More a of a question really.....


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Having done flamenco for two years, we are taught every foot movement, every skirt movement, i.e...the skirt is flicked caught up etc and choreograhed in itself..... every eye movement from looking at the audience to glancing here there and everywhere, where every hand movement should be at a precise time, to turn of the head.
So my question being and being soooo new to belly dancing once one has learnt all the principles and moves etc, with it then up to ones own personality and interpretation of the music to come through...oh dear not explaining myself very much ok in flamenco you learn particular dances...the bulerias (several different styles...tientos...tangos...fandango the list is endless but in belly dancing, say once one is proficient enough and has mastered technique etc to a certain degree one can take these and work out ones own choreography...all answers welcome please..thank you xx:D


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If I understood correctly: in flamenco everything is calculated and articulated and in comparison you find oriental dance perhaps a bit more "free"?

I have never done flamenco so I can't comment on that, but I guess that in oriental dance, you can bring a lot of yourself in your dance: your emotions, your attitude, your personality. Within the "guidelines" of the style of dance you're executing, of course :D (don't I make a good BoB recruit, or what? :p )
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Aisha Azar

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Question, etc.

Dear Asheba,
I think that Flamenco is a very different dance in intent than belly dance, and so your instincts are accurate that belly dance is a less formal, more personal dance in its execution. I explain it like this in my class literature:

"Belly dance is an authentic ethnic dance in movement and spirit. The dance and dancer are the physical manifestation of and visual compliment to the exotic music they accompany. Like ballet, the dance has precise movements based on root concepts. The dancer enjoys a full range of of personal expression within the dance"

In fact I would say that the dance is a lot about the dancer's personal response to the music on both physical and emotional levels, within the context and boundaries of the dance.

I think you should get an A+ in class this week for picking up on that early in your dance education!!!!!!! It's a really important element!!


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Aisha Azar, thank you for that, yes at times I feel confined in flamenco, because of the restraints of the laid down the belly dancing I'm constantly dancing around at home, and even though the moves I have learnt thus far are minimal when I dance at home the music alto.matically makes me move in a certain way with something I have yet to learn, I find I am somewhat surprised by this but its just what this dancing does for me.....then sometimes I find I am moving perhaps a bit tooo sexily...ohhh dear!!! a bit of restraint called for yes...just re-reading your above...yes "in spriit" is a wonderful way of putting it...its me thats coming out...brilliant...!!!
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Well-known member
I had my "aha" moment watching Mona Said's choreography demonstrations on the ICMED videos. Prior to that I had been sort of "collecting" dance steps, thinking that once I knew them all I would be able to put them together in a way that resembled what I saw from Egyptian dancers. But then watching Mona and how she responded to the music, I saw it wasn't really about "steps" at all -- and was really more about feeling.

Mona uses about 9 "steps" throughout the dozen or so choreographies. That's it. She doesn't use a huge "step" vocabulary, but rather tiny little movements to express her self. I don't know if this makes sense, but with a tiny tilt of her arm or a teeny little wag forward of the hip, or an exhalation done in two parts -- THAT's where the artistry is, not in how many steps she uses, or how she strings them together.

And this is what I think is missing from SO many American performers -- they seem to miss out on these subtle movements in favor of focusing on "steps" and clever combinations.

Nagwa Fouad was a much "bigger" dancer -- meaning she used bigger and broader movements in the concerts I've seen -- but there are times in her concerts where she seems to go inside herself, and it's like all the pain and the joy and the fear and the happiness of the entire world is captured in what she's doing with her torso. I know that sounds cheesy, and from what I know from people who danced with her, Nagwa was a major-league bitch, but it's those moments in her dancing when I'm just so in awe that I don't even breathe, for fear of missing something.

Nagwa also did this one concert where I SWEAR she did nothing but little pelvic shimmies and tiny little torso movements for like 5 minutes. It's amazing. I mean, she's basically using two movements -- the pelvic drop and a torso undulation. That's IT. And it's so amazingly powerful. As an American I would be afraid that THAT degree of minimalism might alienate my audience -- who are used to bada-bing-bada-BOOM movement. Her audience ate it up. (Saudi, I think -- if that's the same concert.)

It's so weird for me to meet young or inexperienced dancers now who say they have no interest in learning "Egyptian style" or watching Egyptian dancers. They're missing out on so much!


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I noticed the same, ive done ballet for about 10 years, I made everthing a bit to strickt, not very natural to your body...
And I also do lessons in hiphop dance now, i also do everthing with a flow instead of strong...


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nothing is choreographed. my teacher has taught us the moves and we have to dance them on our own accord. you should be able to hear the music and then just be able to "fit" the move you want in if that make sense. it's really your own personal interpretation, you hear and feel the dance. you shouldn't be taught a choreographed piece!