What instruments are commonly used in belly dance music? There are lots of them! In this post, I give common Middle Eastern examples of each of the three types of instruments (winds, strings, and percussion). Plus a sample video clip so you can hear what it sounds like and see how it's played. I hope this will help you better hear the instruments as you dance. And that you can use this to deepen your belly dance music interpretation.
Continue readingA Guide to Musical Instruments in Middle Eastern Belly Dance Music
In this post, I explore the key characteristics of belly dance across its different styles. I hope that this can help you as a student to chose which characteristics are important to you. And this can inform which styles of belly dance you would like to learn.
Continue readingWhat is Belly Dance? A Guide to Key Characteristics
In this post, I explore the sense of place that music can evoke. When I listen to Middle Eastern belly dance music, I don't usually think too hard about the locality it comes from. But in this YouTube video of musicians from Port Said playing on the beach, I feel a strong sense of place.
Continue readingThe Simsimiyya Music of Port Said: Evoking a Sense of Place
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 apply it to dance (Laban's planes of movement). By applying these concepts to your belly dance practice, you can improve your movement isolation, a key feature of belly dance.
Continue readingHow to Apply Laban's Planes of Movement to Improve Belly Dance Movement Isolation
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 "How to Use a Ritual to Anchor Your Dance Practice"
Instruction in dance and sport often consists of a teacher imparting correct technique to achieve an end result. There’s a much broader spectrum of feedback techniques beyond this out there. I’d like to explore a few of them in this blog. I hope you can apply this in your own practice giving and receiving feedback as a dance teacher or learner.
Continue readingHow to Give Feedback in Dance
Have you ever thought about belly dance teacher training? In this review, I share my experience of the 'Safe Delivery of Belly Dance Classes course which helped me take my first steps towards teaching belly dance. I hope that by sharing my experience, it might inspire you to consider your first steps into dance teaching!
Continue readingBelly Dance Teacher Training: Review of the 'Safe Delivery of Belly Dance Classes' Course
In this post, you will learn seven iqaat (rhythmic modes) commonly found in Middle Eastern belly dance music: maqsoum, saiidi, masmoudi saghir (baladi), fellahi, masmoudi kabir, malfuf, and chiftetelli. This should help you recognise the rhythms as dance to belly dance music.
Continue readingUnderstanding Rhythms in Belly Dance Music
Being able to pick apart and understand belly dance music makes it easier to interpret as a dancer. In this post, you will learn how to listen to the rich texture of belly dance music formed by musical layers.
Continue readingHow to Interpret Belly Dance Music as a Dancer: Start by Listening to the Musical Layers
I wanted to share one of my favourite recent-ish performances. Who doesn't love Hakim and the one and only godfather of soul, James Brown?
Continue readingVideo: Jen's Performance to Lela ('Tonight')