Level One: Infinities Unit, Class 4
Updated: Sep 27
Great job tonight! The snake walk can be done as an accent, the push step, or smooth with the figure 8. For the ghawazee shimmy, sometimes taking a break from practicing and then going back to it after a little while. Snake arms can be varied in a lot of ways, especially explored in the vintage Turkish style, and imagining extra joints in your arms and using your back muscles helps smooth them out.
One of my goals for this school is to be one side of the cultural bridge. Of course native MENAHT teachers can adapt how they teach to fit Euro-American expectations, but they shouldn't have to and it makes non-native dancers' education poorer for our inflexibility. This week's reading is about why we have follow-along and other free dancing elements in class, and why I make musicality the very next subject of study after building a basic movement vocabulary.
One of the things that has happened over the years is that, as bellydance has spread, different styles developed. Ahava is doing a Lebanese style cane dance (there are many types of cane dance, Egyptian Saidi is the most famous).
Fusion style is to traditional forms of bellydance what modern dance is to ballet. This pushes fusion further into the spectrum towards modern dance, to create something that is on the fringe of being bellydance. Different styles each have their own aesthetics that determine what makes a good performance.
Since it has become a performing art in a culture that is quite participatory between audience & performer there are many ways the audience shows their appreciation: from clapping and cheering, to tipping. Tipping is culturally appropriate and should feel festive and wholesome, little kids are often sent up by their parents to give the dancer tips, which is adorable!