Posts Tagged ‘muscle memory’

Stealing Souls, Healing Souls…..The Magic of Belly Dance

October 12, 2009
from Delilah's "Visionary Dance" site.  Delilah is a good dancer and a friend in Seattle

from Delilah's "Visionary Dance" site. Delilah is a good dancer and a friend in Seattle

If anyone reads this blog, they will come to know I am now a belly dance teacher.  A new one, but it is beginning to be quite a journey.

I have been thinking how teaching changes you.  In some ways, it has the potential, and should….to radically change you.  You are collecting your information and experience and passing it around.  You change your whole attitude, from one who ‘leads’ to one who serves.  And you do. But you grow through serving.

Of course you still lead, because you lead by example:  movement, positions, attitude, etc…These are the things you transfer to students.  But it is much more:  The radical changes in you can be instant.  You are more concerned with THEM, how they are picking up the lessons, the movements,  the potential for the dance.  You are concerned with what they are finding out about themselves, and this is the point.

You are concerned about their growth and joy.  You feed from it.

Belly Dance has the ability to radically reconstruct lives.  It’s not only in the transformation of bodies, the found flexibility, the delight in knowing  you are working to a sort of personal perfection, but it’s more. It’s a mental process: it’s in the attitude about a whole lot of things.

I have seen women (myself years ago) who were shy to move, self-conscious about their bodies, thinking that what they were as women was way beyond what they were seeing on stage:  That these graceful  and POWERFUL dancers were really mortals. That what they were doing was attainable.

It’s so much more than the physical presence of looking like a belly dancer.  The mental process is kick- ass and a dynamic that will pull you through death to life again.

A week ago I went with a student to a book signing and talk-to-the-author at our local library.  The author had survived breast cancer and was a physical therapist.  This was no young, personal trainer sort of therapist, she was grey haired and serious looking.  She looked like a nun.  She had written a book recently, with a lot of photos of exercises to do after a mastectomy.

We all went through the steps, and they were basically Tai Chi.  Good enough…..but they were so slight in her hands, that they were almost non-existent.   I wondered  is  this from the physical and mental devastation of cancer, or something different?   Since the surgery is done in the chest, there must be muscle restrictions for a while.  But what I missed was the ‘range’ of movement I am now so used to doing and seeing in others.

This physical therapist speaks from her own personal experience.  Others speak from their own.

But I found no joy in the demonstration.  Belly dance has come to mean something different to me.

Belly dance, when done for a longer time, is a transforming power. It goes quickly from the physical to the mental.  Perhaps the mental is driving the body.  There are so many avenues to explore with belly dance.  Self-expression, (improvisation) choreography, a physical strengthening, a graceful , endurance dancing, etc.

But perhaps the greatest is the Healing of Belly Dance.  I almost wrote ‘potential’ of Belly Dance, but that is untrue…at least to my experience.  It is concrete, bedrock, fundamental  when  learned, even in the beginning…and it  colors just about every sphere of my life now.

Last year at this time I fell seriously ill.  Well, it cost a lot, even with insurance.  I was hospitalized 3 times in October, and still there was nothing they could definitely pin the horrible pains in the stomach.  Lots of stupid tests and repeats.

I was sick enough that I couldn’t perform in Montreal in January, but I was able to make the master class of 4 hours duration.  It was worth the trip alone to work with Audra Simmons.

When I came home, I was elated by the class and watching this wonderful performance by various dancers and various core disciplines.  But I was still sick.   I wrote a lot of stuff this spring, thinking the mental exercises of a particular exorcism would cure me and still the pain was there.  I was avoiding the very thing that would pull me through, mentally, emotionally and physically.  I started teaching but only limited myself because I was tired and without energy.

Only when I started practicing for myself….and started to make a little get- your –ass- back- in- motion routine did I start to perk up and mentally cleaned house.  When I made a fuller commitment to myself the healing could begin.

This fall I started to teach more students….and it’s twice a week now.  I have been asked to teach a belly dance class at the library, and have been offered the usage of a good, large room at another neighborhood center.  I want that to be after the first of the year, ….perhaps and good.  I’ll see what life has in store for me, then.

I do know that I am very fortunate in the students I have.  They are interested in the spiritual, healing nature of what we are exploring, and they are making great strides even this early.  When they ‘catch fire’ and start to practice at home, on a regular basis, they will fly.

I am thinking of exploring this issue of trance, Hyperarousal Trance, with them.  They have already seen me dance a couple of times where I went into trance state very easily.  They are curious. And because it comes about from the physical repetition of movement, added by the natural  ‘muscle memory’ that is the core, it is theoretically attainable to any dancer.  They want to learn this, but I was shying away from it.  Mainly because I didn’t know ‘how’ to teach it.  I still believe that it is an individual progression to trance, and they will find their own ways.

But I can’t help but think how easily it will be for them if their paths are anything like mine:  the repetition of movement that trains us and makes those movements fluid and flexible, in part ‘removes our head’ from the process and allows us to float to other ‘places’.

We sit on the floor for breaks (one time the class lasted 2 full hours) and talk about how our bodies are feeling, how  especially how their minds are reacting to new and untried things, concepts.  They want to ‘try’ trance, you can see it in their eyes!  And when they get there?  They will be on fire with the magic of Belly Dance.

And they will be healing, too.


Belly Dance, Spiritual Connection, Muscle Memory and Summer Heat!

July 22, 2009

Jesus!  It’s hard to get back to it in this sultry heat.  Even air conditioning doesn’t make much difference when you are working hard and fast.

The summer is always the dead zone for classes, and my students and I (the few I have…..we aren’t talking hordes here…) have agreed to ‘can it’ for the duration of the heat.  Late September is when I go back to studio or dancing in public, and my students are welcome back then.

However, I realize that there is a deep and enduring body/mind connection for me with dancing.  And in particular, belly dancing.

I’ve been dancing for a little over 5 years now, and people would have thought that I would have lost interest by now.  At least some.  But belly dancing is something that goes deep in your body.  Five years of moving in particular ways means that muscle memory is  up and working, present even when you aren’t.

And then, there’s that spiritual connection that is intangible but we feel it.  The flesh made Spirit.

It took me a couple of minutes, putting on music and listening to ALL of it….not just the tracks I like, but the ones I don’t like.  When you dance in clubs, venues, you don’t get the privilege of choosing most of the music you like.  Sometimes, but that is  not always.  But the music goes deep (most of it) and the body on a very primitive level starts to respond.  It twitches.   The  shoulders go back and down, the shoulders start to rotate, the breasts lift, the arms come up and at least the upper torso starts to come alive.  The neck and head perk up.  Something responds at a very deep level, and you find movement and satisfaction in this beginning movement.  It floods the senses and soon you are on a different ‘plane’.

I think it’s this ‘hyperarousal trance’ thing.  After a few years of training your body to respond to movement, and particular, repeated and enforced movements…something clicks in the brain.

Something magnificent and and transcending.  Little zars running around your brain and body.

Yeah.  I have missed this fundamental part of my life for the past few months.

Just enough to make me realize what is bedrock in my life.  Today I’m going back to self-classes, to regain that power and confidence that all dancers have…at least those who recognize the inherent power of their bodies and movement.

Some good dance music a la Arabic/Turkish style:

“Beats Antique” tribal derivations.

“Wash Ya Wash” Sharif & Hassan  (takes a bit to get used to: warning: Popular Egyptian music…but of some merit for dancing, especially the middle passages of most songs.

“The Kabila Project” Eventide Productions

“Alif” Omar Faruk Tekbilek  (a personal favorite, for listening to  and also dancing…)

Part of the problem with most canned music is finding songs, tracks that are SLOW enough to really work the zones.  So much of bellydancing music is too fast.  You end up doing some weird things.  Slowing down the tempo makes for a concentrated application of movement particular to a zone that can be repeated again and again to develop muscle memory.  The second track on Wash Ya Wash is a pleasant surprise.  Slow enough, and with repeat phrasing to go decently through combined movements, or just single movements.

And the fact is — you can dance until they place coins on your eyes.

Teela/Lady Nyo

Belly Dance and Sewage…The Stuff of a Good Life.

May 19, 2009

Some pretty funny things happened this weekend.  Funny, in a way…after the mess was cleaned up, and too expensive by far.

Sunday night,  we hear some gurgle from the laundry room.  We didn’t think much about it, until water started seeping under the door.

That got our attention.  The toilet was pouring over the new tile work and there were  inches of water all over the laundry room.  I sto0d in horror looking at the bubbling toilet (I have a special horror of the backs of toilets…where the water and other stuff, those trebuchet-looking things are…)  and I wasn’t going near that.

Long story short, we had a collapsed sewer line due to our lovely misplaced plum trees by the driveway.  Roto Rooter brought up tons of roots, and we are forced to put in new water and sewer lines….84 feet from the street tie in.  $10,000.00 worth of work.

Well, we have been lucky…sort of.  This house is 1880’s.  The sewer lines were put in around 1920.  The shelf life of cast iron for this is about 30 years, or so says the plumbers…

Last night they moved in their equipment to the garden.  Oh Jesus!  It’s a backhoe, and some other piece of equipment to cut concrete.  Lovely.   The new sewage line (and water line next to it) is right in the path of fruiting blueberry bushes, of a number of years duration, and 22 tomato bushes…some with flowers.  There are also rose bushes against the high wall of the house:  a Madame Alfred Carriere and a Cecile Brunner…all about 15 years of growth.  The first covers the wall 35 feet up and the second covers the chimney at about 20 feet.  We have no idea what the lurking monsters below will do to them, but we have been removing rock walls and bushes since dawn.

This should be a really interesting day at Clach Mhullinn.  That’s the Gaelic name for our historic house:  “Millstone around the Neck”.

Yes, it is.

Well, that is the sewage part of this entry.  Nice, have you had breakfast yet?

Belly Dance part:

I have been quiet about belly dancing lately, mostly because I haven’t been doing it..and I am paying the price.  My back is going out, and without at least 3 days practice, it does that.  My students have slacked off to for various reasons, and that’s fine, too.  One had a life changing experience (she got married at 60 and moved to another state), one fell out of bed and hurt her hip…and one just was a slacker.

The slacker is a friend but Brenda won’t MOVE!! That is a cardinal sin if you want to be a bellydancer…you have to shake, rattle and roll. Brenda is a good person, kind to dogs, the local wildlife, etc….but she is afraid to MOVE.  I try to go slow…very slow, and she makes a stab at it…but damn, she ends up watching me, and that makes me nervous.

But I have two new students who are, or were, bellydance students so they know what to expect.  Some women put on a coin scarf and shake their fanny and squeal in delight, and then squeal in pain the next day because if you don’t warm up, take it slowly…you gonna be in a bit of pain.

That seems to end the interest of many women early on.  It’s pretty vigorous, and the muscles, your whole damn structure has  to get used to the core movements  before you go all out.  It can take a year to work up to that.

But Hope and Dance Springs Eternal!  Silvi and Robin are more experienced in this stuff and though they haven’t danced in years, the muscle memory will kick in.  Plus they are bringing the wine.  They drink a lot of wine in the evenings or weekends, and I thought: what the hell.  Why not?  We are all adults and perhaps it will cap the gyrations.

But I am glad to get back to bellydance, because a lot of other things had taken up my time and energy.  Like writing, like this blog… fighting.  I done give out.

Belly dance is transcendent. It moves you into a headspace that is trance like.  With two good friends, sitting down, passing a bottle of wine around and sweat?

Can’t beat that with a stick.  Less mental, just muscle memory.

A veritable vacation!

Lady Nyo

Belly Dance and Life Lessons….

February 23, 2009

I gave a class tonight, in my house, to girl friends, neighbors….and I didn’t expect it to be so…transforming!

These are all new students….women in early middle age, and one actually a little older than I, but there were so many things happening at the same time…I was frazzled in the end..

But a Good Frazzle.

These women were looking for more than exercise patterns.  All talked before class openly about Spirit, our Divine connections with the Universe.  I was just trying to form a lesson plan…

LOL!  But you can’t get a bunch of women together without them talking more about the ‘higher’ issues and belly dance certainly is a projection of this….A definite path to this part of existence.

I wanted to see their reaction to a number of stimuli.  So I was pretty sneaky about it.  First I tied coin scarves around their hips (luckily, I had enough….3 students, 3 scarves.)  I didn’t wear anything but a black dance top and low hip jeans.  I have lost weight…recently, especially since Montreal, and I just wanted them to see me in as ‘plain’ a way as possible.  I knew what would happen, when I danced for them….and I wanted them to see it was NOT about costume, or any external issues…but about the ‘inner dancer’ projected outward in dancing.   I wanted them to feel ‘special’ and in the beginning, these little tricks, like coin scarves …makes the connections within.  It also gives them some physical way to ‘hear’ the movements of their bodies..makes them aware that motion is actually happening even when the motion is subdued, timid and not all that (yet) expressive.

Most women are self-depreciating when they start something new like belly dance….”Oh, I am clumsy!~  “I am a slow learner”  “I can’t do that!”…

But they can…and they can do it fast.  Everyone is an individual  and learns at their own pace…and turn out to have great abilities..whether it’s one with arms, another with hips or another with something else…

In Montreal…exactly a month ago this Saturday, Audra Simmons turned us all onto (all 40 of us…at least!) to a wonderful piece of music…by this Icelandic group..Sigur Ros.

The piece of music was “Ara  batur”….and she did an arm dance…which is a constrained (in the beginning) dance only of arms and hands, that widens, broadens outwards but not too much.

I decided to demonstrate this as a ‘warm up’ for the very important arms.  What I didn’t expect was the emotional outpourings of the woman watching.

Ok, I am a dancer, not too experienced…only 5 years this April, but I do know enough to present myself, and to fall into the moment. And this piece of music effects me profoundly.  I go into a zone…a trance almost..I have to watch it because I WILL…left alone…but a trance takes time to return from….and I had responsibilities here.

But the music is transformational.  Pure and simple…and I can’t get away with just going through the motions…not with this piece.  It effects a dancer so deeply that there is no half-assing oneself.

My whole demeanor changes…I am no longer the teacher, but a woman in full flush of the beauty of the music.  My body, though I was aware that I didn’t have much room…I was ‘conscious’ of this…and really I didn’t need room…well, I fell fast into some zone here.  I did most of the 9 minute dance, and when I stopped…the women were crying.  It’s not because I was ‘so beautiful’ dancing…but I had this “Incredible Glow” as I was told….

As I said…the music was transformational.  And each student wanted to have a part of that transformation in her life.  Demonstrating this was more than just this part of the lesson.  They saw the possibility of merging with “Spirit” as they all were talking about before.

Any one can do this…with work, attitude and opening to the possibilities.

We went on with the class, and I think I learned more than they did tonight.

I learned that dancing and teaching is a very powerful, POWERFUL, thing.  It is not to feed the personal ego, but to uplift and spread confidence and beauty around.

It is to strengthen that potential in each of us.

Each of us were capable of the needed muscle memory that is the ‘track’ to dance…to transcend the steps, the counting, the groundedness of belly dance and to ‘make it ours’ in a very personal and individual style. To soar and fly within and to make that expression outward.

I am so proud of my girls.  And I am proud of myself for being open and able to teach.

I didn’t know how it would go..there were so many distractions! Each woman needed hands on….literally! and sometimes you have to ‘force’ the movement, or quell the movement and try to transfer the energy to another part of the body.  It’s really physical, this teaching.

We cooled down on the floor, laughing and talking about our private lives, men and all sorts of ‘stuff’.

I am tired, sore and exhilarated.  I also know that I was ready to teach…finally.  It might come down to ‘who was teaching whom?’ but it really didn’t matter.

They were already dancers, from the first time they put on the coin scarves.

Seeing this, this reinforcement of the potential of each woman?

That was transformational to me.  So many wonderful lessons tonight.

Teela and Lady Nyo

Dance and Sexuality: Part II

January 12, 2009

Dance and Sexuality. Well I am trying to formulate an entry this week on this subject, to go with some opinions on Belly Dance in general, and that “Luscious–The Belly Dance Workout” dvd that I recommended.

Sexuality and dance share the same instrument. The human body. Dance evokes, reinforces fantasies and desires. Dance is an eye-catching way for humans to reinvent themselves or to entice, or go to the essentials– to identify oneself through grace, extension, placement, motion.

Dance also opens the doors to sex and sexual attraction.

These are some of the main points I want to expand upon this soon…or in weeks, it looks like now.

I just think that dance in of itself, is one of the most powerful engines for personal transformation. I want to start a discussion with those women who are dancers, whether they are in bellydance or other disciplines…and also with women that are just exploring this potent topic.

Neon makes the point, over and over, that dance is ‘healing’. I think she is on to something very important here.

She is mainly talking about the physical movements…opening up channels to invigorate the body.

But dance is also healing to the spirit. I hope never to forget this again.

This fall I went through a hard time of it, both in the physical and mental realm. I had abdicated my responsibility for my self, casting my pearls or whatever fits, upon strange and alien waters. What in hell I thought I was doing, I don’t really know. I have always been a take charge woman, full of self-confidence, and knowing (mostly) my full value. Somehow I gave up. But there was no one there for answers. All I needed was deep inside…covered by some behavior that didn’t really fit me.

Life isn’t ‘one size fits all’. When we accept, even cautiously, others pronouncements as to where we are, where we are going, or whatever lies in between, we better think again.

During this period, I had pushed dance and the routine/practice/discipline of dance, that thing that was a generator in me, aside.

I really was a fish out of water, and flopping about.

I suffered physical issues that were painful, disorienting and un diagnosable. I do now believe this was a good example of the connection between the body and mind. Both were suffering.

I felt like a stroke victim for a while. I had to go back to the basics, and learn all over again…and learn to trust ME. Not outside ‘magic’.

When my mind cleared, I saw that there never had been any magic. There was just me, and this was the foundation, nothing else.

I came to my senses.

However, back to “Luscious”. Ok, I recommended it. It is a very powerful dvd..and technique. AND, It Is Hard.

(TADA! A couple of weeks into it…it is now mid January, and it’s really NOT hard. It’s just new, and can be confusing a bit. It’s pretty basic, and ‘luscious’.

However, I would restructure it, if I was making this dvd. The Body Line is absolutely beautiful and delightful.

Put it up front. Make that the first combination/movement.

That sets the physical stage for me.

It positions the body and extends the extensions in absolutely marvelous ways. To me, this is the core of dance, when the body is NOT in motion but is presented in elegant and serene ways. You wait for the explosion of movement, but you feast your eyes on the lovely lines of the dancer before you. And I am not talking about ‘thin’…I am talking about the grace and confidence of the dancer, regardless the body weight. It’s something more.)

PRO: It is one of the few dvds/videos..that I have seen that doesn’t do movements in isolation. It is beautifully flowing, and lyrical…and you immediately see the benefits of an ‘isolation’ moving into dance patterns and becoming a ‘whole’ dance. It is luscious, gives an idea of the possibilities of belly dance, even with some very simple (hah!) movements.

After all, we want to DANCE…not just practice isolated movements. They, apart from the overall purpose…are dry and sterile. Muscle memory, but for what purpose?

Neon, the Russian cutie talks about peace and ‘lusciousness’ of the movement. This is exactly right. You should taste it in your mouth. You know that you are presenting grace and some elegance with these movements. It is sex at it’s best!

CON: Ok…the dvd goes very fast…the different parts need particular attention. You just can’t get them in a few viewings.

I RECOMMEND: I have been dancing for 5 years this April…and I groaned when I saw this dvd. It’s very challenging for the speed and the quick changes.

(Also, it’s short on the legs….Neon and the girls are obscuring the movements of the knees….unless you know the relationship of the knees in belly dance, you will struggle to pick up a lot of this…especially in the transitional movements from hips to pelvic circles and above. They should move their skirts so viewers can see the emphasis of the knees, the thighs..where this is the foundation …the driving pistons ….of belly dance. Of course, the issue is that you DON’T want to see the activity under the skirt. This is what makes it look fluid from the hips upwards. But it would help just for a peek.)

Therefore….a number of women have already contacted me and complained that the dvd is very …advanced. Broken down, it’s PERFECT…and IF we all learn these different combinations, you got enough ‘dance’ there to perform easily. I found the movements to be beautiful, the extensions fluid and graceful, and the three dancers superb.

Here’s what I suggest. Don’t be daunted. Watch the entire dvd on your butt. Watch it three times before you attempt. I thought it also overwhelming until I did this. In fact, I have had the dvd over a month now, and haven’t done much at all with it. It looked….daunting.

However, muscle memory needs to have the pathways cleared…opened. Just watching it three times demystified it for me.

Then…the first combination? I believe it’s full hip circles (it is…in four part-point…think of a compass)….watch. Stop the action. Reverse. and attempt. Go slow. Break it down, but have an eye out for how it fits into the top part of the body…how the arms are used, how the legs are placed….WATCH. Then imitate.

(Ahhhhh, It’s easy now…it’s just a matter of practice. And do it in the grocery store, walking…stop action! Confuse and dismay the neighbors, dogs…etc. It’s really the first welcoming and core movement of all that comes…but for some reason, it is very hard to catch…I think what happens here is there is an extra movement that gives great elan and grace…it’s a kick to the side with one of the other leg, and that is what was confusing in the beginning. Either ignore that part (kick leg) or learn it. It will fit nicely, but it’s rather offputting in the beginning.)

I also got more comfortable by just going through the entire dvd and parrotting the combinations. They were not easy to do, or keep up, but after a while….they get to be..well, muscle memory kicks in.

BUT IT TAKES EVERY DAY…PERHAPS A HOUR …(Oh, Yes it does!) of fiddling with this dvd. Perhaps for a couple of months of dedicated usage.

The hardest part to me was right in the beginning. Ah, god~! The full rotational hip movement from left to back to right to front. That was tricky to me, and I finally realized I was looking at a mirror image from what I was trying to do. Once I broke it down..and it frustrated me for a couple of days…I got it.

Feel the curves, the grace, lean INTO the rounding of the movements, dont’ throw your back out, but really exaggerate the movements…


I thought…ugh…oof! I can’t keep up..and in the beginning you can’t…but it comes….muscle memory will develop with enough repetition….and suddenly you will be able to fly through the 7 combinations….

Ok, with a week or so of doing this stuff….most of it…it really is basic and possible. And once you have the basics….you have a very firm dance pattern. With mixing up the combinations…you have choreography…sort of.

One other point? The breast movements are marvelous…and tricky. Again, think in four parts for everything…every movement. That is what makes muscle memory sink in, I think. Keep the breasts high…and for gods sake…Wear A Bra. It is hard to lift those puppies without some support. When you have that weight already supported with either a performance bra (I do this dvd in one, but I’ve lost some weight recently and the bra is too big….) or a good support bra..and half  the work is done. The muscles in the pecs will develop over time. Go slow. Don’t hit yourself in the eye.

I wanted to write more about Dance and Sexuality, but this entry ran away and I will have to think more.

However, that part of Body Line will really bring it all home to you.

Teela….(Lady Nyo bows to her authority on this issue)


December 27, 2008

This is addressed to the women who read this blog and are using the “Luscious” Belly Dance Workout dvd.

A while ago, I recommended this Belly Dance dvd to readers on this blog and some others not reading.  Other belly dancers.

I have heard from a number of women about how hard it is.  I can’t deny that this workout is not hard:  it is very complete and delves into areas that we are not used to ‘moving’ in conscious ways.  That is the way of belly dance in general: finding new and unknown muscles to move and torture us.

(Speaking of torture, a few of us were drinking and thinking about bellydance (we were all dancers at the table…) and the issue of ‘how much bondage elements are actually IN classical bellydance?’ was floated around the table.  We all know of the “Lebanese Whip Dance” and the “Capture Dance” of the Bedouins…but there are a lot of undercurrents in Turkish/Egyptian dance)

However, it is a superb dvd.  I can’t think of one in recent memory that gives such complete attention to the whole body work.  It has some really great parts to it that are much different, even in a class.

And, because of the continuous flow from one movement to the next, it is really a completely seductive movement, pulling upon the natural curves and gracefulness of a woman’s natural body.

Very erotic as my husband will attest….

Starting this, it takes a number of weeks, but it does get in the muscle memory.  I am haunted now, after a very slow and ignored start.

It was hard for me in the beginning…and parts are still very hard.  But it’s doable. It just takes some time and constant effort and doing it EVERY day.  That has made the breakthrough for me.

The combinations are beautiful, and natural, and the flow from a particular movement, not done in isolation for long, into a combination of two or three body parts.

I will say that they HAVE to be approached in isolation, and this is part of the downside of this dvd.  You have to go on your own speed…you can’t rush through the movements to pile them upon each other for a combination.  That doesn’t work..I know, I tried.

In part, I think the dvd can be rearranged for better results.  The “BodyLine” section is absolutely excellent, laying the basis for an elongated line, more graceful movements, and confidence.  It’s actually a series of spine stretches, and done first, awakens the body for what is to come.

I would recommend fast forwarding to this section and starting here.  Remain on it for a week or so…of course you can peek at the other parts, combinations, but use this as a starting place.

The Hip Circles in the very front of the dvd, are great…but I have to say that the basic Hip Circle is hard because it must be done in 4 part isolation, to get the muscles acclimatized to the accented movement.  This took me a full week and you can’t rush through it.  I found myself grocery shopping and dropping into the Hip Circle,…trying to get comfortable on both sides of it.  I believe it is the basic movement that everything above rests upon.

What is most important is keeping the chest/breasts UP…in other words, as you sweep with your hips and back downwards, keep the breasts/chest tilted upwards.  This gives a much more graceful line to it all.

The breast circles are a riot!  There is, on all of this…a 4-part movement….back, left, front, right….back, right, front, left.  I didn’t know that my breasts could move in these circles! lol!  However, exaggerate the movement….and keep the shoulders still.  Make the abs work for this movement…beneath the breasts.  These girls are independent of the body…front and center…and WEAR A BRA!

It is very hard to ‘lift’ the breasts without a bra…at least for a positive effect.

I think that the basic foundation of all of this is the thighs…so walk or strengthen your thighs to be able to squat and vertical pelvic curve upwards….I am still struggling with this, gaping like a fish….

It gets harder, but it should…It is building on from what we learn in the beginning, and that is why you can’t rush through this dvd.  Each part is legitimate and a building block for what is to come.

The shimmy section is a killer, and though it starts from the basics (thighs, and moves upwards) it is a new and improved approach. At least to me.

This dvd is straight Turkish/Egyptian to me.  It is awesome.  I am making a transition to Tribal Fusion in a few weeks, at least checking out a longggg workshop in Montreal, Quebec with Audra Simmons.

However, I can’t express more how beautiful and luscious this technique on this dvd is.  Had I received this dvd before I made the arrangements for Montreal, I think I wouldn’t have bothered with this workshop.  “Luscious” is enough to develop a core of dance in any woman.  It is something NOW, finally, that I go to each day to set up some muscle memory….

and if I miss a day….I feel guilt.  I am robbing myself of a valuable tool as a dancer, but I am feeling it’s full potential as a woman.

It is a sexy and desirable way to blossom for any woman.


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