Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 45
  1. #31
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,289
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Do you suppose toe wiggling is a long lost aspect of middle eastern dance? Imagine the possibilities. Hip hip, sway, dip and turn, wiggle toes, body wave, toes, toes.

  2. #32
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Foot of the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    1,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I wonder how many of us were/are told things that our teachers were told that they never asked why?

    Thanks for the bit about Nagwa, Shira. That woman had hip moves you could see from space, and I'm not surprised to learn she's suffering now. Poor thing.

    Should be a warning to us all not to sacrifice health for "style."

  3. #33
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shiradotnet View Post
    I must confess, I got up, did my dance stance, and realized that I too can wiggle my toes even with my weight evenly distributed between the ball of the foot and the heel. It never would have occurred to me to tell my students they need to be able to wiggle their toes, though. So long as they evenly distribute weight between the ball and heel most of the time, I'm satisfied.
    Do you think teachers encourage toe wiggling to prevent the student from gripping the floor with the toes (like a bird's talons gripping a branch) which can lead to muscle strain and actually broken bones in the toes? (Kind of like how trainers will make you wiggle your fingers when you're lifting weights) ?

    When I was taking regular Modern classes, we were told to "feel the floor" with the toes, but the minute you started curling the toes or gripping with the toes (usually to help with balance) the instructor would say "no bird feet!" I tripped over my own clawed foot once, and it was rather painful.

  4. #34
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    1,624
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Do you think teachers encourage toe wiggling to prevent the student from gripping the floor with the toes (like a bird's talons gripping a branch) which can lead to muscle strain and actually broken bones in the toes?
    Seems theoretically possible. Too much gripping with the toes can lead to hammertoe, which in turn leads to corns and other foot health problems. This is why backless shoes (flip-flops, clogs, Birkenstock sandals, etc.) are bad choices for everyday wear. When you wear backless shoes, your toes have to work extra hard at gripping the front of the shoe when you walk, and too much of this can lead to foot health problems.

    It's easy to imagine that a person with pre-existing hammertoe problems who starts learning how to belly dance barefoot might still grip at the floor. That could make the hammertoe problem worse. As you said, it could lead to broken toes. AND, it would cause problems with your ability to balance properly as you dance, which in turn could create problems with your spins, your hagalla shimmies, your baladi-style hip drops (what Hossam Ramzy calls the hip swerve), and any other move that requires you to be strong and balanced on one leg at a time. Also, alignment problems on the foot such as those related to hammertoe could create problems with the ankles, knees, and back.

    It has never occurred to me to make sure my students' feet have relaxed toes. I'll have to watch for that and correct it if necessary!

  5. #35
    V.I.P. alosha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Dalles, Oregon
    Posts
    2,089
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    Do you think teachers encourage toe wiggling to prevent the student from gripping the floor with the toes (like a bird's talons gripping a branch) which can lead to muscle strain and actually broken bones in the toes? (Kind of like how trainers will make you wiggle your fingers when you're lifting weights) ?
    That's exactly what I was told. It messes up your balance too.

  6. #36
    Junior Member Aurelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NW Georgia, USA
    Posts
    24
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This has been really helpful as I think about stance -- so thanks everyone!

    One thing I have been noticing in my own dancing is that when my weight comes forward, I engage my thighs more to drive hip movements. This creates a very different look from the hip movements often taught in tribal fusion that come primarily from the abdominals (with the legs working but mostly just to make room for the pelvis to move). Also, bringing my rib cage forward, rather than keeping it aligned with my feet, makes it much more tempting for me to release my pelvic tuck, but that could just be because I am used to the other stance.

    What I often see beginner students doing is not so much clawing the floor with their toes as using the front part of the foot to drive hip movement, even to the extent of coming up on half toe, especially for figure 8s. This bad habit may give them something that "looks" right when they are standing still, but if they're using their toes to push the hip up, as soon as they start trying to walk with any kind of hip movement it turns into some very strange stuff. So maybe that's where the emphasis on "wiggling toes" has come from -- trying to keep beginner students from pushing with the front part of the foot?

  7. #37
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cornfields of Evansville Indiana.
    Posts
    2,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurelia View Post
    One thing I have been noticing in my own dancing is that when my weight comes forward, I engage my thighs more to drive hip movements. This creates a very different look from the hip movements often taught in tribal fusion that come primarily from the abdominals (with the legs working but mostly just to make room for the pelvis to move).

    Also, bringing my rib cage forward, rather than keeping it aligned with my feet, makes it much more tempting for me to release my pelvic tuck, but that could just be because I am used to the other stance.
    Interesting. I was experimenting with this a while back, and I found that when my weight was more forward (the tits over toes posture favored by Shareen el Safy) I didn't feel like I was losing the tuck so much as I really wanted to "help it along" or balance it somehow by engaging the buttocks.

    Since I've had a lifetime of ballet teachers drill it into me to NOT engage the butt, I don't -- even though Shareen and Raqia have said that you should have tension in the butt. I can't quite bring myself to do this, unless I'm pushing the hips forward like in a big hip circle.


    I'm curious about something, and maybe I need to spin this off into a new thread:

    I haven't had formal Tribal Fusion classes (just Rachel's general technique workshop (which was entirely Suhaila format) and Suhaila's own format workshops), but I've been taught two things that are supposedly characteristic of Egyptian style:

    1. Hip movements come from tensing and relaxing the abdominal muscles
    2. Additional tension from pushing against the floor (or resisting against gravity) can add to the drama of the movement, externally and internally.

    What I've been taught as Egyptian style begins with a posture utilizing a fairly straight leg. By contrast, Suhaila's basic posture uses a pretty bent leg.

    When you do a vertical fig 8 up-to-down with a straighter leg, the contraction in the ab causes the hip to lift, and therefore the heel of the foot wants to come off the floor. When you have a greater bend in the legs, the opposite leg seems to absorb the "hip lift" and you don't see the foot lifting up off the floor. If you really push the ball of the foot against the floor when you do the ab contraction, you create a really super tight squeeze, with a lot of tension, which you can release as you release the ab contraction and lower the hip down. (That's the extra drama, and it feels GOOD!) lol.

    I'm not sure the Tribal v Egyptian technique difference is a matter of choosing between using the abs versus using the quads, so much as it is deciding if you want the extra "drama" and tension from the push against gravity.

    What you think? I'm not 100% committed to this just yet, because I'm still trying to figure out exactly what muscles are contracting and in what manner -- AND especially since Raqia and Aida Nour seem to have such differing opinions as to how the movement "SHOULD" be generated.. :/

    What I often see beginner students doing is not so much clawing the floor with their toes as using the front part of the foot to drive hip movement, even to the extent of coming up on half toe, especially for figure 8s. This bad habit may give them something that "looks" right when they are standing still, but if they're using their toes to push the hip up, as soon as they start trying to walk with any kind of hip movement it turns into some very strange stuff
    I think I know what you're talking about -- they aren't using the abs AT ALL, and the movement has an external kind of clunky look? But an easy test for this is to just stand with one foot in a low passe position, and see if the 8 can be completed. If you're relying on the floor to generate the movement, and you take away the floor ... No movement! lol.

    But when I'm not doing something specifically Suhaila-designed, I'll use the resistance against gravity for extra drama, even if it's just internal, and you'll see my heels come up the floor. I'm still using my abs for the hip lift, just adding more tension through quad contraction. I can still travel my hip movements though -- I guess that's the key, no matter what technique you use.

    So maybe that's where the emphasis on "wiggling toes" has come from -- trying to keep beginner students from pushing with the front part of the foot?
    Maybe, but if you were going to rely on the push, you would probably push the ball of the foot into the floor, not the toes so much, ya know? I'm doing that now -- pushing the toes -- and it HURTS!!

  8. #38
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NE Mojave Desert
    Posts
    2,223
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm going to add one more here. For the second time in two years I've strained my lower back. I don't remember what it was the first time but this time it was trying to learn some new floor work. I'm slightly sway backed so I have to really watch my stance. The strain doesn't keep me from dancing, in fact it lets me know the instant I've let my posture slip, but it's a pain (literally) at night when I try to sleep.

  9. #39
    Member PoleDanceABCs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Posts
    147
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I haven't really injured myself but I have felt muscle soreness after an intense shoulder/upper-body session.

  10. #40
    Member staranise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    98
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    as a baby beginner I poked myself in my eye trying to do a "catch the veil" trick. hehe. It was quite painful... and I can still rememberl that horrible sensation of chiffon against my eyeball. scratchy!

    On the posture thing, Ariellah, on her DVD, stresses that the weight should be in the heels as the "home position" For a while I danced like that but as I progressed I guess I've just adopted the evenly balanced across the foot, which is much more comfortable.

    I took a series of classes in egyptian technique at a beginning level and I was criticised for going into the standard (tribal?) bent knee position. The teacher seemed to stress that all the hip movement comes from bending the knees from the straight starting position. there was virtually no focus on the abdominals driving the movement(though she may have introduced that as an intermediate concept, these classes were for absolute beginners)

    It was quite difficult to rethink the execution of a simple hip drop, but it was good for me, I think
    Last edited by staranise; 08-27-2009 at 10:07 AM.

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •