This week, we learned the shoulder shimmy (relax, and try to keep the hips and hands still), the twisting hip shimmy (engage the lower abs and keep the lower back long to protect it. Keep the chest lifted and breathe to prevent cramps), the horizontal chest circle (keep the hips still, use the muscles around your back and ribs to move the ribcage), and the hip circle (long lower back, drop the tail bone in the back of the circle. Keep the hips level all the way around, and engage the glutes and abs to protect your back during the front of the circle). As always, remember to breathe check yourself for soft knees, and only go as big and as fast as you feel in control of.
Here’s the article on my site with suggestions on where to get music to practice to, and what sort of CDs might make good starters. If you hear something you like in class I am always happy to write down the song and artist for you, too ^_^. Music is really important for bellydance, since it is the music made visible, as the drum solo by Sandra below makes pretty clear. I've also included some beledi (that is home style) dancing in the next clip, and Egyptian star, Souheir Zaki, so you can see another of the legends of Bellydance (a contemporary of Fifi, who was in last week's email).
On the topic of Practicing, Nadira Jamal of Boston has some great tips in her micro-articles "Do I Have to Practice" and "How to Practice When You Only Have 5 Minutes"
Sandra, from California, does a great job of showing how our dance translates the music into movement.
This video is cut from a festival, there is lots of beledi dance (think “salt of the earth” for this context). You can see how it feels a little off set to reggae, but the clip is too fun in spite of that!