Level One: Circle Unit, Class 3
When traveling with the hip circle, start by feeling how your weight naturally shifts during a hip circle, then start taking small steps. For the drop and brush and other hip bump variation travel steps try to keep your head at the same level and use your standing leg's glute to support your hip joint.
One of the beautiful things about bellydance is it gives a place for women to have community. This piece is from the e-Zine Gilded Serpent written by Artemis about that, and the author sometimes comes to Ithaca to teach workshops on Turkish style.
While bellydance is generally dominated by women, there is a long history of men bellydancing as well, both socially and professionally. While I am very opposed to the trend, specifically in the competition world, for dancers to chase validation from male teachers and judges, men are a welcome part of the community, and there are some amazing male performers doing both folklore and oryantal dance.
Usually the dance is performed solo, and the community Artemis talked about is gained through shared experiences (whether from the dance or just being women), classes, workshops, and going to shows.
Student performances frequently are seen in groups (safety in numbers ^_~), and sometimes you do see troupe performances past the student level, like this one from professional troupe, Soulfire, a Modern American style group on the West Coast.
Rachid is one of my favorite male dancers in the Modern Egyptian style, and his costumes are as on point as his dancing and expression.
It's not often you get to see men socially engaged in bellydance, but these Egyptian policemen sure know how to spread the joy!