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  1. #31
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    As to shimmies there a fair number of teachers and dancers who state that only knee shimmies are authentic egyptian. Others disagree. There is a thread on Bhuz and poss on here about this. Try searching as I haven't time right now but will post later.

  2. #32
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Egyptian dancers use their obliques. you are right, It is western dancers who have misunderstood and use their knees to drive everything.

  3. #33
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    As to shimmies there a fair number of teachers and dancers who state that only knee shimmies are authentic egyptian. Others disagree. There is a thread on Bhuz and poss on here about this. Try searching as I haven't time right now but will post later.
    Wow! I am stunned. A few minutes of Googling and I've confirmed what I've been suspecting - that what I'm being taught is far too simplistic.

    There are glute shimmies, knee shimmies and hip shimmies and goodness knows what else!

    I do understand that using your knees to get the movement is an easy option for beginners, but what is happening is that dancers are starting out as teachers too early in their career, before they've learned that using the knees is one way, but not the best way. Thanks Jen!

  4. #34
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellydance Oz View Post
    I'm a recent belly dance convert after years of dancing jazz, ballet and flamenco. What struck me forcibly when I started learning was that students were taught to create hip movements mainly by using their knees, not their abdominals or obliques.

    The result seems to be dancers who dance with their belly hanging out all the time. That's OK when they're young and slim, but trust me, it is not a pretty look on anyone else! In fact, there's one male dancer I've seen who dances with no stomach control at all - I just can't watch!

    Is the teaching method - with all the emphasis on the knees - correct?
    Personally I think using your knees (or worse your heels) to generate movement should be discouraged. From day one I teach beginners that their goal is to generate movement from their abs - those who cannot are shown the leg/knee cheats and encouraged (through various drills) to learn to use their abs to generate rocks, slides, circles, twists, and figure eights (some of these need a little glute assistance).

    I also show them the effect of using legs vs abs as far as movement texture and quality - and with something like a figure eight - knee position.

    If your teacher is only showing knee generated movement, maybe you should shop around. There's a wealth of good teachers in Oz I'd imagine.
    Last edited by Kashmir; 08-12-2008 at 09:51 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #35
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    If your teacher is only showing knee generated movement, maybe you should shop around. There's a wealth of good teachers in Oz I'd imagine.
    As it happens, I have "shopped around" quite a bit - not due to dissatisfaction, but because I've moved suburbs and jobs a few times and tried to find a teacher close to home or work. All up, I've experienced almost a dozen teachers around the Sydney area. None of them has ever talked about using the abs! There was one teacher - she's retired and was just filling in for my usual teacher one day - who mentioned using the glutes in a movement, just in passing, as if she assumed we knew all about it. She's the only teacher who has ever mentioned them.

    I feel like hopping on a plane to Christchurch right now!

  6. #36
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Yes, I've never had a teacher mention this - out of 5 I've been to. The nearest is when they insist on heels on the ground for Mayas - but without stressnig abs driven movement students tend to assume that extra knee is needed - so are a bit perplexed

  7. #37
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I must be lucky then, living in Christchurch! but I've also read about it here and on other forums. I find it difficult to only use knees!! Thanks Kashmir - you've taught me well!

  8. #38
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    I sure am glad I'm going to Christchurch, for that and many other reasons!

    I think many teachers know what they are doing but probably just fail to explain the shimmy well. Or they must have assumed students already know?
    Last edited by AngelaJP; 08-14-2008 at 12:53 AM.

  9. #39
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    I'm not disagreeing that there are a lot of people teaching who do not know what they are doing, or that using the legs/knees to drive a movement is not proper in relation to some movements across the board. But I just wanted to throw in the mix here that there are movements where the technique used to produce them varies a bit depending on the style. When I see an Egyptian style dancer do a hip lift, the leg straightens a little bit but the emphasis seems to be on the glute contraction. Giving it that more internal, subtle feeling. When I see a Turkish or American Oriental dancer, the leg drives the movement significantly, engaging the oblique a bit, giving it a much bolder, larger range of motion... I wouldn't say that the Turks are doing it wrong, they are doing it differently.

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