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  1. #1
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    Default Other dance types

    I was wondering what experience dancers here have in other dance styles (or other exercise forms) and how that experience has related to your bellydancing. Ie, has it helped you? Have you found some moves similar, and has that made the bellydance moves easier or harder to learn? Do you incorporate your other dance styles and techniques into Fusion routines?

    I imagine flexibility gained from years of ballet, or gymnastics, or yoga, would be immensely helpful in bellydance.

    For myself, I have a background in a dozen different dance styles (ballroom, ballet, jazz, modern, tap, Irish... a little of everything) and I did figure skating for many years. So far I've found that having some general dance experience has helped lot, for being familiar with counts and with general terms. But I've heard from others that when they have a lot of training in one dance style, it can be difficult to shift to a different one.

    (BTW, I'd love to do a skating solo one day incorporating bellydance music and moves, but I have no idea how that would work).

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    Hi Asrari,i trained and choreografed a piece for a girl that was in my belly dance class that aswell went to the worldchampion competition figure skating some years ago, i did for her a piece on batwannes beek ,from Ward she was wearing a royal bleu sec.costume plus a veil to go with it.It was so beautiful and the judges agreed she won first price free style!! happy skatebelly dancing!! lydia

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    I'm teaching traditional cretan folk dance for over 20 years, and was a dancer in folk troup from 8 years old.
    The dance is not related to oriental dance, but gave me extremly strong legs and stamina for dance.

    Just to see what i'm talking about (since cretan folk is not known worldwide) a video-clip from youtube. Mind that it is from cretans abroad, so you will see some silly things that dont exist in greece (like the money throwing and the chair thing) but the dance the music and the costumes are traditional

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KrEijY5u1E

    maria aya

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Hi Asrari,

    I didn't have any dance experience before I started bellydancing, but I have had about 10 years music lessons so I guess that helps me with "feeling the rhythm" of the music. Also I have quite some "born with" flexibility, but I didn't do anything with it for more than 10 years, so I'm actually quite stiff now (but working on it, sometimes )

    A friend of mine has done ballet for about 15 years. She told me she was doing street dance now and it was going well, but she wanted to do all moves "too neat".
    My teacher told me quite some people who had done ballet were indeed very flexibel, but have problems with "sharp movements".
    I also have seen people in my class who had some salsa lessons and their shimmy walks look more like salsa shimmies (don't know if I use the right terminology)

    I think dance experience can be useful at some point, but it can also give problems when shifting to other dance styles.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Selkie's Avatar
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    I too have been involved in a wide variety of dance since a small child, starting with acrobatic dance and going into tap, ballet, Highland, and jazz. I think it helps because I already have a degree of body mastery so I'm familiar with how to make my muscles do what I want them to do. Jazz dance has many isolations and slides, so many of the bellydance isolations are not unfamiliar. I'm the only person in my class who put her hand up when asked if we had moved our ribcages before! *LOL* Jazz is also earthy dance, more grounded than ballet although it is very energetic and spritely. Its important to get into the music when dancing jazz. If you don't feel the music, if its energy doesn't come through you, then your dance won't be "jazzy" Even slow jazz, the energy has to come through to make a smokey or sensual dance. This attitude translates well to bellydance, which fosters the similar attitude. Jazz even has floor work, though much more extensive repetoire of floor work movements than I've seen in bellydance as of yet. So yes, I think my background in jazz dance has been helping me pick up bellydance

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mouse's Avatar
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    I did a lot of different dance styles as a child, jazz, tap, modern, along with acrobatics and contortion, and some ballroom dancing and a bit of yoga and pilates as an adult. I think that has probably helped me in terms of co-ordination, flexibility, isolations and being able to get a feel for the music.

  7. #7
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    I started dancing as a small child in ballet. I grew up in Ireland and music and dance was a huge part of our family gatherings, which were quite frequent, so I've been doing folk dancing my entire life. I continued with ballet and modern dance through my teen years. I've also been studying polynesian dancing for eight years. My dance training has had a significant influence in my training with oriental dance. It was very natural for me to learn. I see the same in my students with dance training, and those that have no training seem to need a little extra help (not all of them though; some blow me away).

    Polynesian dancing is similar in so many ways, that there are moves that are nearly identical to each other. The transition to bellydance was very smooth. I credit my dance experience for helping me to develop to where I am now and I don't think I would be where I am now without it. Very beneficial for beginners.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    The first dance I learned in my life, as soon as I could walk, was the Greek form of belly dance called Tsifteteli. Later, when I started with school I learned many Greek Folkdances. At highschool I performed Greek Folkdances with the Folkdance troupe of my school. I also did a lot of rhythmical gymnastic and different other sports in my teenage time. In my early twenties I started with the Arabian Raqs Sharqi and my Tsifteteli skills were of course very helpful. I suppose, I learned the Arabian belly dance quicker than somebody, who hasn't grown up with some form of belly dance. Later I did martial arts for about 10 years, Ballroom and latin dances for about 2 years and I've been dancing Salsa, Merengue and Bachate for more than 10 years. Since belly dance has always been my primary dance I can only confirm the opposite process: belly dance helped me to learn the other dances and body exercises easier
    I have many students who have dealt with other dance styles, before they started to learn belly dance. It depends on the person and on how intensive the training of the the other dances was, if it makes it easier or harder for them to learn belly dance. I have a lady for example who has been dancing Israelian Folk dances and Latin dances for very many years and although she can move very well, she has big difficulties with the belly dance moves. But there are also people, who learn quicker because of a former dance training.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Jessenia's Avatar
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    I started taking dancing classes two years ago of hip-hop, salsa, latin rythms, brasilian dancing and bellydancing.

    I believe it is important to explore a variety of styles until you find the one you like most.

  10. #10
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    Tribal folk

    I was just thinking about this the other day how my previous dance has helped me... I have been a tribal fire dancer for about ten -eight years now and encorporated fire into my dance routine. I have found the control of the stik makes a really unusal display with the veils and there is nothing better than blowing fire at the end of the shimmmy....:p before then i did all the classic and modern dance i think we just have the music in us baby!!

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