[Video] 1-Hour Belly Dance Class with Rachel Brice (#1)

Are you brand new to belly dance and want to try a fun and free belly dance class? This beginning level class from Rachel Brice is a great place to learn the fundamentals of belly dance. Rachel explains her Belly Dance format.

This 1-Hour Belly Dance Class is brought to you by Rachel Brice.

Video Content

Hi, I’m Rachel Bryce and I am excited to bring to you this introduction to the tour style series this is class number one.

This class will introduce you to the basics of this style and will prepare you for the challenging detour technique studies. As well as show you how to improvise alone, or in a group class, number one focuses on hip up bumps Taxim Swings, Ghawazee prep and Glute Lock.

A brief introduction and belly dance influences

In these classes we’ve included anatomical references for each of these directions of movement. This will be useful as you gain more experience or begin to teach.


Use them if you enjoy them and if not, please feel free to just let them pass by. This series was created to be used as a resource by anyone that wants to strengthen and clarify the fundamentals of this style.

I hope you find it useful.

Detour style is an umbrella term to describe both a technique approach and a vocabulary.

This technique and vocabulary can then be used for group improvisation. A structured improvisation or this vocabulary can be used for choreography if you want to take the movements and manipulate them and make them into a longer piece.

It takes a village to make a style so there are many influences. I’m just going to name the primary influences without even mentioning the other dance forms that have influenced the style. First and foremost it comes from Jamilah Salampour’s codified style. Specifically the way that Jamila set dances on Suhaila when she was a very young woman. Incredible sort of meeting of folkloric and jazz and technique.

And then a student of Jamila’s was Masha Archer and I would say Masha is absolutely essential huge influence in this style. She was the one who started to break from traditional costuming and really was obsessed with textiles and jewelry. She wanted it to be elegant and she was really interested in what she called the mechanics of dance jewelry and moving sculptural composition.

So she saw this style of dance as more of a moving sculpture. Her father was a sculptor, her mother was a painter. So she saw dance as a visual art and changed everything especially the body line and the arms that you see, is all Masha so Carolena Nericcio started taking class with Masha Archer when she was about years old and studied with her for many many years.

When Masha stopped teaching, Carolena started teaching a few years after that and she really started to codify and clarify this form. Especially the rules with leading and following she also really clarified the style the costume approach and the formations in the stagecraft of this improvisational form.

Also a huge influence in this style is John Compton. The group that John Compton was in called The Gypsy Moore dancers run by Mish. Mish was the first group that I saw. They were dripping in a suit and tribal jewelry and had very choreographed dances that were very joyful and energetic. Had a lot of comedy in them. I don’t think I’ve seen another group that had that much comedy in their otherwise very serious Middle Eastern folkloric drama.

So he was a huge influence when I created a group called The Indigo. We love to infuse a lot of comedy in our pieces and John Compton was a huge inspiration for that.

Also a big inspiration is Fifi Abdu, the famous Egyptian dancer who I didn’t see dance until I was probably five years into dancing. She completely changed my approach. She’s so relaxed on stage she just owns it. There’s not this sense of performance. She’s very much inhabiting her body and if she needs to say something to somebody on stage, she just says it.

Not to mention her shimmies and her techniques.

She’s incredible.

Last but not least my dear friend Marty Love, who like me started with cabaret and came to tribal later. So we saw the world in a lot of the same way but the way that she saw it differently. Than it changed my life. She refused to use anything in a costume that was not authentic. What didn’t have a story so everything in our costumes.

I started investing all my money in costumes. Everything had to be real, coins, um, flapper, fringe. There could be no plastic fringe, it all had to be old. It had to be off of a dress that was worn. So Marty really brought an impeccable eye for design and really changed the look of the style. This style, as inspired by Masha, is very heavy on the idea of moving sculptural composition and wants to be adorned.


How it all started

I never expected to create a style in a million years, but my belly dance journey began as an American cabaret dancer in nightclubs.


My first nightclub gig was the first day I could be in a nightclub. On my birthday I got hired and I worked “improvisationally” doing American cabaret style with live music, for about a decade.

At that point I felt like I loved belly dance. I loved the movement, I loved the technique but I didn’t feel like it completely matched me as a person.

So I left a couple of times and at one point I saw a picture of Carolena Enrique, the creator of American tribal style. I hadn’t even seen her dance yet and that was the missing piece that was exactly what I was looking for. As far as the sort of the presentation of the movement. So I loved the movement, I loved the music and the way I was dressed didn’t fit who I was and if you’ve seen me in a costume.

Now you know why that feels fully authentic the way that I dress in costumes now so basically I had taken these two very different styles. I was in love with Jamila and Suhayla Salampour’s work, in Suhayla dances for the sultan, her technique in that video. I’ve never seen anything like it before since so I was striving to bring that feeling, that movement into my dancing. I wanted to dress like American tribal style dancers while doing the Soundpore style movement.

There was no internet at the time if you can imagine and I was dancing at nightclubs. Nobody cared, it wasn’t a statement I didn’t have to call it anything. I would just show up and go to work so then I started touring this style and probably two years into touring I started hearing people say that they were doing tribal fusion style.

Belly Dancing Styles

I remember at the time thinking that’s a verb that’s not a style. I’m fusing American tribal style with American cabaret style and many other dance forms that I learned in college so I felt for a long time this is I’m fusing it’s a verb it’s not a style. Then after several years I saw people were really wanting to learn this particular take on belly dance.

So I called Carolena, my teacher, who is the woman that created American tribal style. Said what you think that I do and she said well I think you do fusion. I felt like I wanted to call it tribal fusion so that it would reflect that I was fusing Carolena’s style.


So the word “tribal” was actually in reference to fat chance belly dance at that point and now you know fast forward years. I realized that tribal fusion didn’t really mean that anymore in order to really clarify what it was that I was doing.

I should give it a name so I hope it comes through that the idea of creating a style is actually out of respect for my teachers. Because by taking their work and changing it I wasn’t doing their style exactly anymore. Then an introduction to a movement would be well in poor format.

In American tribal style they do this and we changed it a little and there was just so many words but now if I say this is a detour style hip bump someone studying that and studying with me will know the history of that and how it landed here in this style. Because it is of a supreme importance to me that we know where things came from.

My education really started in America and now I am learning to dig deeper into the roots. My direct lineage is American style, I hope that this introduction gives you a little bit of a sense of how many people are a part of this style. So that when we dance together either in the virtual world or the real world, we still feel that connection with all of the people that came before us and before them. I hope you enjoy dancing with style. Thanks for joining me.


Belly Dance Segment: Warm Up

This warm-up will help you transition from your regular day-to-day state of mind of problem solving and being external to an internal awareness.

Dance and especially improvisation really requires that you feel from the inside rather than just looking at yourself from the outside so we’ll do a moment of breath work for that.

Then we’re going to warm up the muscles that you use for lateral bending which will be great for any belly dance class with hip work.

Just standing in a comfortable position.

And let your gaze rest somewhere on the wall in front of you.

Let your eyes soften a little bit.


And begin to deepen your breath.


Just notice the sensation of rising and falling in your side ribs.

Every time you exhale relax the shoulders a little bit.


On your next inhale turn the palms out bring the arms up.

Then turn them the other way and come down.

And one more of those bring them out and up, and out and down.

Next we’ll bring them forward and up, and forward and down and just slow deep breath.

Then out to the side again and this time you’re going to bring the arms out to the sides, bend the knees a little bit.

Come all the way down and bring the hands to the backs of the legs. Then come all the way back up. Again all the way down and lead with the rib cage to lift off of the legs to come up.

Now we’re going to bring the arms forward again bring the hips back and bend the knees bring the hands to the floor.


Then inhale come all the way back up and let’s do that again arms forward.


Hips back, bend the knees as if you were sitting in a chair.

Then arms forward and up lift the ribs up first, and down.

Okay, now you’re going to bring the arms overhead.

Interlace the fingers, if that’s comfortable and keep the ribs in.

Take a deep breath.

Then you’re going to lengthen as much as you can through the top of the head. And as you exhale, lengthen the right side of the body. Then back up to center.

Lengthen the left side and make sure that you’re keeping the right side of the body long. Even though you’re bending toward the right and this is getting a little smaller other side.

You’re still lengthening up from the bottom as well as the top and up.
And other side.

And up and now same thing but with the legs out so bring the arms out to the sides and
Up and you’re going to bend to the left.

Back to center and over to the right.

Make sure you’re still supporting the torso with the underside of the body. What you don’t want to do, as you come down, is just hang off. Stay up and over come back to center and lift up and over contracting the right side of the body. And up walk the feet together.

Bring the arms up. Then come all the way down hands to the backs of the legs.

And then four times up, halfway and down.

Here you’re warming up the back of the body using the muscles on either side of the spine, and down up halfway.


Down. Then arms to the sides to come all the way up.

Belly Dance Segment: Hip Work on the Up

Okay so now you’re just a little warmed up.

In this segment we’re going to go over hip work on the up and some of its related vocabulary primarily the bumps.

Bumps come from originally Jamilah Salimpour through American tribal style.

This is sort of a marriage of those two approaches with something a little bit different for detour style.

So starting first with hip work on the up just without any quality changes, just all the way from the beginning. You’re going to start with knees bent and the deeper the knee bend, the higher you’re going to be able to get your hips.

With your legs straight try lifting your hips it’s not going to work, so then bend your knees. Find a neutral position for your pelvis, which means that you’re going to keep this curve in your low back.
Relax your low back. Support it with the abdomen so then you’re going to draw one hip up toward the rib cage while keeping the rib cage still. Then the other hip up toward the rib cage.

We’re going to do that a bunch of times so up. Just imagine that instead of your pelvis being your center of gravity as it normally is, your rib cage is your new center of gravity and your hips are just hanging like scales.

Up and arms in the position of your choice.

Here’s the trick. If you’re new to this you’re naturally going to shift your weight side to side over time. You’re really going to try to minimize that so your ribs are floating and your hips are coming up toward your ribs. Shoulders are relaxed.

No matter what you’re feeling, it’s helpful to get in the habit of always looking like whatever you’re doing is easy.


This is the foundation of all of the other hip work on the up that we do, so we’ll just take a few more moments.

Come back to this whenever you need to, so I like to call this one a naked hip up because there’s no lock on it there’s no quality on it.

It’s just the pure isolation so we’re just going to do eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one.

That’s basic hip work on the up.

Belly Dance Segment: Bumps

Now to make a bump you’re going to do hip work on the up but you’ll be on your diagonal and I’ll show you from the front first. Then I’ll turn around.

Doesn’t matter which side, you can mirror me.

So first your hips and your knees and your shoulders are going to be on your diagonal. Then you’re going to rotate forward.

You’re still performing toward the audience so you’ll have this little spiral.
First you’re going to do the same hip work that we just did, which is keeping the ribs nice and stable and bring your hip up toward the ribs.

You’ll notice that my front leg is bent, my back leg supporting leg is bent just a little bit. It’s not absolutely straight that would make it difficult to get a nice big movement but it’s not as bent as the downstage leg.

Here we’re going to start changing the quality just a little bit for these bumps.
So instead of just bringing it straight up without an energy change, you’re going to do a little bit of. I like to think of it as a kiss like your hip is kissing your ribs.

You’re not kissing it hard, you’re not going ah, you’re just going so it’s just a little soft meeting of the hip bone and the ribbon.

So it’s up, let’s do the other side.

You’re going to spiral open relax here we go up, up, up.

In a moment we’re going to do some stuff with the arms.
But for now if they get tired here you can just bring them down you can also bring them overhead.


So as you are drilling these parts of your body may meander to different places, so just notice if you have the tendency to sort of lean back.

Many fusion dancers bring the ribs forward so what you’re going for is keeping the ribs right over the pelvis.

The whole time keeping the belly contracted and the low back relaxed okay so you got your little kiss now up, up, up.


Okay. so if you need to do that a little more, go ahead and rewind.

I’m going to turn around and bring the next part into it so we are going to we’re still on the diagonal rotate forward.


Now there’s going to be a little addition of some foot movement. Imagine that you have a big button under your foot and when you push it down it clicks and brings your hip up.

So you have to push the button down to bring the hip up.
And you have to release the foot to release the hip so you bring the foot down and bring the hip up.

Here we go you’re going to hips off the floor foot down hip up. Then release it and up and release it good and up. And release and up and release up.

A couple more up-up, good keeping the spine nice and long and now we’re going to double, we’re going to go touch and up and up.

You might notice the support or the work in the supporting leg.
Make sure that you touch down every time you bring the hip up.

Okay, all right, other side so hips on the diagonal spiraling forward arms relaxed.


Bring the foot up to begin. Then you’re going to go down with the foot up with the hip and release.


So while we’re doing this I’ll give you guys something I see frequently.


Do it right

Stuff I see in class is just wrong.

Sort of not really but stylistically what I see a lot is a level change here.

You want to make sure that you stay nice and low so you’re going to go up and keep your level really low.

Make this really isolated. Then double.


Go ahead and bring the weight to the outside edge of the right foot.
Make sure you don’t roll in on that supporting leg.

Once you’ve got that going and you keep your level nice and low.

Don’t do any level changes as you’re bringing the hip up coordinating the foot and the hip can be a little challenging.

But just keep working on that and you’ll get it once you’re there.

You’re going to add the arms, so the arms are up overhead. To start, elbow straight out to the sides and you’re going to bring the down stage arm, the one closest to the audience across out and up.

And then upstage across out and up so it’ll go one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Like that. Then sometimes it goes the other way out so just follow along with the arms.
We’re going to start where we finished. Then we’re going to go across.


Okay other side so to the diagonal spiraling forward the downstage foot is on the ball of the foot arms up. Here we go and across. Keeping the low belly contracted. Neck is long and relaxed. Keep the low back relax across.

Now we’re going to do out across up with the arms and we’re going to speed up the hips so we’re going to go up, up, up.

And again what I love about this so much is this softness while keeping no level and while keeping the same level not having a level change.

We’re going to go arm same speed across out up.
And you might notice a little flourish.

Before you start, to be honest with you, I never worked on that that will just probably happen the more you do this
Very gentle not in the direction your arm is going okay.

That’s basic hip work and bumps so in this next segment we’re going to go into detail about Taxim, Swing and Ghawazee prep and these are all in the hip up family.

Belly Dance Segment: Taxim, Swing and Ghawazee Prep

Taxim is usually a slow movement and it isn’t up but there’s some details about it that are a little bit different and the swing and Ghawazee prep are definitely an up.

They’re up with a side to side movement so let’s talk about Taxim first so once you’re comfortable with hip work.

Belly Dance Segment: Taxim

Quality manipulations and Taxim is one of my favorites so what is odd about the Taxim is well let’s start with what we know.

First what we know is that there’s an up element to it and this one actually has a little bit of a weight shift as you might notice so normally when you’re doing detour style hip work on the up there is no weight shift at all.

You’re just bringing hips up like this but with prepping for Taxim you’re going to actually go into the foot. You’ll notice my right hip is going up and I’m going onto the right foot and when I my left hip comes up I’m going on the left foot right.

This is weight on the right hip up, weight on the left hip up.

Something else awesome and unusual about Taxim is your ribs are going to float in opposition just a little bit. Well, it’ll be opposition when we get to where we’re going right now it’s the same side so you’ll notice when my right hip comes up I float a little bit over.

Don’t try to make that happen, just know that it’s okay if it happens.

Here’s what’s weird about Taxim. And awesome. You’re going to bring your weight to the left but the focus is going to be on the right hip which is what we call an empty hip so you go to the left your weight is.


Here then you’re going to use your obliques to bring the hip up. Then once the hip is almost up you shift your weight over there now.

The focus is here you’re still going up, but the focus and energy is on the empty hip. Watch that again if you need to, we’re going to keep going so we’re going to drop the right hip. Then bring it up weight on the right drop the left weight comes up on the left.

Weight on the left foot drop right and switch, so you’ll also notice quality wise boom.

There’s a big energy shift when you drop and empty that hip, so you’re going to drop the left hip bring it up drop the right hip.

Bring it up so when I was first learning Taxim I was absolutely in love with this little empty scoop that happens and I couldn’t figure out how to get it.

I really worked on bringing my hip more out to the side to try to get it it’s actually not a side to side. So just think about emptying all of the energy. Then bringing it up and you’re going to get that scoop down.

Then bring it up it goes up to the side a little on its own down and up wait on the right as you drop the other hip and release.

I’m going to drill this for a good little while here because it takes a minute to wrap your head around so you’re not going to see anything in the feet.

Really I mean especially at the moment with my pants but even if you could see my feet there’s not much of a switch. Your heels stay on the ground and up and release and up.

The right leg is going to come almost to straight. Then release. Then almost a straight on the left and weight to the left up weight to the right and up.

If thinking about the empty hip makes you feel all cross-eyed then just watch the full hip so you’re going to bring the right hip up. Then switch the weight and bring the left hip up.


A few more and release and up.
Okay so once this starts to happen in the hip you can really let your ribs go and up.

Drop and up and you can see this side to side opposition to the hip that’s coming up drop and up and this will just happen over time.


Okay, so fast forward, days or months, or in my case years I felt like it took to get this and you can add arms to this and if you’re doing improvisation with other dancers.
Your arms are going to hold all of the information to the dancers that are dancing with you “improvisationally”.

Because if you’re on stage with your friends staring at your hip it would be a little obvious so in this style inspired by “ats” we use the arms to cue what’s happening.

What’s going to happen here is that your elbow is going to do the same thing that your hip is doing.
To tell people that you’re working with what your hips are doing and you can imagine that there’s a string from your elbow to your hip. And that your elbow is dropping your hip. Then bringing it up.
Like your hips are a puppet and your elbows are the puppet master down.

When you’re doing this, if you’re new to this, it’s very very normal for your arms to get tired real fast you aren’t the only one.

It’s not just your arms so I recommend. I actually love working with weights that helps quite a bit. Another thing is make sure that when you’re bringing your elbow up that you don’t feel anything remotely resembling discomfort in the shoulders.

If you do, just bring your arms down a little bit basically bringing the elbows up is internal rotation in the upper arm and sometimes the shoulder doesn’t love internal rotation and everyone’s arm bones are fitted fitting a little bit differently into the socket.

Make sure you’re comfortable.


Some people can bring the elbows way up.

Other people don’t bring them up and I say this with a good dose of personal experience.
I injured my shoulder trying to look like someone that had a lot more range of motion than I do. So just go with what’s comfortable for you. Then you can make a rhythmic music.
Add little level changes for drama if you like and Taxim pan go forward or back.

Also just walk in place and go corner to corner to switch sides.
In this case your arms are going to move just a little bit so you always stay towards the audience a tiny bit so instead of taking your arms with you. You would leave your arms there a little, while you’re talk seaming to the side so let’s just keep drilling this a little.


I’m going to throw some different timings at you, just to get you in the habit right away of staying connected to the leader.


If you’ve been doing this with me the whole time isn’t it amazing how such a small intense internal movement how warm it will get you.

There’s a lot happening here.

That is Taxim and a little note Taxim means solo musical interpretation. Usually by a single musician a single instrument but Taxim goes really well. This movement goes beautifully with a musical Taxim which is how it got that nickname. It’s other, it’s also known as figurate down to up because you drop the hip.

Then you make it an uphip.

Belly Dance Segment: Swings

So next we’re going to work on swings.

Swings are very close to my heart.

There is very important piece of information I want to give you about swings because i’ve learned everything the hard way so don’t learn this the hard way. I did that for you so here’s the thing about swings I’ll show you from the back. Let me show you what they are first a swing is hip work on the up that moves side to side. This one is highlighted in the hip steady.

What I often see with people is that they bring the hip out to the side like this and your hip is not a fan of that.

I don’t know about yours, but most people’s hips are not fans of this. It’s just hip work on the up but with a side to side it’s actually not a displacement. It’s just a weight shift so you’re going to bring the hip up and shift the weight to one side.

Your feet are going to be a little bit wider than hip distance apart so up into the side. Then the other one up into the side. Make sure it’s not out until the side it’s up with a weight shift up with a weight shift right you’re with me.

With the ups you’re bringing your hips towards your ribs rather than the sides. I think you have it now, I just want to be sure so you’re going to slide to one side.
Weight to the right foot hip goes up toward the ribs. Then the other side up.

Let’s talk about quality for a second, this is different than anything we’ve done so far so hip work naked hip work on the up is very neutral. It doesn’t have much of a quality in it it’s all oblique.

Then the second thing in the hip up series is bumps and bumps are very relaxed and it’s like a soft little kiss and in bumps. You’re tall, your arms are up. It’s very elegant and together this is not that so the quality here is really earthy lots of side to side.

What you’re actually going for is reverb. Reverb is when your flesh shakes after you’ve stopped moving and reverb is why I belly dance.

The first answer I saw had this reverb moment and I cried and started class the next day.
You’re going to really try to amplify the reverb by contracting your glutes. Then releasing. So this is contract here. Then let it go so you’re going to swing boom and boom.

Basically you’re bringing the hip toward the center line and just doing a quick grab and release.
Back here to get your glute or get your well let’s just say it to get your booty to shake. So let me do it on the beat here, boom, so you’re going to go shake it.


The key is the upper body is really relaxed the glutes get incredibly relaxed after the swing. So it’s up up just shifting the weight side to side.


If you start to feel anything in your hip joint more up left side.


Belly Dance Segment: Ghawazee Prep

Okay so we’re going to drill this more but I want to add something. So we’re going to do Ghawazee prep.
Ghawazee prep is a swing then you keep your weight on that swinging foot. Then you contract the obliques for a lift. And you drop back where you started.

So the key with this guy is really that drop. In belly dance a lot of the time we focus on the contraction rather than the release. And the contraction is really more powerful when it comes from a released place. So your job here is to reverb lift it up and really drop it down.

Here we go, we’re going to go swing up drop a little slower actually swing. Then bring it up.
Drop into the right and enjoy. Then other side so swing. And up. Then drop where you just were again swing. Then oblique lifts. And drop.

When you lift it’s not much of a lock but it is a strong lift.
Drop a couple more and swing up drop and swing.
We’ll go a little faster swing, swing up, drop, swing up, drop.
Make sure your swings are coming in in.

You’ll notice the upper body in this one is a little more relaxed it goes with the hip.
I should say it goes with the pelvis, so when you switch the weight your whole body goes with you boom, boom, boom.


A couple more really focusing on the third drop.
We’re going to double this, here we go and swing up drop.


In the hip study we go real fast with that, with this one.


Okay, so that was Taxim Swings and Ghawazee prep.

Belly Dance Segment: Glute Lock

In this next segment we’re going to learn the glute lock and the glute lock is hip work on the up but moving the hip back.

This is really inspired by the “s” and “s sort” of American folkloric style that was seen at the renaissance fairs.

A lot, especially by Hobby Roo so this starts well.

Let’s do it before we even move it back.

I’ll just show you the hip work just straight forward so we’re going to go up down on the right hip. Let’s do that a couple more times so you’re going to go up, drop again up drop. You might notice it’s a ricochet up then hold it then drop so you bounce it first so it goes right back to where it started. So Here we go so up down and up down and bounce hold drop.


Then last one. Then we’ll do the other side boom left side and up down and up down. Bounce hold down and bounce hold down let’s do two more on the left.

Okay, so then you go so it goes up.

Opposite hips so if I set it in rights and lefts it would be right up right up right down. Then ups right left right, left right. Then you’ll notice the left hip is down and ready to do its little bounce.

Now to make it the glute lock you’re going to turn to the diagonal rotate spiral towards the audience. You’re going to come into an extended hip position so your foot’s going to come back. You’re going to contract the glute as you bring your hip up. So it’s lock lock and you actually let’s just do those for a minute you actually use your leg to push the hip up and back.

Glute so similar to the swing and the Ghawazee prep.

When you drop this really drop it and try to get some reverb if you have coins on really make those coins go.

Let’s do this on the other side so starting to the diagonal rotate toward the audience. Bring the leg back, here we go, and you’re just going to go contract the left glute.

You’ll notice there is a little bit of a weight.

Shift back and you can even bring the body line up at a diagonal a little bit.
We don’t do that often in detour style but it’s nice to change it up.


Maybe a couple more.

Okay that’s it, so now if you’re doing the right hip you’re going to go up-up drop. So that balance is a really strong glute contraction. You’re going to go bounce hold drop. Then switch to obliques and then you’re going to come to the other side. With that right-left and glute release and left right left right left back to the glutes.

I think it’s a personal choice there.

I love doing little releases into weight shifts up drop and again like so much stuff in this style. It just ends up happening, you don’t have to work on making it happen too much.
Just focus on the isolations and it’ll come.

Some arms as you might have expected. So basically the arms come into a high reach when you’re doing up up drop.

You also might notice the body line is a little different. So we’re actually going to lean a little bit toward that glute to help the audience direct their attention.


We’re going to speed up just a little bit.
If you’d prefer to do the previous speed, go for it, and reach.

That was the glute lock.

Belly Dance Segment: Improvisation Drill

Now we’re going to put this vocabulary to improvisational use.
I’m going to use this improve as a little drill session for both improvisation and the vocabulary sections.

In Dotura style we can bridge a gap between fast vocabulary and slow vocabulary just through a shadowing process. Just lead and follow process. So the fast vocabulary that we learned in this class was the glute lock and the bumps and the slow vocabulary. That we learned was Taxim so the body line for Taxim is an open posture.

The body line for the fast movements is what we call an “ats” called show girl posture so I will be sort of shadowing from one family the fast family to the next.


The slow family through these just lead and follow arm and shoulder movements and just follow the best that you can and let’s have fun.

Have fun playing with that.

Belly Dance Segment: Cool Down

This cool down focuses on stabilization during belly dance movement. You’re doing a lot of asymmetrical movements in the torso often in the low back so in this cooldown.

We’re going to slow down the movement and focus on contracting in the core muscles. To help you go back out into the world symmetrical and stable. You can use a mat if you would like to.
If you want use some cushion for your knees. You’re going to be on your knees a little bit so you could use a blanket. None of that is required.

We’re going to start on the hands and knees and the hands go right under the shoulders.
And then a little bit in front of the shoulders.

The reason for that is to make sure that you don’t have a degree angle going right into the wrist.
So hands are forward a little elbows bend back a little bit.

You’re not locking out your elbows so you’re not going to see anything.


You’ll feel it so press the hands down as if someone’s sitting on your back.

Then you’re going to squeeze your hands toward one another that’ll activate the chest.

You’re going to pull your hands back toward the knees.
That’ll activate the abdomen and you may start shaking.

Let’s do that again relax deep breath in. Then press.

Then hands toward one another hands back to the knees.

So while you’re holding all of that, curl your toes under take a deep breath in.
Then bring your knees off the floor for four or five breaths.

Here bend the elbows back a little bit keep pressing down in and back.
Keep the neck long widen the shoulders.
Press the front of the body into the back of the body and release.


Coming back up let’s do that again because I know you loved it so much the first time.
So down in back toes under deep breath in exhale knees up.


Bring the front of the body towards the back of the body round the spine a little bit widen the shoulders and really focus on contracting in the abdomen. Then you’re going to release and just gently lengthen the low back.


Now very similar but a little different so you can do what we were just doing.
Or you can bring your legs back for a little bit of a plank. Feet hip distance apart elbows bent again hips down, front of the body toward the back of the body, relax the neck.
Press all four corners of the palms down. Root of the index finger root of the pinky root of the thumbs.


It’s easier to breathe in the side back ribs here because the front ribs are busy.
So a couple of breaths, go ahead. Then bend the knees and relax the low back.
Come up to sitting and just roll the shoulders back a little bit. After all that roll the shoulders forward. And then to keep your neck mobile, we’re just going to do a really gentle range of motion looking over one shoulder.

Then the other shoulder.

Your future self will thank you for doing this, every time you practice such a simple range of motion.

Back to center deep breath.

All right, thank you for joining me.

This 1-Hour Belly Dance Class is brought to you by Rachel Brice.

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