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Thread: The camel

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    Default The camel

    Yuppers, one of the first things you learn as student; and I still can't get the hang of it.

    I have several problems with it:
    1. My teacher says think of it as an 'S' shape- 'out in out'. But when I think of that, I think and make a 'V' shape
    2. When I do attempt to do them my tummy hurts so much; I am quite thin and I really does go for my stomach muscles rather than some 'meat'. Is this normal and because I am too thin, or becaues I am doing something wrong?

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Default Camel/Undulation

    Hi Louise, It's difficult to advise without seeing you in person performing the move. There are many ways to teach an undulation. First of all you shouldn't be in any pain, so check your posture first. Secondly, the camel requires your body to relaxed so the "waving" motion can travel down your body. No doubt you will use your muscles to help execute the sinewy motion, esp your abs(core muscles). Since you have a teacher, ask her to check your posture as you are dancing. She/he may be able to see your trouble spot and help you overcome it.
    Yasmine

    P.S. Oh this is one tip I tell my students, try not to make a LARGE move outside your natural range of motion, but focus on a smaller, more precise movement.

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    Hi Louise, I have a similar problem. It just cant get right. I think it is because I amnot as flexible as I should be. I am practicing that move but therse a long way befor me. Good luck. Love, Alaya

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    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Hi, I was curious if you all learned the camel by using the full rib cage or mainly the "belly region"?
    I don't use my full rib cage when doing camels and I don't think my camels are perfect, but I don't find them particularly hard to do. Maybe you have difficulties because you are using the full rib cage?
    According to Shira's website, the use of the full rib cage when doing undulations or camel walks is a typical "American style" characteristic. Maybe that's why I learned it in a slightly different way.

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    I had difficulty initally when I learned to the camel, but i kept practicing until my body became obedient. I did alot of exercises to help loosen my upper back and ab muscles i.e. cat back position in yoga, downward facing dog and 100's from Pilates. I begin by using my upper back muscles to push my ribcage forward and my abs to lift and pull my chest down. Over time, I just use my abs to create a smaller version of this move by lifting and roling my chest. As for the lower half, I practiced alot of pelvic tucks and drops to help increase flexibility. dont' forget the knees are a part of the "wave" too they must bend too .
    Yasmine

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    Thankies for your replies. I will try practicing camels tonight with the tips.

    Also, Moon, your point sounds interesting, I think I may be using my whole ribcage; as I does change the way I breathe. Also i play flute and I've always been taught that when using your stomach (breathing) then really try to use the rib cage to get maximum support- not good for dancing! :eek:

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    Hi Louise,

    Just wanted to suggest something for the pain. One of the main things to note when you do get the pain is what is the position of your body. If you let go of your pelvis rather than keeping it tucked under you, you could be putting a lot of stress on your lower back and abs while trying out the motion.

    Next is to take note of the type of pain you feel. I had a student who was into long distance running, but when it came to many of the movements she felt pain because the muscle groups and combinations in which they are used in belly dance differ from other types of dance and sports and until the muscles get used to these movements you have a pain like when working out.

    The last thing I will ask you to take note of is your lower back. I have found that many people, especially women focus on the 'female problem areas'. The problem with this is that when working on abs and trying to stregthen them you place a lot of strain on the lower back. These two muscle groups needs to be worked out in unison as they work almost on a balance scale system, one helping the other. So make sure you incorporate lower back muscle excercises.

    As to the movement. When i teach the Camel, i do it in two parts. Practice the motion of the upper undulation than the lower, but try to end the movement with the start of the other half. When i do connect the two, i usually show it on toes walking in a circle. I find that most of my students understand the motion better this way and it also prevents them from making it too big of a movement.

    Always start small in any movement you undertake and with time and the loosening of your body it will get easier, smoother and more pronounced.

    Hope this helped.

    ASSAL

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Hi, I was curious if you all learned the camel by using the full rib cage or mainly the "belly region"?
    I don't use my full rib cage when doing camels and I don't think my camels are perfect, but I don't find them particularly hard to do. Maybe you have difficulties because you are using the full rib cage?
    According to Shira's website, the use of the full rib cage when doing undulations or camel walks is a typical "American style" characteristic. Maybe that's why I learned it in a slightly different way.
    That's interesting about Shira's site - I think I do the same as you Moon. My teacher (Egyptian style in the UK) said to put less ribcage undulation into the camel and focus more on the abdomen/pelvis movement. So at least I can do them now

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    Senior Member Mouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Hi, I was curious if you all learned the camel by using the full rib cage or mainly the "belly region"?
    I don't use my full rib cage when doing camels and I don't think my camels are perfect, but I don't find them particularly hard to do. Maybe you have difficulties because you are using the full rib cage?
    According to Shira's website, the use of the full rib cage when doing undulations or camel walks is a typical "American style" characteristic. Maybe that's why I learned it in a slightly different way.
    from the sounds of it I have been taught the same as you Moon

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    You'd never believe it; I was practicing today and I actually achieved somethine! It did not hurt me at all; is was much for flowing; was larger too so an audience would know I am actually trying hard ; and it looks much better.

    But now, I have to show my teacher; next class is on Monday so I'll see if I have actually progressed or just tried an alternative which is actually no good


    Thankies again for the advice and tips!

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