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Thread: The camel

  1. #11
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Hope you've actually progressed. Congratulations!

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Way to go girl! Camel/undulations were my breakthrough moment too. My 22 and 13 yr old daughters can do them effortlessly:p It realy feels good to overcome a challenge because your confidence level grows leaps and bounds
    Yasmine

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Kids eh? My seven year old does brilliant snakey undulations.... much better than mine

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    A way I was taught to do an undulation, that helped me immensely, is to stand against a wall, the heel of your back foot against the wall itself and the other foot a little forward, as when camelling. Your back will not be against the wall. Start by pushing your ribcage straight forward, shifting your weight onto the front foot. Lift your ribcage, and start shifting your weight to the back foot as you push your ribcage back, as if someone is pushing you in the chest - till your back touches the wall. Now roll down, attempting to touch each vertebra to the wall till your tailbone touches. That is one undulation. This will make you feel the sense of rolling down your spine, using your abdominal muscles to accomplish the move.

    That is what I would call a proper Am Cab-ish camel. The more Egyptianish version I have learned is more upright than that. You do push your chest forward a little but it's more about going up, back, roll down. And in the lower body, your pelvis goes drop, squeeze forward, pull up, if that makes any sense. You are basically making two vertical circular motions. The "danger point" is when your chest is up and your pelvis is dropped - don't poke your bum right out or you could hurt yourself. Engage your lower abs the whole time and really work hard on lifting your pelvis again before releasing it.

    Undulations are all about your abs, and from what you're saying I suspect that although you are very slim you probably don't yet have the ab strength you think you do. Many very slender women have visible musculature, but it's not all that strong - it's just a happy side effect of low body fat. When I started undulations, I didn't have the strength in or awareness of my lower abs and my undulation would go roll roll roll roll clunk.

    Although these are classed as beginner moves in America, it seems, in our school full body undulations are not taught till level 3, which typically means a year or more of classes.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Zummarad, We teach undulations in the beginner class, that doesn't mean that the all the students get it at first. So we continue to review and work on this move constantly. In my observations so far older students have a more difficult time with it because of a lifetime of poor posture and poor awareness of their bodies while in motion. You're right, it involves alot of ab work in addition to flexible lower back(core muscle groups). as soon as I mention using the abs,ribcage, pelvis and knees I get a blank look as is these parts aren't attached to their bodies:p . I find teaching this move helps students become aware of their bodies while gradually increasing flexibilty in these "dead zones". what's ironic, is that when they begin to breakthrough on this move, they often do a reverse camel instead. It takes a good year for most students to do it fluidly and gracefully. Younger students have very little problem ,since they do a version of it in the dance clubs, I usually help them refine their technique.
    I'm going to use your technique in addition to my own, Thanks.
    Yasmine

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    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasmine Bint Al Nubia
    when they begin to breakthrough on this move, they often do a reverse camel instead
    So far I only learned the "normal" camel. During class some students accidentally did a reverse camel and then the teacher said the camel should look like a camel drinking water, not like a camel throwing up

  7. #17
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    Default Different camels, different styles

    Hi Moon and Aniseteph,

    There are different kinds of camels depending on the style and possibly where you live. My first teachers in the US taught "American" styles and they both taught a camel as both an upper body undulation and a lower undulation and would refer to them an an "upper" camel or "lower". I they would also alternated the upper and lower camels to make a full-body undulation (but maybe only one of them did that?).

    In the UK, the "Egytian" and "Hilal-influenced" teachers I had both taught a camel as only the lower body movement. I did have one teacher who taught the upper body (the Hilal influenced one), but she didn't call it a "camel" she called it a "Kenyan". My first day in class with one of these teachers--we were told to do a camel and I was in for a swift correction when she noticed I was using my upper body. After class, the teachers and classmates asked me about the move since they apparently had not seen it in "Arabic Dance".

    Now I tend to think of a camel as two moves in the same family--the upper, lower and sometimes I alternate the two for a full body. If I am going for a more Egyptian style I use the lower, but if I am going for an American style I use whatever one I feel like using.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    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

  8. #18
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Default Camels, kenyas and heavy digging equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Zumarrad View Post
    The more Egyptianish version I have learned is more upright than that. You do push your chest forward a little but it's more about going up, back, roll down. And in the lower body, your pelvis goes drop, squeeze forward, pull up, if that makes any sense.
    Yes! perfect sense, Zumarrad - that's exactly what I've been taught for undulations. With a bit less chest when it's part of a camel.

    Hi Samsied - interesting about the Kenya... I wonder if that's another of the moves that is different things to different people. I've learnt one that's basically just half a camel step (how simple does that sound? and how long did it take me to get it..... ). Also I've heard it used about what I think are the reverse camels that I met at a workshop once. I don't think of that as Moon's drinking/throwing up camels though - it's JCB diggers to me!!!! Scoop goes under and picks up, scoop goes over and digs down. Hopefully with a bit more grace and elegance than a piece of heavy machinery, though in my case not always

  9. #19
    Member deelybopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsied View Post
    In the UK, the "Egytian" and "Hilal-influenced" teachers I had both taught a camel as only the lower body movement. I did have one teacher who taught the upper body (the Hilal influenced one), but she didn't call it a "camel" she called it a "Kenyan". My first day in class with one of these teachers--we were told to do a camel and I was in for a swift correction when she noticed I was using my upper body. After class, the teachers and classmates asked me about the move since they apparently had not seen it in "Arabic Dance".
    I too was taught to camel by a Hilal-influenced teacher - and I still teach camels as movements that originate primarily in the lower body. However, the undulation can be restricted to the lower body, or allowed to 'climb' up. So, Samsied, I understand your differentiation between upper and lower undulations.

    As for the Kenya - the version I was taught (Hilal style Raqs Sharqi Soc) was 2 stationary camels facing to one diagonal followed by 2 stationary camels facing to the other diagonal! LOL! - even within apparent 'schools' the terminology differs.

    D

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    So far I only learned the "normal" camel. During class some students accidentally did a reverse camel and then the teacher said the camel should look like a camel drinking water, not like a camel throwing up
    I wondered, now what does a camel look like when it throws up?

    I went to my full length mirror and did my camel. Then I reversed it... ah, I see :p

    Thats is a funny way to put it actually. We did that in our class- when we had no teacher for like a month (from the accident of our former teacher) we all taught each other. And with the moves, many of us forgot what to do when one would should 'up 8s' or 'drop kick', etc. when we were dancing. So we made up our own names, like the 'up figure of eights' were became 'sexy cowboy', as, if you had ur hands beside your hip it looks you are strutting like a cowboy :p It was quite funny.

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