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  1. #31
    Senior Member Pirika Repun's Avatar
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    My first impression of Rachel Brice’s practice video was “Westernized (Trivial) moves” which one of my teachers use the term. These are not traditional Egyptian style moves in my understanding.

    My teacher always says “Westernized moves” are when Westerns look at Middle Eastern people’s move, and they didn’t quite understood what exactly they were doing. That’s why they did close move that they know from Western dance. For instance, undulation, some teachers teach undulation start bring up from top of the chest to rolling down and finish with your tail bone. However, this is Western way. My favorite teacher says undulation start from just below your bust line to until around belly button. Not from chest to tail bone, but under bust line to just above pelvic.

    When I watched Egyptian dancers such as Tito, Dina, Fifi Abdo I realized their undulation is NOT start from the chest and finish in tail bone. Other many techniques as well. Yes, isolation is important, but too much focus on isolation is not good thing IMO. Like I said Tito, Dina, Fifi and many Egyptian dancers do not emphasize isolation techniques while they are dancing, and I like the way they are dancing. I’m saying is practice basic techniques and isolation is very important, but focus on just these point is maybe not a good thing. I’m not against Rachel Brice or her fans, just she is not my type of dancer and using and practicing her techniques.

  2. #32
    Member missanime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pirika Repun View Post
    My first impression of Rachel Brice’s practice video was “Westernized (Trivial) moves” which one of my teachers use the term. These are not traditional Egyptian style moves in my understanding.

    My teacher always says “Westernized moves” are when Westerns look at Middle Eastern people’s move, and they didn’t quite understood what exactly they were doing. That’s why they did close move that they know from Western dance. For instance, undulation, some teachers teach undulation start bring up from top of the chest to rolling down and finish with your tail bone. However, this is Western way. My favorite teacher says undulation start from just below your bust line to until around belly button. Not from chest to tail bone, but under bust line to just above pelvic.

    When I watched Egyptian dancers such as Tito, Dina, Fifi Abdo I realized their undulation is NOT start from the chest and finish in tail bone. Other many techniques as well. Yes, isolation is important, but too much focus on isolation is not good thing IMO. Like I said Tito, Dina, Fifi and many Egyptian dancers do not emphasize isolation techniques while they are dancing, and I like the way they are dancing. I’m saying is practice basic techniques and isolation is very important, but focus on just these point is maybe not a good thing. I’m not against Rachel Brice or her fans, just she is not my type of dancer and using and practicing her techniques.
    i think if you're looking to be 'authentic' in your dance, then absolutely i agree. imo the western tend to 'break apart and misunderstand' an awful lot when it comes to most things foreign (be it in dance, or language, or w/concepts).

    however, i also believe that bellydance as a whole should be enjoyed fully no matter what you're personal take may be - so i appreciate either of these moves

  3. #33
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pirika Repun View Post
    For instance, undulation, some teachers teach undulation start bring up from top of the chest to rolling down and finish with your tail bone. However, this is Western way. My favorite teacher says undulation start from just below your bust line to until around belly button. Not from chest to tail bone, but under bust line to just above pelvic.
    This proves the point that drilling is needed, I think. If a teacher just demonstrates an undulation then proceeds to use it in a dance - and expects the students to copy - then they're unlikely to do it correctly.

    I'm sure every teacher would teach the move, then do it several times in isolation to make sure the students understand it, before including it in a dance. That's drilling.

    My current teacher, Terezka, drills. We sometimes do so many camels I think I will drop - but it's always to music, and we'll do them to the left, to the right, around in a circle, changing direction etc. etc. So it is dancing, as well. She also moves seamlessly from one drill to the next, still to the same music. She will call out advice and only stop the music if it's clear we're not "getting" it.

    I think it is important to make a distinction between drilling to music, as they do in ballet, jazz, contemporary, etc, and drilling without music as they do in flamenco and (it would appear) in ATS. In ballet, while you are drilling you are still expected to move expressively to the music.

    Flamenco dancers have a different relationship to the music - many of them are just as happy dancing to a metronome (it's one of the reasons I gave up, because I found the disconnect with the music frustrating). I wonder if ATS dancers are the same?

  4. #34
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Big Grin using an mp3 player for bellydance practice

    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post
    Oh Farasha, goddess is just my figure of speech. You're all so much like goddesses, anyway Oh well, you're an mp3 queen! What kind of basic mp3 would you suggest I use for belly dancing and of course for running or cycling also. A few months ago, I got my boyfriend an mp3 player and we both didn't know how to use it. He wanted me to load songs there but I didn't even know where to get mp3 songs online So I just sang for him, hahaha!
    I hope I don't get too off-topic with this, but the most practical mp3 player to get, if you want to use it to practice your bellydance technique, would be what is called a "flash player." These are small, compact mp3 players that don't come with a screen for viewing videos, although some models have tiny LCD screens to view what song is playing. Flash players have no hard drive, therefore, no small moving parts that can get broken if accidentally dropped. This is why many joggers and people who work out (whether at home or in a gym) prefer flash players.

    Flash player memory is usually 1 to 2 gigabytes (the old 512 MB seems to have phased out), and can hold anywhere from 250 to 1000 songs, depending on length of song, and type of format used (WMA or mp3 files). Some even have a slot for a microSD memory card, which will add more memory to the player (more room for more songs!) Oh, by the way, you don't have to buy songs online, Angela. You can download songs from the hard drive on your computer. If you have any bellydance CD's, just rip them onto your hard drive, then you can put them on your mp3 player. It's not hard at all; just refer to your manual. Most mp3 players come with software that you have to download onto your computer before you can use it; others have a drop-down window or pop-up that takes you to the necessary web site to download your player's software. All come with a USB cable to connect to your PC (and in most cases, recharge your player), and ear buds. Some players require a AAA battery, others have a rechargable battery.

    I don't recommend the iPod shuffle (or any model of iPod, period). I've had far too many customers that had to return their iPod because it either froze up on them, the software wasn't compatible with their PC, or it just plain quit working after a few months (in some cases, weeks, or even days). They're way overpriced, anyway; the iPod is to mp3 players what Nike is to tennis shoes.

    All in all, I love my mp3 player (I actually have two; I use one exclusively for ME/Indie/fusion music for bellydance practice). When I'm not practicing my dancing, I'm soaking up the music so I can know it as well as I know my own breathing. I hope some of this info proves helpful to you.
    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 08-29-2008 at 08:16 AM.

  5. #35
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    I hope I don't get too off-topic with this, but the most practical mp3 player to get, if you want to use it to practice your bellydance technique, would be what is called a "flash player." I hope some of this info proves helpful to you.
    Marvelously helpful! I'll look for one here, definitely not an iPod because it's costly and also because of the reasons you earlier stated.

    Thank you so much, Farasha!

    Angela
    a.k.a. Mallak el Yasmin

  6. #36
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    I use basic steps, combos, and movements we've been working on in the warm up section of class. I try to find classic belly dance music that suits what I want to do and we still dance with the music. Sometimes when it's beginners, I put in plain rhythm music and do basic movements traveling forward, right, left, back, in a circle, on diag., etc. I've never thought about calling it drills though because it's more follow the bouncing butt, not formulaic. Sometimes I'll surprize them by throwing in a new movement at random, to see if they can pick it up without overthinking. It's been working well so far.

  7. #37
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post
    Marvelously helpful! I'll look for one here, definitely not an iPod because it's costly and also because of the reasons you earlier stated.

    Thank you so much, Farasha!

    Angela
    a.k.a. Mallak el Yasmin
    You're more than welcome, Angela. *hugs!*

  8. #38
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    I put in plain rhythm music and do basic movements traveling forward, right, left, back, in a circle, on diag., etc. I've never thought about calling it drills though because it's more follow the bouncing butt, not formulaic.
    I think that's part of the problem here - the word "drills" sounds like something out of the army, but really it just means repetitions of a movement. I think most teachers do that. It's just that in most dance styles, "drilling" means repeating for only 8 to 32 bars to music (with attention to musicality as well as technique), whereas in a gym, people can do 50 to 100 mechanical repetitions of an exercise.

  9. #39
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missanime View Post
    hi i just saw some clips on youtube of this rachel brice doing her drills - and IMO i think she's great! i too would love to find a teacher who *also* emphasizes (spl) technique as *well* as the dance aspect of bellydancing. personally i wish this rachel brice had a dvd on nothing BUT drills (singles, combos, etc)....i think they'd be some fantastic dancers if this were out there
    I wish the same too - a dvd explaining and demonstrating each move step by step and then drilling to the music until i feel comfortable doing that step correctly so that I will have more confidence later on in the choreography or dancing different moves to the music.

  10. #40
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    Default okies.

    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post
    Hi!

    For a beginner and also intermediate bd student, do you have any suggestions for a program of daily belly dancing practice drills to improve my bd? I'd like to practice at home when I'm not having my belly dance lessons. Have to look for music for it!

    I have read in another thread about Rachel Brice doing 50 counts of different bd moves. Maybe 50 is too many for me, I don't know.
    Ok, I'm just skipping all the pages, and answering you original poster.

    I've only begun getting interested in belly dancing. I live just outside Edinburgh, in Scotland, so there's only 1 belly dancing teacher I've found to get classes from. But if I'm honest, I don't want to take classes because a)I'm unemployed and can't afford it, b) don't want to go into a class as a beginner and have that self conscious and vunerable feeling, and c) end up not liking it for some reason, and then thinking I'm not wanting to learn belly dancing at all, when it's perhaps the style or level or speed of progress(or unprogress) that is discouraging me.

    But what I've done is watch a lot of videos on youtube and wrote a list of different moves to do, dividing it into *body levels*(well, the shoulders, torso, belly, hips, legs, arms-and whatever else you can think of could go on there too). I haven't thought of styles or even the proper names for the moves, and I consider them drills and like the name because it makes me think it's drilling the moves into my memory. Sometimes I practice with music and sometimes without(often when I'm unsure that I'm executing it properly and just need to try it in the mirror at my own speed, sometimes when I'm sitting in the car or bus bored). And I don't care if anyone has an opinion about this, because I'm trying to learn it the way that appeals to me, even if it isn't ideal and takes me 20 times longer to learn. The only thing I've been careful about is trying to do belly rolls about an hour or 2 after I've had my dinner.

    Your question sounds as if you'd like a list of things to practice, and I guess that depends on what you'd like to learn or improve on. This is what I have on my list(think it too ambitious if you like!):

    • Belly Rolls~ lying, sitting, standing, alternating directions.
    • Shoulder shimmy~ slow, medium, fast, speeding up, slowing down, alternating
    • Shoulder lifts~ ditto
    • Shoulder rotations~ ditto
    • Torso~ arching back, leaning to sides, leaning forward, circles(the torso doing a circle that leans forward, around and leans back, and back around), snaking as kneeling down/kneeling up
    • Hip shimmy~ same as shoulders
    • Hip rotations~ same as shoulders + figure of 8
    • Hip lifts~ same as shoulders
    • Leg stretches~ extending (I have poor flexibility, so most people may not have to do this, I do).
    • Smooth snake arms.


    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I also have problems looking for suitable belly dancing music. But I just find a good beat in the music I do listen to(mostly mainstream pop unfortunately), and dare say it I have some Shakira music that I find ok to drill to. I find it more interesting and challenging, because I'm having to find something more in the music to move to.

    P.P.S. Walking and spins and prop work should be added too, but I don't have enough room in my room to practice the first 2, and I have no props to practice the last one.
    Last edited by AmbitiousBelly; 11-19-2009 at 09:00 PM.

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