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  1. #21
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    Default deliberate hijack -- bear with me

    (nudges folks around her, "look at how many new folks have commented! YAY!")

    To all of you who have recently joined and I have not yet met, welcome!

    I still feel like a dork at times, even after almost 8 years of dance. But, the one thing I have learned is that it is sooooo important to find your confidence, whether by regularly doing moves that you like, giving yourself permission to learn (a hard thing, but a good thing!), or by just wearing something pretty that makes you feel taller! The thing is, when we are not confident, our posture collapses, our mood "falls", and we bring our audience down. But, when you find that "spark" that lifts you through those times, it helps you focus on positive thoughts that can actually "pull" the move out of you correctly. That is, visualizing success will help you attain it, especially in dance. If you just focus on something like "Gosh, my gut sticks out," then you will direct all that negative energy down to the very place that makes things worse. But, if you think something like, "I want you to see every sequin on this beautiful bedlah," you will lift your chest, lengthen your torso (pulling in that now beautiful belly, BTW), and as a result, look more elegant.

    I hope that didn't sound too new-agey. I may be hanging out in the bunny room; but, there is truth to this.

    Regards,

    Anala

  2. #22
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
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    Dork of the first water, right here. But what Anala says is true. In another lifetime, I was Mrs Oregon, and most pageant winners will tell you that swimsuit is won from the neck up. Confidence in who you are, what you are and what you are doing makes all the difference in the world. As you are working toward that confidence, it will show. This is where practice, drills, rehearsals, etc, come into play. That being said, I am going to finish off this cup of coffee and

    ...

    wait for it


    Go get another one

    (lol, betcha you thought I said I was going to go start rehearsing )

  3. #23
    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    I used to go to poledance classes and remeber very well the Bridget-Jones-down-the-fireman's-pole feeling. Gah, but isn't that the name for it!!

    I've been trying to teach myself via YouTube lessons. I realise that a teacher is going to be able to give far better advice as it's tailored to the individual(s), but I'm a bit short at the moment. Aren't we all?

    I'd like to go for classes, though. I've also been trying to save up the money to go to burlesque classes, but that's still a while off yet. I'm thinking, though, that surely I can learn a bit about moves from the YouTube talkthroughs, as I'm a slow learner with physical arts like this.
    I really, really don't recommend YouTube and most of the forum members here won't either for a number of reasons...if you can't get to classes can you at least buy good belly dance instructional videos?

  4. #24
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    May I ask what the problems are with the YouTube videos? I don't mean to be difficult, I'm just curious as to what the problem is likely to be.

    But if you recommend videos then I'll have a hunt around. Any recommendations?

  5. #25
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    May I ask what the problems are with the YouTube videos? I don't mean to be difficult, I'm just curious as to what the problem is likely to be.

    But if you recommend videos then I'll have a hunt around. Any recommendations?
    Many YouTube video teachers don't follow good form themselves, or are not good at teaching. Video teachers usually have good form, better teaching skills, and the camera angles are usually (not always) better. Also, they often include warm-ups, cool-downs, and extended practice/drilling to optimize your retention of movements.

    I like Rachel Brice's Yoga and Bellydance DVD, and I hear Jenna's Basics of Bellydance is very good also.

  6. #26
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    I've been bellydancing for four years now, and I can recommend some good videos, but one of the most crucial things for me in learning this dance was being able to feel my teacher's belly! She would let us in order to show us where the movement orginated from. When you start bellydancing, you'll discover muscles you didn't know you had! One of the big mistakes beginners make is trying to do moves with their skeleton that should be done with their muscles, and you need a teacher to help you find the difference. This is a dance about muscle isolation. You learn to isolate certain muscles and then you learn to layer movements on top of each other, and that's the challenge of the dance.

    You absolutely can lose weight bellydancing! It's a serious workout. If you want to get a few videos just so you can start to see what it's about, I recommend Rachel Brice or Sera Solstice's videos (the latter is called East Coast Tribal.) Suhaila has videos too. All three of these will be totally overwhelming at first but stick with it! Your body really can learn to do these things!!
    Last edited by Sita; 04-11-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Removing irrelevant links suggestive of spam

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    But if you recommend videos then I'll have a hunt around. Any recommendations?
    Out of all the basic instruction videos I've tried my absolute favorite is Instant Bellydancer with Neon. It's 2 DVD's but you can buy them together in a single set here. I still have not gotten to the second disk mind you. I figure when I finally work my way through the set it will be time to throw a "party".

  8. #28
    Senior Member maria_harlequin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelo123 View Post
    I've been bellydancing for four years now, and I can recommend some good videos, but one of the most crucial things for me in learning this dance was being able to feel my teacher's belly! She would let us in order to show us where the movement orginated from. When you start bellydancing, you'll discover muscles you didn't know you had! One of the big mistakes beginners make is trying to do moves with their skeleton that should be done with their muscles, and you need a teacher to help you find the difference. This is a dance about muscle isolation. You learn to isolate certain muscles and then you learn to layer movements on top of each other, and that's the challenge of the dance.

    You absolutely can lose weight bellydancing! It's a serious workout. If you want to get a few videos just so you can start to see what it's about, I recommend Rachel Brice or Sera Solstice's videos (the latter is called East Coast Tribal.) Suhaila has videos too. All three of these will be totally overwhelming at first but stick with it! Your body really can learn to do these things!!
    Just reminding you that belly dancing isn't just about isolations It's also about the culture, connecting with the music and the audience, understanding the context...but I'm sure you know that already. In fact, it seems with Egyptian, isolating seems to be the LEAST important thing in the dance.

    As for Satine, if you're just starting out, I don't recommend Sera's videos especially if you're going with belly dance ala raqs sharqi and not the hip hop, popping and locking tribal fusion dance that Sera does. All About Belly Dancing! Exploring The Art of Middle Eastern Dance! Learn About Belly Dance! has a very comprehensive list of dvds and reviews...and there's also a thread here somewhere about the best dvds.
    Last edited by Sita; 04-11-2009 at 03:38 PM. Reason: getting rid of spam links in quoted post

  9. #29
    Junior Member Salila's Avatar
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    I still feel like a dork. I know what you mean, I'm only a few months into it, and though my family knows that I do it, they havent seen it yet, but, I've 'performed' for friends and people I don't even know. My family are so close that they have no problems teasing me and making faces and stuff, but people that don't really know me seem to be more focused on how well I do, not what I'm doing.
    Overall though, I still love it. Its addicting, and thank goodness its good for you, too, and not something else that's not so good that you could be obsessed with.

  10. #30
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    Oh, yes, I certainly did. I had wanted to be a dancer ever since I was tiny, but my parents couldn't afford lessons, and somehow by the time they could (I was 9), I decided that I was too old and that I was a confirmed klutz. By high school, I was a couch potato and a bit on the heavier side. I had a chance to take dance classes as part of my high school PE curriculum, but I feared falling on my face and showing my thighs in the required stretch pants.

    My freshman year of college, my roommate took a belly dance class, and an old dream stirred. At first, I was far too shy to take classes, so I bought the Veena and Neena tapes off Amazon and studied from them until I could do a passable shimmy and snake arms. Then I talked a friend into taking classes with me. She had danced Latin dances since she could walk, so she helped tutor me occasionally on moves I didn't get. That summer, my dad and siblings made fun of me when I practiced with the tapes, and I cried. Not that they were being especially mean, but I was so vulnerable about dancing that even the slightest little poke sent me over the edge. But I started getting up early so I could practice while only my mom was awake. The next year, my teacher moved away, I started taking lessons with another teacher in the area, but I couldn't get over the fact that the dance class was held in a glass room in the giant, crowded campus gym. I kept practicing with videos, but didn't take lessons again until after I graduated from college. After a few months of lessons, I was an extra in a belly dance show. A few months later, I began dancing at drum jams.

    I still do feel like a dork frequently, but belly dance has helped make me much more comfortable with my body and my ability to move.
    Last edited by Juniper; 04-28-2009 at 05:50 AM.

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