I’d like to continue my review series with a book I recommend to any belly dance enthusiasts who are interested in learning about the roots of belly dance: Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890-1930 by Heather Ward. Heather’s book busts widely held orientalist stereotypes of belly dance. In Heather’s words, stereotypically:… Continue reading The origins of belly dance: A review of ‘Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition’ by Heather Ward
I’m writing a second installment of my review series, this time focusing on the JWAAD Belly Dance Training ‘Understanding Music’ course I just completed. I previously wrote about the JWAAD ‘Understanding Safety’ course and how much I enjoyed that, and the ‘Understanding Music’ course was the same for me in terms of enjoyment and how… Continue reading Belly Dance Training: Review of the JWAAD ‘Understanding Music’ Course
If you’ve never heard of Umm Kulthum (Oum Kalthoum) before, she was a very famous Egyptian singer active between the 1920s to 1970s. She is remembered for her extraordinary voice and unique musical style. She was born circa 1900 to a religious family in the Nile delta, and her exceptional singing talent was noticed through… Continue reading Who Is Umm Kulthum and Why Is She Important for Belly Dance?
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 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?