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  1. #1
    Senior Member eden eyes's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Zumba and Belly Dance?

    Hmmm...

    I love belly dance. I love latin dance. I love polynesian dance. I love teaching all these things. HOWEVER I prefer to leave belly dance OUT of Zumba. Zumba, in case you haven't heard of it, is the new dance fitness craze that is built primarily on Latin dance (though I have seen some zumba instructors that have no idea what latin dance is and so they do a hip hop version of it ) with body training that include some hip hop, afro caribbean, polynesian, reggaeton, and belly dance influences. I have gotten into teaching Zumba, which I don't call it that because i don't have the certification for it and I teach it through a different method (more dancing, less just moving around).

    IMHO i dislike the idea of mixing belly dance with Zumba. you can see my reasoning below. now perhaps instead of saying "now lets do some belly dancing" why don't they just say, "now lets do some belly dance-like moves" because those videos are...not belly dance.

    in my class i don't even mention the word belly dance or anything like it. i prefer sticking with the latin dances primarily. i am trying to give other instructors the benefit of the doubt by saying they are just modifying the moves to give a better cardiovascular workout, but some of those look too complicated and possibly to floppy (and dangerous at that) for exercise students to do.





    YouTube - Zumba belly dance with Angela (i can't even bing myself to posting this)

    YouTube - ZUMBA BELLYDANCE WITH PHYLLIS

    YouTube - zumba zumba flamenco y belly dancing con katerine!! (the "belly dance" starts near middle)

    YouTube - Nathan Blake does lil " belly dance" for Zumba class ("classic zumba belly dance" omg...)

    sorry for the rant...i'm just really peeved at this. you know, people have to take the whole shibang to get the certification and htey have to do workshops to learn salsa, cumbia, samba, tango, flamenco, etc. i desperately wonder who taught this belly dance to them...it seems pretty uniform among instructors.

    give me your opinions

    note: i'm not trying to diss other zumba instructors, i'm just, as i said before, peeved

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    WOW! - I couldn't even finish watching watching the Angela one, and the 2nd one posted here, the instructor, does the weirdest and strangest move with her leg/foot on hipdrops ( if you can really call them that) - looks like you could dislocate something.

    Calling any of them Bellydance is totally off base IMO, OK they have a few moves that have a BD influence, but have been stylised to suit what they are doing, but to label the workout as Zumba BD shows none of them know zilch about BD in the first place. I am sure some students will go away and believe they can actually bellydance

    What can one do .. sadly nothing, but what you are doing Edeneyes, refuse to add the title of BD to your workout. Probably the Latin American and Hip-Hop professionals feel the same way.
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


  3. #3
    Senior Member eden eyes's Avatar
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    ugh I'M not even a latin dance professional but i know terrible technique when i see it. I watched the intro dvd and died a little inside. that's why i can't call my class zumba. it's got better technique

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eden eyes View Post

    YouTube - Zumba belly dance with Angela (i can't even bing myself to posting this)
    This one was really something. The bellydance consisting of shoulder shimmies, for four seconds and then galloping from side to side with something that seems like it's supposed to look like pharaonic arms (which I kind of dislike already)
    I feel bad for dissing someone but puhleeezze... bellydance??? how, where, why???

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Sounds like someone tried to combine "samba" with "zambra."

    Looks like neither belly dance nor any Spanish/Latin dances I'm familiar with. Why bother? The real Latin dances are so much fun as they are.

  6. #6
    Senior Member eden eyes's Avatar
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    I know!!!! (to both of you)

    i have no doubt in my mind that it is a terrific exercise and i have seen a few zumba instructors that have good dance technique. i do my version all the time and i sweat my butt off so i consider it a good workout anyway. the only time i really strayed from technique was when i made them lift their hips and arms more when doing the chachacha but i made a vocal note saying it was a "fitness variation meant to give your obliques a better workout. don't try to do this on the pro dance floor or you will look silly."

    now how hard is that, other than being breathless?? not hard at all.

    i have a potential BD student from Brazil who was complaining to me that nobody in my area dances. she said she went to a zumba class and had to leave, the dancing was so bad. she was shocked at the overly-americanized (i hate using that term, but in this case it calls for it) "latin" dancing.

    did you notice any of the youtube comments? none of them say anything like, "Where's the belly dance?" or "what the hell is this?!" haha they all say, "wow that is so fun, i wanna dance like that."

    btw: zumba is a Colombian term that basically means "to party and have fun!"

  7. #7
    Junior Member s1dur1_sab1tu's Avatar
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    Default Zumba Poop

    I like my Zumba class too, and actually I tend to do all the moves with a BD translation as I'm actually afraid I might hurt myself or develop bad habits doing what the instructor does. Sooo...I'm the prissiest Zumbateer in the land - refusing to squat and umi, round my back or pump my groin forward ( I substitue ab pulses instead ). Hey I'm there for the exercise and she never gives any pointers, so I just do what I want and what feels safe to me.

    Actually last week, the instructor started doing repeated umi's with her legs about 12 inches apart and she motioned for me to come to the head of the class since she knew I was a BDer. I got to the front and before I could stop myself, I said quietly, 'Actually we'd never do them with our legs that far apart...' Man, she actually looked a tad embarrassed and closed it up. Sorry, it's the teacher in me...I just couldn't hold it back...but maybe she'll actually take the time to learn how it's done properly, she's been asking me a bunch of questions about classes.

    I think it's just a lack of knowledge...I have had about 3 different instructors this year and I usually tell them I'll be doing stuff the BD way. Maybe one of them will catch on eventually...

    KS
    Ms. KittieSparkle and The Queens of Chaos

  8. #8
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    Exclamation Well, to tell you truth....

    Beto--in ALL of his workshops SAYS that his moves are NOT belly dancing. more like belly dancing FEEL. He had a REAL belly dancer in one of the workshops and showed us all how his moves really aren't bellydancing. He says that about his Flamenco moves as well.

    You have to remember that it's latin dance fitness with international FEEL. It's all still FITNESS though and we need to interpret some of the real bellydancing moves into a group fitness atmosphere. Don't hate... it's just an INTERPRETATION. I even tell my peeps that i teach that it's not TRUELY bellydancing.

    and maybe the videos you chose aren't the greatest representation of zumba instructors .... There's a wide range out there--i truely admit. That's a main reason why, in my choreography vids, i do NOT post the name ZUMBA anywhere on the vid. So no one judges either way.

  9. #9
    AFK Moderator ~Diana~'s Avatar
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    *sigh* this is like my local gym who decided to start a fitness class that incorporates bellydance moves in it. I disagreed with it and boycotted it. My trainer was talking to me about it during one session and i told her that the moves they were doing were dangerous cause they were not doing them correctly. After I explained why the gym stopped the program.

    I don't think bellydance moves of any sort should be used in exercise at all. It does not allow time to teach people the proper positions to keep from hurting themselves.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
    2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
    3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
    4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners
    .
    ~ Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher ~

  10. #10
    Senior Member eden eyes's Avatar
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    KS- thank you for your story and for setting your instructor straight, however bad it might have made you feel

    Anissazumba-thank you for posting your side of the argument. as i said before i cannot call myself a zumba instructor because i haven't done the workshops, so thank you for saying what goes on in them. it's good that the workshop leader makes a note about how it isn't BD but some odd feeling tells me that his students don't think the same way. and also the idea of having an international FEEL to something doesn't click with me very well. i'm not offended easily, i'm light hearted, etc, however that just doesn't seem right. that Angela belly dance particularly offended me in a way. kinda like when someone flaps their arms around and jumps in the air and calls it traditional west african dance, some pros or students of, might get offended too.

    please understand i'm not hatin' on anyone, at least i'm not trying to sound that way. and i know that zumba is not a BD thing it is a Latin thing, but even then the Latin technique is crazy. maybe it's just that i have been dancing for so long that i have grown to appreciate technique more than others.

    and actually those vids are the first i found on youtube when i typed in "Zumba belly dance."

    and also i want to thank you for making it clear to your students that what you do isn't real BD. other instructors fail to mention that, perhaps because they forget or because they expect their students to already know that

    and Cheart- thanks for your story too. i teach a fitness belly dance class but i stick with good and safe technique. it's not as cardiovascular as zumba, by far, but it does the job for those who might be too scared to try the zumba classes

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