Arms

Darshiva

Moderator
I'm never quite sure if my arms are right. I've almost always got a sore back after following instruction from the videos I have. My teacher Nina Martinez did tell me and I was doing okay with them but I forgot to write it down and since she had to stop teaching my skype class, I've since lost it & fake it with as close an oriental approximation as I can.

I need to know where I feel the weight, what muscles are activated, etc. Simply saying 'you put your arms like this' or 'here, watch, it's like this' is what's gotten me into trouble in the first place.

Can anyone help with a biomechanical, touchy-feely breakdown of how to get my arms right?
 

Safran

New member
I am hardly an expert on fusion, but for me the biggest difference is the use of elbows. While in sharqi the elbow rarely leads anything, they are quite intense and angular in fusion. As for the sore back - it might be that you are doing something not right, but it might be that your arm movements include different muscles from the back that you are used to. For example, I can survive arm-intensive oriental classes without any problems, but I do get tired in arm-intensive fusion classes. It is just the use of muscles that differs...
 

Amulya

Moderator
I find arms so hard! I tend to fall back into droopy classic arms, since my first teachers did classical Egyptian (I mean classic classic, like the 50s style classic) as main style, we never did non relaxed arms and somehow I can't get rid of that, it's something I always revert to accidentally if I don't pay attention. I have been trying to get rid of this for 12 or more years, so it's a big issue haha.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I know you both mean well, but that's the kind of description that's gotten me into trouble in the first place. I need to understand muscles & bones, not how something looks.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Has Jenna's "Basics And Beyond" section on posture (which includes arm posture) not helped? Or is that the DVD you're missing? Let me know, because if you don't have it, I'll review that portion to get the physical description down for you.
 

Amulya

Moderator
There is however a problem with tribal arms that I have due to my connective tissue dissease, that causes a lot of pain, but that's not possible to correct with posture etc, I remember you said once you are hypermobile? If yes, it can be the connective tissue issue and it's not something you're doing wrong in posture, arm pose etc. For example full snake arms always cause stabbing pain in the sockets of my shoulders, that's just because of my EDS, nothing with dance technique. Might be the same for you? (I can avoid some of these things by skipping certain movements, like full snake arms, no one does them anyway)
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I do get grindy-grindy through the shoulders when I undulate my arms from the sides.

But the thing I wonder about is if I should be feeling pain &/or discomfort between the shoulder blades with tribal arms? I do have this vertibra in the area that likes to sit askew, but other than that I'm not sure. My hypermobility is in my elbows, knees & hips so far as I know.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Well, it is the tribal forum!

And I did make sure I had my oriental arms right before I started teaching that style!
 

Amulya

Moderator
Maybe the shoulderblades bump into the spine or something? Do you have scoliosis? Shoulderblades shouldn't feel uncomfortable with tribal arms
 

BattyBaby

New member
Fusion arms are so diverse.
Last year I had the incredible privilege of studying with the amazing and lovely Zoe Jakes, and she teaches arms differently from any way I've ever learned them: she had us learn to isolate our elbows. If you place your hands on a wall, you should be able to turn your elbows back and forth. It is a matter of gradually moving your hands away from the wall and keeping your elbows moving. It took me about a month of freaking out my classmates by flipping my elbows in class to get that down. After that, it's hand-undulation, elbow- flip towards the wall behind you, then backwards shoulder roll, or the same in the opposite direction in the opposite order. That can be done with your arms straight out like an airplane or a little lower down with the hands at hip level.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
So that's where I picked it up from. I have so many dvds from so many teachers it can be hard to remember who taught what! Thanks for the anecdote. :)
 

Zumarrad

New member
My teacher Gendi, whose styling predates tribal fusion and who never studied tribal formally unless you count a bit of FCBD video, taught us to isolate our elbows, for snake arms. I learned snake arms with no shoulder roll. Not very ME but super cool.
 
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