This 1 hour video is among the Best Tutorials for Beginners when looking to learn Belly Dancing.
In this session of Belly Dance for Beginners, you will learn and practice the basics of posture, arm movements and hip circles.
There are numerous belly dance tutorials, this videos could be among the best you can find. Very easy to follow, very un-rigid teaching method, relaxed and easy… Setting is fabulous!!! Adds to the inspiration for wanting to learn these beautiful movements.
Belly dancer is breaking every movement down so each one is very easy to understand.
So I would just like to talk a little bit about posture.
We can start with our feet hip width apart.
Relax the body, relax the torso, relax the head.
Everything should be stacked on top of each other.
A few things you don’t want to be doing.
You don’t want to be leaning back where you feel your stomach muscles engage.
And you don’t want to be leaning too far forward where you feel your toes gripping into the floor.
You also don’t want to be tilting your pelvis.
It’s easier to see from the side.
You don’t want to be tilting your pelvis forward so that your back is contracted.
And you also don’t want to be tucked. And I’m doing this to the extreme.
Most people when they do this with their posture, they have a little bit of slight tucking or a little bit of a contraction here in their back.
I think it’s best if you can stay in a neutral position.
A position that feels good when you move.
A good way to find that is to start to collapse.
Collapse the shoulders around the back.
And then we’ll take it up.
And we’re going to be pulled up on the toes as if someone has a string through your head.
They’re pulling you up now. You’re going to set yourself back down.
Release everything and this is a very stable nice posture to work from.
I’ll do it from the side. Pick it up. I’m being pulled up to the middle of my head from a string and I’m setting down.
Notice how I’m very slightly forward.
I’m not actually straight up and down.
I’m slightly forward and you should feel everything.
Release in the front of your body. You shouldn’t feel any tension in the back of your body. It’s a very stable starting point.
Most Egyptian style dance is done with a straight leg.
There are some times when we have a slight bend in our knee just a little bit of flexibility.
And always keep your knees soft. Never push back with your knees to as far as they can go. You always need a little softness in your knees.
Arm position, breathing, relaxing through. No holding, breath, coming through.
Your breath should be moving through the entire torso and the arms up.
It’s a nice position to start with. Let’s take a big breath and release.
Belly Dance: Basic Arm Posture
So now I’d like to talk about some basic arm postures and our movement and hand movements in belly dance.
So let’s start with our posture that we discussed in the first section.
Relaxed breathing, shoulders down. Not pulled down but in a nice comfortable position and let’s take the arms up here.
So this is a very typical arm posture. You don’t want the arms here straight, you want them relaxed here. Elbows down. Hands generally down or comfortable.
This is a very common arm posture and you’ll see this a lot later in the DVD and also here. This L shape.
And when people tend to focus on the shoulders, they tend to tighten them.
It’s just our tendency to pull up and to have a lot of tension in the shoulders.
So you can think of releasing that tension and lengthening the neck. And being very comfortable with your arms out or up. You can turn the hands in, so you use your arms a lot as a frame.
Here I’m framing my head.
And here framing my hips.
Belly Dance: Hands Movement
So now we’ll move on to the hands.
This is a very nice hand movement.
And to do this movement you can think of having a bowl of frosting like when you were a kid and you want to take that frosting off of the inside of the bowl.
So you’re taking it off.
And with the other hand.
So I start with my palms facing out and I’m taking the frosting off at the inside of the bowl.
So you can do this with any arm position.
I have my bowl of frosting here. It’s the same hand movement and of course here.
So again from the front now. I’m going to take this movement out to the side. So all I’m doing is moving my arms. The hands are doing exactly the same thing.
And there is a little bit of tension in the hand. You don’t want the hand to be limp.
You have a little bit of tension there.
Now let’s take the arms overhead. So here I have two bowls of frosting above me and I’m still relaxed.
I’m still breathing and then we’re going to keep the hands going. One is going to come down in front of me and then out to the side. And it’s going to meet the other hand overhead.
Let’s do that one more time
I’m going to bring both hands down and take them up.
And again from the front.
So let’s move on to shoulders.
We’re going to start with a shoulder roll.
So from the side my shoulder goes forward up back and down, forward up, back and down.
Then we start to make a smooth circle with it. So instead of here where I’m hitting the points, I’m rolling my shoulder back.
Look at it from the other side.
Let’s try both shoulders together.
This isn’t particularly a move that we use in Middle Eastern dance but when we start to alternate the shoulders. One and then the other one and the other.
This is something that we use.
Take care that you’re not tensing up you’re not tensing here through the jaw.
Belly Dance: Shoulders
You’re not bringing your shoulders up.
Relax, breathe, think about the tension.
That’s happening here in your stomach and your abdomen.
Why are you pulling in to get your shoulders out.
Release, everything is nice and easy and your face also.
Your face is also relaxed. No jaw clenching and notice my hands.
They’re just following along. Now I’m going to start to lift my arms.
So I’m still rolling the shoulders and the rest of my arms in the hands.
They’re just following the shoulder roll.
Now I’m leaning slightly forward.
Slightly forward and from the side.
This is nice and easy with a slight plie.
And the arms lifting again, breathing, so another shoulder movement.
A shoulder shimmy.
You start this movement by moving the shoulders forward and back.
I’m taking one shoulder from the side forward and back forward.
And from the other side, from the front.
I’ll do one at a time.
Belly Dance: Tempo & Shoulder Shimmy
Now with the tempo of the music.
And again the shoulders going forward for it. It’s a small movement. I’m not here.
You can do this. Play with this movement after but in learning keep everything within a comfortable area of your body.
You don’t want to stretch things over. Stretch things because if you haven’t done belly dance you might be using muscles you’ve never used before.
So you don’t want to end up sore in the morning. You don’t want to end up with a neck ache so little movements.
I’m going one at a time now.
I’m going to alternate one and the other.
So the idea of a shoulder shimmy.
Then we can use the shoulder.
This leads into a shoulder shimmy where I’m moving one after another fairly quickly. So back and forth.
So this is going forward back and this is going forward back but I’m alternating them. First one, than the other one, than the other one.
So the idea of this then is to speed it up so we get them going pretty quickly.
This is that tempo.
So my shoulders are alternating going back and forth. Bring it quickly.
So now to stylize this in the Egyptian style you concentrate less on the shoulders.
And you let the movement travel into your chest.
So I start to forget about my shoulders moving quickly and I thought I start to put my focus my attention on my chest.
So the shoulders are still moving but I forgotten about the shoulders and I’ve released all the tension in my chest.
I’ve let the move travel down. So I just want you to see the difference here.
I’m thinking about my shoulders moving forward and back. And here I’m thinking about letting the movement go into my chest.
My chest should be relaxed.
Anyways going back to the basic posture.
I am breathing through the chest. I’m not holding it. I’m not tensing it. The chest is relaxed, so when you start to move your shoulders forward and back, the chest kind of naturally follows from that.
Breathing, think about what you’re doing.
Let the air, let the error move up and down through your body. What you’re doing shouldn’t affect your breathing.
So I’m not doing these movements by holding my breath or by breathing in and out.
These are muscle things independent of the breath.
So now I’m going to lean slightly forward and slightly forward from the side.
Now I’m just putting my weight from one foot to the other, it’s nice and easy.
Breathing, relaxing the shoulders, just letting them go.
And you can think about the tempo of the music.
Also you don’t want to be outside of the tempo of the music.
So if I have to listen to my music and find the shoulder shimmy that fits within the music.
I’m keeping the beat with my shoulders and my chest.
Let’s take the arms up overhead and down, into a nice shoulder roll it into an easy shoulder shimmy and back to one shoulder.
And that’s alternate, and shimmy.
Let’s take the arms up her head, nice breath and come down.
Belly Dance: Arms Movement
So now let’s move on to some arm movements so let’s start with this movement.
I’m going break it down for you. We’ll start with just one arm. Imagine that you’re holding a basketball right in here.
So my basketball is here and I’m holding on to it till I get to a certain point. And then I just gently let it go and it falls to the ground.
One more time so I’m holding the basketball. I’m holding on to it and then it just falls to the ground when my arm moves off of it.
Then as my arm is come up, I’ve dropped my basketball. I let my elbow fall. My wrist and my hand.
So I’ve got my basketball and I let it go and then the elbow wrist and hand follow through.
So let’s try it on the other side. Basketball I’m holding it up here and then I just gently let it go. Pulling it up and gently let it go.
And one more time. I’m holding on to it and there I’ve released it. And the hand follows through.
So you don’t want to get breakdancing.
Look where you’re.
You want to keep it all smooth and relaxed.
Again, shoulders relaxed. I’m very relaxed. I’m holding the basketball. It’s coming up and then I’ve released it. And it’s all coming down on the other side. Coming up, releasing it and everything follows from there.
So I kept my elbow wrist and hand very soft. One arm and the other arm.
The idea then is to do one arm and the other arm in succession so this arm is up.
I’m holding my basketball. Just as I’ve released it, I start to bring the other arm up and then I’ve released that basketball in each arm then goes one after another.
So here’s the basketball on this side. I’m dropping it and I’m picking it up on the other side so one after another.
Just keep this going for a few minutes.
Also I think when people tend to first start learning this movement, they tend to start with the shoulder. So the movement kind of starts with the shoulder going up and then the elbow and wrist. And that’s giving you a different kind of look.
We want everything to be a little bit sexy a little bit relaxed. A little bit sensual.
So instead of concentrating on the shoulder going up, think about breathing.
We’re lifting really from the arm and not the shoulder. So it doesn’t start here it starts here on the other side.
Starting from here. Let’s keep it going for a few minutes and don’t worry if you don’t get this the first time. It’s not really an easy movement, we don’t do this in our normal lives so just keep working on it.
Work on one arm at a time. If you just really can’t get it do one arm and then do the other arm and then try and put them together.
What we’re going to do then is we’re going to take this arm that I’m starting with. The basketball, I’m gonna take it all the way overhead so then when I come back I do the same movement.
It’s just a little bit larger so I’m coming up. Everything’s following I’ve already dropped my basketball and then at the top I start to descend and then the hand goes up and over.
Let’s try it on the other arm. We’ve got the basketball, it’s dropped and here the hand follows from the top of the movement.
Coming down the other, I’m going up. And the last thing is the hands so now we’re going to put these together one arm after another. Let’s take this arm all the way up and then the other arm starts to come up as the first arm is going down. The hands at the end start to make a little frame so as this hand falls over this a hand starts to curve in a little bit.
Some people call these snake arms.
You can kind of see why it’s very snake. Looking and then again breathing and the shoulders down you can kind of think of something snaky.
Something serpentine and let’s take it back to the center.
So what we can do then is we can keep the arms going but we just change the position of the arms. So they’ve got this movement in front. It’s exactly the same movement so I’m doing exactly the same thing with my arms. One following the other. I’m just moving them to the front of my body and sometimes that gets confusing when you start changing arm positions. Well, just keep it here for a second and let’s look at it from the side. As you can see it’s the same movement, I just changed the position of my arms.
Let’s take it back to the side and a little bit bigger so I’m going to do it very slowly.
Now the change to the front very slowly.
And again, this is the kind of sensual, snaky movement so you don’t want to let attention and you don’t want break-dancing, keep it flowing.
Let’s take it back to the front, we’re gonna do kind of what we did with the shoulders to me. We’re gonna take it forward lean a little bit forward.
You can do this on the diagonal so I’m going to do this a little bit larger in front of my face. Then I’m gonna start to bring the arms back to this position but I’m still doing exactly the same thing.
So I’m moving my hands like this. I’ve just changed the arm position so that my arms are bent here. They go from here to here and I don’t know why, but when you do this it seems to get much more complicated.
Beginners generally can do this movement. When it comes to this movement something goes haywire here. But it’s exactly the same movement so we start here and we just bring the hands. They keep moving and the arms come right in front of the body and I’ll just really slowly again and leading with the elbow, the wrist and the hand elbow wrist and hand here’s one arm.
And the other arm and this is even nice. With one arm and together so this time going to frame your face very slowly, and let’s take it back.
Again to the side. Don’t forget your snake feeling and back down to the center.
And back to the front so I’m just turning my body position and again framing your face, elbow, wrist, hand, elbow, wrist, hand.
It’s getting easier. Just change each arm position back out to the side and let’s
take the arms up overhead.
So something nice about Middle Eastern dance is that it your hands are generally between here and here.
You’re holding your hands up a lot so you get a lot of work out. You get a lot of strength in your shoulders and your torso it and for women who have a little bit of meat up here it’s actually good because you cut the ideas to kind of get everything moving. So if you have a little bit more to move than it it looks even better.
I think especially with the shoulder shimmy.
A lot of times in the West we’re taught that this is just really unattractive. Well with Middle Eastern dance it kind of adds that extra element of movement and also having a little bit more here too.
And a little bit more of meat on the shoulders it kind of gives you is that these things start to move and it’s nice.
If you have a little bit more than move.
Belly Dance: All Movements Together
So now I’m just going to put some of all of the movements that we’ve talked about, kind of one right after another. And I’ll keep talking you through them and see if we can’t go from one to another. So let’s start with the hands. I’m gonna start with the hands out here.
Remember the bowls of frosting. Some taking the frosting off and putting it back on let’s go to the side and take it overhead.
Now let’s take one hand down and out to the side and up.
I’ve crossed my arms, I’m coming down in front and one more time so cross your hands.
We’ll take it with the shoulder, some snake arms and to the front.
I’m a little diagonal and will lean forward just slightly and come back and take it to the other side leaning forward slightly. Come back now going back out to the side a big snake arm. Take your arms to the center with a little shoulder pop nice and gentle a little flirty. And the little shoulder shimmy and release everything there. Don’t be tense.
The arms follow along and we’ll take it up with one last stretch. Breath in and release so now we’re going to look at circle circles with the hips so let’s just start with the posture again. My feet are about hip width apart relaxed slightly. Slightly forward I’m breathing and remember this arm position where the shoulders are down.
We’re gonna start with this so let’s start with the hips we’re just going to push them from side to side so I lean and push this hip out to one side. Make little movements to start with.
If you’re not used to belly dancing those muscles in there maybe aren’t stretched. They’re not toned. That’s what this will do for you. So just make little movements we’re going to start easy and we’ll build up so I’m just pushing my hip to this side.
If it’s easier for you, you can take a little bit wider stance.
You don’t have your feet directly under your hips. You can take a little bit wider stance and breathe and just push the hip out to one side.
Since your knees are not bent you don’t have this movement going on. Knees are straight so just push it out to one side. Let’s take it to the other side gently at first.