In a previous blog post on What is Belly Dance?, I touched on belly dance’s core movement vocabulary. I’ll build on that in this blog to classify common belly dance moves. There are many ways to describe belly dance movements, such as whether they are smooth or sharp, done with the chest, torso, or hips,… Continue reading Introduction to Belly Dance Moves
I first performed to this classic belly dance song at a local hafla last February. I didn't film the whole performance though. In the absence of any in-person dance since then, I've been polishing it on and off at home. I put on a dance costume for the first time in months today to film… Continue reading Video: Performance to Habibi Ya Eyni (‘Darling, Oh My Eyes’)
How do you become a more skilful dancer? In this blog, I’ll explore how you can increase your dance expertise beyond your current skill level. In general, if one seeks the safety of rules, one will not get beyond competence.Stuart E. Dreyfus, “The Five-Stage Model of Adult Skill Acquisition” I’ll use Dreyfus’s model of skill… Continue reading Skill Acquisition in Dance
Are there different belly dance styles? I thought it was all ‘belly dance’! People often assume there is only one style of belly dance. Like most things, there’s more beyond the surface once you start looking. In a previous blog post, I explored the idea of ‘What Is Belly Dance?’ I’d like to build on… Continue reading An Introduction to Belly Dance Styles
Effortless Mastery is a book written by Kenny Werner, an American jazz pianist and educator. It’s about overcoming dysfunctional fear-based practicing and playing music to achieve effortless mastery. I first heard it referred to by Alia Thabit in relation to belly dance. At first glance, the connection may not seem obvious, but have you ever… Continue reading What Can Effortless Mastery Teach Us about Belly Dance Practice?
What instruments are commonly used in belly dance music? There are lots of them! In general, musical instruments can be divided into categories based on how they produce sound: percussion (striking by a hand or beater), winds (blowing air), and strings (bowing or plucking a string). Instruments belonging to each of these three types are… Continue reading Musical Instruments in Middle Eastern Belly Dance Music
Belly dance is a dance form originating in the Middle East, featuring isolation and articulation of the torso, chest, and hips. Unlike many other familiar dance forms like ballet, which are primarily concerned with the movement of limbs through space, belly dance movement originates from the torso. Broadly speaking, belly dance movements can be characterised… Continue reading What is Belly Dance?
I want to start directly with a YouTube video, because it (and the JWAAD music course) are the inspiration behind this post: https://youtu.be/yJPRMRzyZMs A group of folk musicians from Port Said sing and dance in the video. When we think of Egypt, we often think of its culture as stemming from Pharaonic times. But there… Continue reading The Simsimiyya Music of Port Said
What do Laban’s planes of movement have to do with belly dance? Let’s start with the general (Cartesian co-ordinates) and then make it more specific to the human body (anatomical planes) and then to dance (Laban’s planes of movement). So, what are Cartesian co-ordinates? Cartesian co-ordinates Our three-dimensional world can be sliced into three flat,… Continue reading Laban’s Planes of Movement and Belly Dance
How do you make time for your personal dance practice? Do you have a daily or weekly creative routine that enables you to practice regularly? One of the most powerful ways to build a practice is through ritual: a “ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order” (Oxford English Dictionary).… Continue reading Using Ritual to Anchor Your Dance Practice