feet nice and warmed up and strengthened as well (come to think of it, I say relevee during warm up and balls of your feet or half pointe during the dance part of class). Like A'isha, arthritis has crept in on me, but at least in my case it is as likely to be due to running, ballet, and falling downstairs as due to belly dance. My poor feet have taken a beating over the years, but they still manage to haul me around.

  10. #20
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I have arthritis developing in my hand from writing and keyboard. I don't need it in my feet. I'm a flat shoes gal so I'll keep releve (or whatever we want to call it strictly for special level changes
    Jen

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