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  1. #11
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Can someone define drills for me, please? I have wondered for ages. They sound rather military for bellydance to me, but I'm guessing they are something different to what I imagine

  2. #12
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Drills is when you practice repetitions of a move, or a combination. often this is a combination designed to get moves into muscle memory, by combining moves. and doing several things at same time. Or it will be doing moves with weight distributed differently to prepare you for combining moves later. shimmy drills will be designed for endurance and also for learning to layer onto shimmy. See Drills, drills, drills by Michelle joyce etc. at my stage of development, I am searching out dvds with drills to improve my co-ordination, although some of them are fiendishly difficult (for me) and I can only work on a segment at a time - which is OK as they are formatted in such a way that it is easy to do so,

  3. #13
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira_116 View Post
    Hey Angela,
    Yes, classes really vary a LOT. With mine, I do a long warmup that goes into isolations, THEN we drill, then we'll work moves around the room, and then either combo or choreography (very simple ones in Beginning). I try to integrate cool down with that, as even in 1 1/2 hour classes, I always run out of time to do everything I'd planned.
    I've taken some classes that were all "follow me and do what I do" - I hate that.
    Amira
    That seems like an interesting class you have there Amira! Especially the moves around the room and combo/choreography, where I can connect more to the music. And you have 1 1/2 hours classes! We only have 1hour classes here that is why I sometimes take another class after to total it to 2hours. We do suggest to the teacher what we like but sometimes, there are beginners who join the class and then we'll have to do those basic breathing exercises again and the most basic drills I practiced when I was just starting bd But for the sake of the beginners who just joined....

    Like you, I also hate the 'follow me' method all throughout the class. Also, I appreciate it when the teacher goes around to check the proper movements during drills. Other students might prefer other types of instruction. For me, I like variety at some point in the class. I have my favorite teachers but I can't always have their class because of schedule constraints.

    From JenCrills is when you practice repetitions of a move, or a combination. often this is a combination designed to get moves into muscle memory, by combining moves. and doing several things at same time.
    I'd like to practice drills at home, I just don't know which ones to practice and if I'm doing it properly, hehehe...

  4. #14
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post
    I'd like to practice drills at home, I just don't know which ones to practice and if I'm doing it properly, hehehe...
    But you need to practice at home. If you just practice single moves you get strength but you don't get movement. I like to do drills from Michelle Joyce and have ordered Azziza' Practice Companion to development my ability between moves.

    (Rachel Brice and Ariellah do drills repeating one move and they are useful too, but I need to learn how to move)

    If you are in a class, your teacher should notice if your technique is off, or you could ask. I am not in a class as such and need to do these on my own between classes.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    I guess I will describe my classes lol
    Depends on the level

    At Basic Arabic (first year)
    1) 15 min warm up and stretching by my assistand teacher Anna
    2) 15 min review of the previous week class
    3) 30 min new lesson stuff
    4) 5 min break
    5) 10 min Dancing improvissation with the new and old moves
    6) 10 min small choreo more like musical phrases with the new movements
    7) 10 min cool down by my assistand
    The class is 1 hour and half

    Alotttttttt of talking by me lol

    At Arabic I, II in general the same with more difficult things going on

    After Arabic III class the class is 2 hours and total different stractured.
    More like a small themed workshop everytime

    Maria Aya

  6. #16
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    But you need to practice at home.

    If you are in a class, your teacher should notice if your technique is off, or you could ask. I am not in a class as such and need to do these on my own between classes.
    Some teachers do correct but others don't. I feel that I get it right sometimes, but sometimes get the same move wrong I will start practicing at home. I have more motivation in a class though but I will start practicing at home if I want to improve, hehe...

    From Maria Aya: At Basic Arabic (first year)
    1) 15 min warm up and stretching by my assistand teacher Anna
    2) 15 min review of the previous week class
    3) 30 min new lesson stuff
    4) 5 min break
    5) 10 min Dancing improvissation with the new and old moves
    6) 10 min small choreo more like musical phrases with the new movements
    7) 10 min cool down by my assistand
    The class is 1 hour and half

    Alotttttttt of talking by me lol. At Arabic I, II in general the same with more difficult things going on.After Arabic III class the class is 2 hours and total different stractured. More like a small themed workshop everytime
    Maria Aya, your classes are really quite interesting as you cover the old and new lessons and it's 1 1/2 hours! It's fascinating to know the different styles of teaching and the components of the lesson of every teacher. If only I could attend the classes of each and every teacher here!

    What do you mean by a small themed workshop for your Arabic 3 classes? One day, I would like to observe an advanced level class.

  7. #17
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post

    Maria Aya, your classes are really quite interesting as you cover the old and new lessons and it's 1 1/2 hours! It's fascinating to know the different styles of teaching and the components of the lesson of every teacher. If only I could attend the classes of each and every teacher here!

    What do you mean by a small themed workshop for your Arabic 3 classes? One day, I would like to observe an advanced level class.
    After Arabic III (this is like 4rth year) its themed class.
    One week could be Suheir Zaki style for Saidi (steps, combinations, plus video), the other week could be, "Teqnicks on throwing our veil", or a small choreo etc.


  8. #18
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    ***LONG POST ALERT***

    My classes are 1 hr 15 minutes to 1.5 hours. We always start with a warmup stretch - usually 20 minutes. During the stretch, we do light exercises as well to strengthen the muscles which we use to dance.

    After this we drill isolations for 15 minutes as my class is mostly beginners who need to get their isolations into their muscle memory still.

    Then 15 minutes to practise the movements covered in last class and see if we need to fix any problems from that previous class. If we have many problems we do not learn any new moves that day, we simply repeat the movements from the last class until most of the students feel more comfortable with them. I do not believe in piling on more new stuff if you still can't do the old! I also believe in the need for reinforcemnt so i tend to repeat things we've done before alot.

    If we are ok with the review then we spend 20 minutes learning and practising 1 new move or 2 if they are very simple and the students are not experiencing too much difficulty.

    Each week we then add on a little piece to the choreography that they are working on and practise that for 15 minutes. We then cool down for 5.

    My classes are sort of different to others here. I teach them sort of like a program of short courses. My Beginners1 Class then might last 20 weeks. During the first 16, they will learn various simple fundamental movements and learn them WELL - with the proper technique and posture, learning to drive movements from inside the body rather from the external etc. Then i make a choreography for them using all that they've learnt as i find often that people learn moves in isolation and then they don't know how to use them to actually dance. I try not to do it in such a way that people are learning choreography and movements simultaneously as often they get lost because they can't do the movement properly and try to remember the sequence at the same time.

    After they've done this, we go over all of the movements again in one class and stop to fix what's still not quite right. Then we have workshop-type classes for another 4 weeks.

    The first of those classes is a workshop on Beledi. Everything Beledi - the concept in general, what the word means, then moving on to the rhythm - they learn it, they clap it out, learn to identify it in songs - we have this exercise where i'll play several different songs and they'll have to try to identify which have a beledi rythm. This feels fun and interactive for them. Then we look at video of nice beledi performances like Yasmin of DC's Christmas beledi which i love and i would like to ask Maria Aya's permission to use her kitchen beledi as well because i just love it =D. We look at these videos and discuss things like how the costuming is different, how the movements are used differently and how the dancers' expression of the music is different to other types of performances. I also share with them this article by Hossam Ramzy on beledi, so that they can get an idea of an Egyptian's pespective on this dance "Baladi" by Hossam Ramzy The purpose of this is to stimulate thought and discussion and to learn a little bit about the culture and music which i believe can not be left out of dance education.

    The 3 following classes are veil classes, starting with the theories of how veil came into the dance, The myths (like the 7 veils), the difference of usage by the Egyptians as opposed to the very elaborate work of the Western dancers. Then again we look at video - examples of how the Egyptians do it and how the westerners do it. Talk about the different types of veil, rectangular, semi-circular, cape-veil etc and the various types of materials that work well as veils and for different types of veil work. I always credit Zorba in this section of my classes and send my students to have a gander at his website. =)

    Then the ladies start to learn how to use veils, holding them, getting used to how they move and how to work with them instead of fighting with them (and of course invariably losing). They learn a few simple movements and then how to combine these simple movements with actual dancing. I hate to see a dancer stop dead in her tracks to do veil work. They spend the rest of their classes in this 4 week section working with their veils.

    My Beginners2 classes basically just build on what they did in part 1 but it's not a big step at all, more basic steps, every 4th class they practise their veil work. The first workshop changes to saidi and they learn more veil again in the last 3.

    That's the pattern of my classes!

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    My classes are 1-1.5 hrs but usually run over time:

    -Prep before class starts: Sign in, shoe previous teacher and her students out of the room, organize materials, change clothes, find out where the TV went , make copies of hand-outs, set up audio/visual equipment, etc.

    -Start out with a video clip for about 10 min. Either a dance performance or cultural documentary. (The studio pays special licencing to be able to show movie clips .)

    -Discussion of what we watched.

    -Warm up 5-10 min. using basic movements to belly dance classics.

    -Stretch for 5 min. to slower music. Blab about culture, music, concepts, etc.

    -Main part of the class. Could be improv, chorography, props or whatever we need to work on.

    -10 min. cool down section with specific moves, technique, concepts, or combos that need improvement. Much slower pace than the main part of class.

    -10 min. deep stretch. Music played by student request. Questions are answered.

    -Yap a lot about our personal lives and get our stuff together to leave.

    -Studio clean up.

  10. #20
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria_Aya View Post
    After Arabic III (this is like 4rth year) its themed class. One week could be Suheir Zaki style for Saidi (steps, combinations, plus video), the other week could be, "Teqnicks on throwing our veil", or a small choreo etc.
    I wonder after how many years I can try these themed classes

    Mya and Jane, variety sure spices up but like you, Maria Aya and our other BD gods and goddesses here, mastery and technique are prioritized. I will relay these to my instructor friends and see if they can vary their lessons.

    Cheers!

    Angela
    aka Mallak el Yasmin

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